San Diego Padres rumors: MLB insider predicts dark winter ahead for Friars

Are the San Diego Padres preparing to strike out in their free agency quests to upgrade the roster? One MLB insider thinks so.
Team South Korea outfielder Jung Hoo Lee
Team South Korea outfielder Jung Hoo Lee / Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

After trading off Juan Soto to the New York Yankees, San Diego Padres fans are hoping for some good news when it comes to how A.J. Preller will add to the roster this offseason and replace some of Soto's offense in 2024. One MLB insider, however, provided absolutely no good news for fans of the Friars in his most recent article.

San Diego Padres rumors: Top free agents won't come to San Diego?

In his Tuesday article for The Athletic (subscription required), Jim Bowden predicts the contracts for the top remaining free agents on the market, as well as which teams will sign them. Of the 17 names on the list (including a few former Padres), none of them are predicted to sign with San Diego.

That includes center field target Jung Hoo Lee, who Bowden predicts will sign a five-year, $92.5 million deal with the San Francisco Giants. There have been plenty of rumors saying it could come down to the Padres and Giants for Lee's services, and Bowden has San Francisco winning the bidding war.

Among the other names on the list are former Padres Blake Snell (Bowden predicts a six-year, $162 million deal with the New York Mets), Josh Hader (a three-year, $63 million deal with the Texas Rangers) Michael Wacha (a two-year, $28 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels) and Seth Lugo (a two-year, $24 million deal with the Kansas City Royals).

There are also potential fits for the Padres who Bowden predicts will go elsewhere, including Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Jorge Soler.

Certainly these are just predictions, but if this scenario does indeed come true for the Padres, it would seem to only once again strengthen other teams in the division while San Diego is again left looking for answers. After what has been a tough offseason for Friars fans, that would only make the winter seem a little darker.