San Diego Padres: Jurickson Profar return provides big "what if" question

The San Diego Padres and Jurickson Profar couldn't come to an agreement before the season, and that may have cost the Friars more than anyone realized.

San Diego Padres first baseman Jurickson Profar
San Diego Padres first baseman Jurickson Profar / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Isn't it strange how hindsight is so often 20-20 when it comes to sports? Such could certainly be the case when it comes to Jurickson Profar and the 2023 San Diego Padres.

It hasn't taken long for the 30-year-old Profar to show the Padres exactly what they were missing to start this season when he signed a deal with the NL West rival Colorado Rockies. After being released by Colorado and resigning with San Diego, Profar went 3-for-4 in his 2023 San Diego debut, including a two-run home run, in San Diego's 7-5 loss at Houston.

“I felt great. This culture … it's my culture. The energy that this team brings, and the players that are in here, are my style," Profar told reporters after Saturday's loss.

San Diego Padres get a taste of what they missed with Jurickson Profar on Saturday

It was clear that Profar never was the right fit in Colorado, and Profar admitted that he followed every Padres game closely while putting on the purple uniform in Denver, going as far as to call those Padres players, "his brothers."

Profar said he wished something would have worked out for him to return to San Diego to start the season but, for whatever reason, it didn't. That could be one of the biggest blunders of the 2023 season, now seeing exactly how much chemistry was needed and potentially how much production Profar could have brought to the Padres had A.J. Preller chosen him over Nelson Cruz or Matt Carpenter.

Of course, there are no time machines and no way to rewind the clock. However, if there was, it would be interesting to see exactly what kind of team San Diego would have been with Profar on the roster for the entire season. Perhaps we will see that in 2024 because Profar is already showing just how valuable he is to the Friars, both on and off the field.