Owner: Peter Seidler, net worth, $3 billion
World Series Titles: None.
Best Players: OF Tony Gwynn, OF Dave Winfield, C Trevor Hoffman.
Division: NL West
Payroll: 5th, $244,511,694
2022 Standings: 89-73, 2nd, lost to Phillies in NLCS in 5 games.
Padres General Manager: AJ Preller.
Padres Manager: Bob Melvin, 1,435-1345, Zero titles.
Padres Home Stadium: Petco Park, capacity, 40,209.
Key Additions: It shouldn’t be called the offseason in San Diego. Not with this owner. It should be called Checkbook Season. The signing of shortstop Xander Bogaerts (11 years, $280 million) was this off season’s big acquisitions. Bogaerts had an excellent season in Boston (15 HRs, 73 RBI .307 BA).
The Padres also signed 1B/DH Matt Carpenter away from the Yankees. Think about that. The Padres signed a player away from the Yankees. He got a two-year, $12 million deal. Carpenter hit .305 with 15 home runs and 37 RBI with an OPS of 1.138 which strongly suggests the 37-year-old still has plenty of pop. But like a lot of 37-year-olds, Campbell was limited in games played (47) with a broken foot.
Key Losses: It’s hard to say the Padres had key losses when they seemingly upgraded at those positions, but San Diego did lose some quality starters. P Mike Clevenger (7-7, 4.33 ERA) left for the White Sox. P Sean Manaea (8-9, 4.96, 156 K’s in 158 innings) departed for the Giants. That should be significant. But look at what the Padres did, retaining P Yu Darvish and P Joe Musgrove, giving San Diego the 1-2 punch at the front of the rotation that’s key in the postseason.
Key Injury: No.2 starter Joe Musgrove dropped a kettlebell on his left big toe the last day of February and the broken digit will shelve him for the foreseeable future. Manager Bob Melvin said it would take the minimum of a couple of weeks before Musgrove begins throwing. How long it will take him to regain his form and strength is anyone’s guess. The Padres gave Musgrove a five-year $100 million after he went 10-7 with a 2.93 ERA and made his first All-Star Game appearance. Musgrove grew up in San Diego County and is the Hometown Boy Makes Good. Although the Padres have seven potential starters, including Musgrove, and can absorb the injury on a short-term basis, the franchise’s goal is to win the NL West. That just became harder.
Prospect alert: The easiest way to illuminate how much the Padres think of Jackson Merrill is that they refused to include him in the deal that brought Juan Soto from the Nationals. The 6-foot-3 shortstop was the 21st player taken in the 2021 draft, making him the highest drafted player from Maryland since 1986. Wrist and hamstring injuries limited his time in Single-A ball but the Padres promoted him to Arizona League where he wowed. Merrill could be with the big club by 2024, where he can join Soto among others.
Scouting Report:Over/Under Wins: 93.5, 2nd NL West, lose to Braves in NLDS:
You know you’ve possibly been overly-aggressive in spending when the commissioner questions how many checks ownership has written. Yep, Bob Manfred publicly wondered if at some point owner, Peter Seidler, aka Saint Peter, has gone all-in, too much. Seidler has the small market Padres (5th, $244,511,694) spending like the big-market Dodgers ($270,381,426).
“The question becomes: How long can you continue to do that, and what happens when you have to go through a rebuild?” Manfred told reporters in San Diego. “But they have done a really, really good job of capitalizing on their talent to drive their revenue.”
Rebuild? Not in the Padres’ lexicon anymore.
Seidler resigned Darvish to a 6-year, $108 million extension which would be reasonable for an ace. But this ace is 36. He signed Campbell to a two-year, $12 million deal, not outlandish, but he’s a 37-year-old coming off a broken foot. Manny Machado got an 11-year, $350 million extension which will take him until he’s 41. Hey, this is what elite sluggers get but he joins Fernando Tatis Jr. (14-years, $340) and Juan Soto, who settled in arbitration for $23 million this season and becomes a free agent in 2025. Tatis Jr. (24) and Soto (24) are certainly young enough to warrant those numbers but can the Padres support three position players making more than $300 million in two years?
There seemingly are no weaknesses on this team, IF, everyone is healthy and stays off the suspended list. Tatis Jr. was suspended in August for 80 games for testing positive for performance drugs. Since then he had shoulder surgery and two wrist surgeries to correct injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. This man needs more maturity than testosterone. He has been cleared by doctors and his suspension ends on April 20. Musgrove just broke his toe.
Even without Tatis Jr. for the postseason, the Padres made it to the NLCS where they got buried by a Phillies team that went nuclear in the postseason. The Padres have never won a World Series. Seidler apparently wants San Diego changed to San Seidler.
BetBasics Best Bet: The Dodgers have been installed as favorites to win the NL West at -130. The Padres are second at +130. We’re going with the Padres. Yes, the injury to Musgrove is concerning but there’s enough rotation depth to compensate in the short term. And the Dodgers lost starting second baseman Gavin Lux (ACL) for the season. The Padres also have a huge advantage at closer where Josh Hader is the best in the business and the Dodgers have a big question mark. We took the Padres to win the NL Pennant and got +450 at BetMGM. We bet $20 to win $110, which means we would net +90. If it wasn’t for the factor that he doesn’t need the money, we’d donate the winnings to Fernando Tatis Jr. Anti-Motorcycle Riding Fund.