The San Diego Padres have not had the most successful offseason thus far. The team has watched several free agent pitchers sign elsewhere this winter and waved goodbye to one of the best players in the game today - Juan Soto. The Friars faithful are beginning to wonder if A.J. Preller even wants to compete in 2024.
But the latest Padres rumors might put a smile on the faces of several fans throughout southern California. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, San Diego is one of the handful of teams who are showing interest in the second-tier pitching market.
Among those pitchers that Heyman mentioned were Hyun-Jin Ryu, James Paxton, and Michael Lorenzen. Along with the Padres, the Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Pittsburgh Pirates were all mentioned as potential suitors for that trio of hurlers as well.
Padres rumors: Hyun-Jin Ryu and James Paxton could help offset free agent losses
The most glaring hole in the San Diego Padres rotation right now is the lack of a left-handed starter. The Padres have shown no inclination to bring back NL Cy Young Award-winner Blake Snell, so adding one of Hyun-Jin Ryu or James Paxton would certainly help to bolster the Friars' rotation.
Ryu missed most of last season as he continued to recover from Tommy John surgery. The lefty missed all but six starts during the 2022 season after tearing his UCL, but was able to return in 2023. The left-hander started 11 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last year and posted a respectable 3.46 ERA.
Paxton knows all too well what it's like to recover from Tommy John as well. The Big Maple made his return to the mound last season after missing all of 2022 following elbow surgery. The 6-foot-4 southpaw had a terrfic stretch midway through the season, but fell apart down the stretch. Paxton closed out his 2023 campaign with a 4.50 ERA in 19 starts for the Boston Red Sox.
Padres rumors: Michael Lorenzen isn't exactly what San Diego needs
Michael Lorenzen came up in Heyman's reporting as well, and while the the southern California native did throw a no-hitter last season, he doesn't exactly fit what the Padres should be looking for this offseason.
Lorenzen is a right-handed pitcher; something the Padres have plenty of. As it stands, the entire Friars' starting rotation is likely comprised of right-handers. The only left-handed starter currently on the 40-man roster is Jay Groome, and he's buried on the depth chart.
These latest Padres rumors are encouraging, as it appears as though San Diego's front office at least has some interest in adding another arm to the rotation this winter. But with so many teams involved in the chase, it may behoove the Padres to make a move sooner rather than later.