The baseball landscape has remained mostly unchanged this offseason, that is except for the San Diego Padres. The Padres have taken the baseball world by storm once again with their offseason acquisitions. For this article, we will look at the Friars’ moves and the potential impact they will have on the NL West.
The American League Pennant winning Tampa Bay Rays would trade away their lefty ace in a surprising move. Blake Snell would be sent from Tampa Bay to the San Diego Padres for a package headlined by Luis Patiño. And while Patiño may give the Rays more years of control, there’s no denying this move hurts them in the short-term. Blake Snell has three years of a very team-friendly $39 Million contract left. Snell will likely anchor a rotation that will feature young studs like Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack. And not to mention mentor the Padres top pitching prospect, Mackenzie Gore, a fellow left-hander. So this moves provides for now and gives returns in the future with mentorship opportunities.
The San Diego Friars would follow up the surprising acquisition of Blake Snell with another shocking move. San Diego would trade with the Chicago Cubs for right-hander Yu Darvish and backup catcher Victor Caratini. Yu Darvish is an interesting pickup for the Padres. The last few years for Darvish in Texas were mired in ineffectiveness and injury. However, in his first season on Northside of Chicago, Darvish regained an elite level and finished second in NL Cy Young voting behind Trevor Bauer. Much like with Snell, Darvish can also help mentor a young rotation in sunny San Diego. Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack could easily benefit from watching Darvish’s work, up close and personal. There’s no denying that playing for a competing team aided Darvish. And now, moving to the top-heavy NL West should continue to boost Darvish more.
For many MLB fans, not much is known about Ha-Seong Kim and how he will fair in MLB. One thing is for certain the player comes with a great deal of promise. The 25-year-old was posted by the Kiwooom Heroes much earlier than most players coming out of the KBO. (Korean Baseball Organization.) And that’s because Kim began his KBO career as a teenager. The infielder will play secondbase for the Padres as Fernando Tatis Jr and Manny Machado are ensconced at shortstop and thirdbase, respectively. This will also move the super-utility man Jake Cronenworth out to left field.
Not Done by a Long Shot
Even with the moves, they’ve already made, the San Diego Padres don’t seem finished. The Padres have been connected to their own free agents Kirby Yates and Jurickson Profar. Reunions with both players could easily be on the horizon, as both players fit the Friars’ need. And with the glacially moving offseason, there is likely still time for a return to the brown and yellow for both players.