The San Diego Padres did not come near catching the Los Angeles Dodgers this previous season, ending 22 video games behind them within the Nationwide League West.
Now, as baseball enters the offseason, the Padres will look to shore up an offense that hit for a batting common of .241, just under the MLB league common of .243.
The Padres might be within the hunt to seek out further offensive firepower to assist the hitting efforts of All star high quality gamers Manny Machado and Juan Soto. Hopefully, they will get a wholesome Fernando Tatis Jr. again to play both shortstop or within the outfield.
Actually, a wholesome Tatis Jr. will do wonders for the Padres offense.
However they might nonetheless want extra offensive firepower.
The Padres hit 153 dwelling runs final season, as soon as once more placing them under the MLB common of 174 homers.
As compared, the Dodgers, the crew they proceed to attempt to chase down, hit 212 dwelling runs, ending fifth in baseball in that class.
The Padres scored 705 runs, in comparison with 847 for the Dodgers, creating an enormous hole in that essential offensive class.
The Padres is perhaps trying to the free agent or commerce markets so as to add an influence hitting, run producing first baseman.
If the season have been to start out tomorrow, fangraphs.com lists their first baseman to be the versatile, left-handed hitting, Jake Cronenworth.
Cronenworth, 28, was a seventh spherical choice of the Tampa Bay Rays within the 2015 June Beginner Draft. In December 2019, he was traded to the Padres in a a number of participant deal.
Cronenworth performed second base, brief cease, first base and served because the crew’s designated hitter at numerous factors within the 2022 season.
Cronenworth, a Nationwide League All Star the previous two seasons, has been a consequential participant for the Padres for all three years of his massive league profession.
Final season, Cronenworth hit .239/.332/.390/.722 with 17 dwelling runs and 88 RBIs. He scored 88 runs.
First base choices:
On August 2, 2022, the Padres traded veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer to the Boston Pink Sox, leaving a quite obtrusive gap at first base.
On the identical day they traded Hosmer to Boston, the Padres additionally acquired switch-hitting first baseman Josh Bell of their commerce with the Washington Nationals that featured left-handed hitting All Star Juan Soto coming to San Diego.
Bell hit for a dismal .192 batting common with the Padres, which included three dwelling runs and 14 RBIs in his 210 plate appearances. It was clearly much less manufacturing than the Padres anticipated.
Josh Bell is now a free agent, that means Cronenworth is the present inheritor obvious to the position.
Brandon Drury additionally performed some at first base for the Padres. He did not set the world on hearth, and is now a free agent himself. It’s uncertain the Padres will signal him.
Now, needing a jolt to their offense, the Padres might want to think about buying and selling for, or signing a primary baseman as a free agent.
With slugger Anthony Rizzo off the market after he returned to the New York Yankees on a brand new contract, the primary base free agent class is quite slim.
Jose Abreu Age 34 (free agent)
The Chicago White Sox haven’t made a concerted effort to signal their crew chief, and “RBI Machine” Jose Abreu to a brand new contract.
The truth is, it appears to be like like Abreu is content material to see what the open market will deliver.
The Chicago Cubs have expressed curiosity in bringing Abreu from the South to the North aspect of Chicago to play in Wrigley Area.
Nevertheless, Abreu, a right-handed hitter, may discover a dwelling in San Diego.
His dwelling run whole fell by 50% this previous season, as he went from 30 to simply 15 dwelling runs in 679 plate appearances, 20 greater than in 2021. Nevertheless, Abreu nonetheless drove in 75 runs, which is a complete the Padres might use . Nevertheless, his RBIs decreased as nicely, from 117 the earlier season.
Abreu hit for a .304 batting common, which was an enchancment of 43 factors from 2021. He made higher contact this previous season, placing out much less and strolling a bit extra.
Abreu is a median defender at first base, and his presence would enable Cronenworth to fill a void at one other defensive place whereas bringing doubtlessly extra offense to the lineup.
Rhys Hoskins Age 29 (Philadelphia Phillies commerce goal)
Proper-handed hitting first baseman Rhys Hoskins could also be made accessible by the Philadelphia Phillies.
At 6-4, 245 kilos, Hoskins hit 30 dwelling runs for the Phillies final season. He drove in 79 runs in 672 plate appearances.
A streaky hitter, Hoskins struck out 169 instances. However he hit 33 doubles and scored 81 runs for the Phillies crew that went deeply into the 2022 postseason.
The provision of Hoskins might enhance if the Phillies are profitable in touchdown one of many higher free agent shortstops. That might enable them to maneuver Bryson Stott to 3rd base and Alex Bohm to first, which can be one of the best defensive positions for each Stott and Bohm.
Hoskins was paid $7.7M by the Phillies final yr, and he will likely be in his final yr of arbitration this offseason.
CJ Cron-Age 32 (Colorado Rockies commerce goal)
Proper-handed hitting CJ Cron is 6-4, 235 kilos. He was an All Star for the Rockies this previous season.
Cron hit 29 homers for Colorado in 2021, however 22 have been at dwelling.
He drove in 102 runs, however 75 have been at dwelling.
the issue Cron’s dwelling and street splits are as huge because the Grand Canyon.
The splits are additionally telling relating to Cron’s dwelling and street batting common. He hit a sturdy .303 at dwelling, however solely .214 on the street.
As is the case with many Rockies hitters, the street environments exterior of Coors Area in Denver pose an enormous problem. And naturally, 81 video games are performed away from dwelling.
Now, if he have been to be in San Diego, what would his new dwelling park do for his general energy manufacturing? Think about that 1,504 dwelling runs have been hit at Denver’s Coors Area. At Petco Park in San Diego, 1,000 balls left the park. Petco would fairly in all probability have a unfavourable impression on Cron’s manufacturing.
Nonetheless, CJ Cron is perhaps an asset to the Padres, though not in the identical class as Abreu or Hoskins.
Cody Bellinger Age 27 (free agent)
Cody Bellinger was not tendered a contract by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There are reviews the Dodgers might deliver him again at lower than his anticipated $18M arbitration wage.
The left-handed hitting Bellinger is 6-4, 213 kilos.
For his first three years with the Dodgers, Bellinger was a consequential a part of their lineup.
He hit 39, 25 and 47 dwelling runs in these three seasons, and was the Nationwide League 2017 Rookie of the 12 months.
Bellinger made the 2017 and 2019 Nationwide League All Star groups.
Few gamers have declined as steeply and as quickly as Bellinger in a brief, three yr interval.
After hitting simply .165 in 2021, Bellinger completed this previous yr at .210/.265/’.389/.654 with 19 dwelling runs and 68 RBIs in 550 plate appearances. One shouldn’t dismiss these 19 dwelling runs. He nonetheless has power-when he makes contact. However he struck out 150 instances.
Through the 2020 Nationwide League Championship Collection, Bellinger dislocated his proper shoulder throughout a house run celebration. He required surgical procedure to restore the injury. Frankly, Bellinger has not been near the identical hitter since his shoulder damage.
Even in decline, Bellinger continues to be within the prime years of his profession. He could also be a strong come again candidate for a membership just like the Padres who’re searching for an influence spark at first base.
RosterResource.com estimates the Padres 2023 payroll will likely be $213M, down $1M from the estimate of this previous season.
The Padres potential beginning rotation is strong, together with:
RHP Yu Darvish
LHP Blake Snell
RHP Joe Musgrove
RHP Nick Martinez
LHP Adrian Morejon
Their offense can use a lift to assist rating extra runs.
Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. are impactful, All Star high quality hitters.
It now appears possible that the Padres will search to shore up their offensive manufacturing at first base, transferring potential first baseman Jake Cronenworth elsewhere on the diamond.
However choices for a brand new face at first base appear few and much between. There aren’t many game-changing free brokers first baseman in the marketplace. Buying and selling for an improve is an possibility.
The following few weeks might assist form the Padres offense as they put together to make up the 22 video games they trailed the incumbent Nationwide League West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
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