San Diego Padres acquisition: Free agent starting pitcher Seth Lugo
It is no secret that the Friars lack starting pitching depth. In the offseason, Preller went out to rectify the problem. The Padres came to a contract agreement with Seth Lugo, who must answer questions on whether he is better suited to be a reliever than a starter. But the Friars are offering him an opportunity to prove himself in the rotation.
No question the signing has worked out for both sides thus far. Lugo is 3-2 with a 3.21 ERA in six starts. He has averaged just under six innings for each of his starts. Lugo has been outstanding with his velocity, as he has struck out 31 batters in 33.2 innings pitched. Still, Lugo is adjusting to going through an opposing team's batting order for a second time. But he has shown enough quality work to establish himself as a bona fide major league starting pitcher.
San Diego Padres acquisition: Free agent DH Nelson Cruz
The Padres have been pursuing Nelson Cruz since the 2021 season. Thus, it was no surprise when the two sides came together on a contract agreement. And the 42-year-old has regained his stroke by hitting .298 with three HRs and 16 RBIs in 21 games.
Cruz is a known power threat, having hit 462 career home runs. But he struggled by hitting a paltry .234 with the Washington Nationals last season. Thankfully, Cruz has rebounded to a hot start in 2023.