Predicting the Padres' next move after their troubling start to the offseason

The Padres have some work to do the rest of the offseason. So what is next?
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One / John Fisher/GettyImages
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Acquiring Another Bullpen Option

The Padres' relief corps will have a different look in 2024. Gone are Josh Hader, Nick Martinez, and Tim Hill. Hello to Yuki Matsui and Woo-Suk Go who should fortify the pen. The signing of Matsui gives the Friars a lethal lefty-righty combo with Robert Suarez. Adding another set-up reliever provides a smooth bridge to the Padres new late-inning signings.

Team management could look to add an experienced bullpen arm like David Robertson or Matt Moore. Robertson is a former closer who has worked as an eighth-inning set-up reliever for Hall-of-Famer Mariano Rivera during their days together with the Yankees. Heading into his 16th season, Robertson is still efficient on the mound. 

Moore is a former starter who can provide multiple innings out of the pen. It will come in handy if a starter falters on the mound. Last season, Moore was outstanding at three stops (Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Guardians, and Miami Marlins) by posting a 2.77 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP in 48.2 IP.

A wild card option for the bullpen could be free agent right-handed pitcher Yariel Rodriquez, who has been dominant coming out of the pen in Japan baseball. Rodriquez posted a 1.15 ERA with a 27.5 strikeout rate with the Chunichi Dragons in 2022. His explosive fastball would bolster the pen’s late-innings efficiency. 

After participating in last year’s World Baseball Classic, he sought his release from the Dragons by sitting out last season. Instead of playing, Rodriquez hosted several workouts for major league teams in the Dominican Republic.