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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Trading for an Outfielder

It is not out of the question for the Padres to be in the trade market for an outfielder. The preferable option is acquiring a high-contact, lefty hitter. St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Dylan Carlson is a perfect addition to the Friars lineup. 

The switch-hitter’s availability should not be a surprise, as Lars Nootbar has become the Cardinals everyday center fielder. But Carlson is damaged goods as he is recovering from ankle surgery. It prematurely ended a dismal 2023 season that saw Carlson hit .219 with 5 HRs and 27 RBIs in 76 games. 

Despite all his struggles, Carlson will have several suitors looking to acquire him. He is a decent defensive outfielder who makes a modest salary ($1.8 million) in today’s baseball. Plus, Carlson will be under team control for the next three seasons.

The Padres are committed to building for the long term, but they expect to contend in 2024. Their eyes are on the present and the future. 

Preller acquired pitching depth in the Juan Soto trade with the Yankees. Drew Thorpe, Randy Vasquez, and Jhony Brito could become trade bait to acquire Burnes, Cease, or Carlson. If a potential trade include all three needs, the Friars may add Jake Croenenworth to the package.