Who comes back: Blake Snell, Michael Wacha or Seth Lugo?
Under most circumstances, the Padres would have an excellent shot of re-signing two out of their three free-agent starting pitchers. Now, the odds are high that Blake Snell, Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo could be pitching elsewhere next season.
Snell is on the verge of winning his second Cy Young award as he led the National League with a 2.25 ERA. And if you add his durability to make each start, Snell could sign one of the biggest free-agent deals this winter.
Wacha dominated the competition as he went 14-4 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 24 starts last season. But he did miss time with shoulder inflammation that reduced his velocity and ground ball out ratio. Questions of his durability could deny Wacha receiving a long-term commitment from another organization.
Lugo bet on himself, and it will pay off for him this offseason. He opted out of his deal with the Padres after going 8-7 with a 3.57 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 140/36 K/BB ratio in 26 starts. The lone blemish was missing time after straining his calf in an early-season start.
All are heading to the free agent market in search of a big payday. Each pitcher will have a number of suitors. Hopefully, one will return to the fold in San Diego next season.