San Diego Padres offseason primer: Free agents, payroll, offseason needs

The San Diego Padres enter the offseason with a lot of questions, including who will be the team's manager in 2024.
San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish
San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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San Diego Padres offseason needs

The Padres need to land on a manager who can mesh well with not only Preller and the front office, but also ensure a good relationship with the clubhouse. Finding the right person for the job is critical for San Diego's success in 2024.

San Diego will also need to decide how it's going to cut payroll but add to its pitching and offense. The rotation will likely need to be somewhat rebuilt with free agent departures and an answer at closer will need to happen as well.

Can San Diego actually find an answer at designated hitter this offseason? If the Padres trade Soto, where will the replacement for his offense come from? With Jackson Merrill knocking on the door and Xander Bogaerts reportedly in discussions to move to first base, what will the infield look like, especially with Manny Machado likely to start the year filling that DH role until he fully recovers from offseason surgery.

In short, the Padres have a lot of needs. They also seem to have a lot of answers as well, but the questions keep unfolding and likely will until a final decision is made on Soto's future.

2 Padres players to watch as the Rule 5 draft decisions near

Both right-hander Jairo Iriarte and catcher Brandon Valenzuela are among the Padres prospects who could be subjected to the Rule 5 draft. Both are also among San Diego's top 10 prospects, so there will some decisions to be made about adding them and others to the 40-man roster before the November 14 deadline.

The Rule 5 draft, which is a way that MLB keeps its clubs from stashing young prospects in the minors forever and can be explained in much better detail here, is scheduled to be held on December 6 during the Winter Meetings in Nashville.

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