San Diego Padres
It’s hard to believe how badly the San Diego Padres collapsed last year. Not just the fact that they didn’t make the playoffs, but that they didn’t even finish above .500 despite being 53-40 at the All-Star break.
They went 26-43 in the second half of the season causing their manager Jayce Tingler to lose his job.
Last year was an unabashed embarrassment for a team that thought it was about to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers as the class of the NL West. The Padres are really at a cross roads because here is a list of their upcoming free agents within the next two off seasons.
2023: SP Joe Musgrove, SP Mike Clevinger, 1B Eric Hosmer (Player option), LF Jurickson Profar (Player option)
2024: SP Yu Darvish, SP Blake Snell, RF Wil Meyers, 3B Manny Machado (Player option)
Eighty percent of their starting rotation and half their lineup will hit the market over the next two seasons. If it’s looking like the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers are leaving them in the dust they may just choose to blow it up.
Musgrove is the best possible trade option as he seemed to really figure it out last year posting career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts while also posting the lowest ERA and WHIP of his career, 3.18 and 1.08 respectively.
Clevinger when healthy is terrific, but his health is a real question mark coming into the season. Darvish was an all-star last year but his second half was anything but all-star like as he posted an ERA above six contributing to the Padres free fall.
Conversely Blake Snell had a terrible first four months before a hot last eight starts made his numbers more respectable. From August 1st on Snell went 4-2 with 65 strikeouts over 44.1 innings pitched giving up only nine earned runs over that span.
All these starters could help the Astros deepen their rotation and we can all agree it would be fun to see Joe Musgrove back where he came up in an Astros uniform.
Either way the Padres have a lot of starting rotation options to trade should things be looking dour at the midway point of the year and the Astros should have enough of a package to get one of those pitchers depending on their asking price.