3) Manny Machado - 3B
A big reason why this Padres team failed this season was because of how unpreductive Manny Machado was for a big portion of it. Sure, his season totals look pretty good, but he didn't meet the expectations that came with being the 2022 NL MVP runner-up.
Through the end of June, the Padres third baseman had just a .678 OPS and nine home runs. Sure, he missed time with injury, but that's virtually half of a season of Machado being a below-average player when the team expected him to play like a superstar. Once the calendar flipped to July Machado started playing much better and did his best to help get his team back in it, but they ultimately fell short.
Machado's finish was encouraging as we inch closer to 2024. He should fit in seamlessly in the middle of the lineup once again, and hitting behind Juan Soto and in front of a very formidible middle of the order should give him plenty to hit.
The Padres are going to go in large part where Manny takes them. Soto's future might be uncertain, but Machado is here to stay for the long haul. The Padres are going to need a superstar season from their superstar third baseman.