With a postseason berth looking increasingly unlikely, San Diego is a team with a scary offseason ahead. There’s only so much money to spend. But there are so many players to spend money on.
San Diego already has five long-term contracts worth more than $100 million in total. Manny Machado (11 years, $350 million total), Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years, $340 million), Xander Bogaerts (11 years, $280 million), Darvish Yu (6 years, $180 million), and Joe Musgrove (5 years, $100 million). Musgrove’s contract ends the earliest, in 2027. There are also three super long-term contracts worth more than $200 million.
Not surprisingly, the team payroll structure is heavy. In fact, there’s only so much money a team can spend. San Diego is no slouch either. The team is reluctant to pay the luxury tax. They have a lot of guaranteed salaries, and they don’t want to pay the luxury tax, so they have to cut back on the rest of their budget. They have a lot of guaranteed salaries, and they don’t want to pay the luxury tax, so they have to cut the rest of their budget. Here’s the headache.
Right now, after this season, Blake Snell, the team’s ace, and Josh Hader, the team’s unstoppable closer, will be eligible for free agency. Snell is hoping to stay with the team, but San Diego hasn’t talked to him about an extension yet. It’s a stark reminder of the team’s struggles.
It doesn’t end there. After the 2024 season, Juan Soto and Ha-Sung Kim will also become free agents. It’s hard to imagine a San Diego lineup without them.
All four players are projected to collectively earn more than $100 million. Soto, in particular, is due for one of the biggest contracts in all of baseball. He already left Washington after being offered a contract in the mid-$400 million range. He’ll want a mega-deal worth $500 million or more. In the end, it’s clear that San Diego will face some sort of “decision” after this season.
Dennis Lin, the San Diego reporter for The Athletic, wrote on Friday that the Padres will be looking at Soto this offseason. Soto is the best hitter on the team. His offensive production is still excellent, just not as expected. Right now, he leads the team in OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage). The team needs him. But I don’t know if I have the money to keep him. If they do, they’ll have to give up a lot of other things.
If the Padres hit the “retool” button, Lin said, they could put Soto on the trade market after the season. The logic is that the team would be better off selling Soto for prospects and adding a Class A free agent or two. Soto is a year away from free agency, and the team could get a lot more in return for him after the season than if they sold him during next season 메이저놀이터.
Kim’s situation is also ambiguous. He’s a must-have. But he’s also expected to cost more than $100 million in total. Plus, he’s got a shortstop prospect in Jackson Merrill waiting in the wings. He’s one of the top prospects in the major leagues. You can’t get rid of Bogaerts already, who has an 11-year contract. You could even envision a scenario where Merrill takes over when Kim’s contract is up.
If the Padres are bold enough to push the button, it’s possible that Kim could also receive offers from other teams. In fact, San Diego general manager A.J. Preller was open about the trade of Kim and Trent Grisham last offseason. Kim is one year away from free agency and could be worth a one-year rental for a team lacking a starting shortstop. With one year left on his contract, it’s possible that they don’t need a big name prospect.
Major League Trade Rumors (MLTR) also noted on Thursday that “Kim will likely join Soto in free agency after the 2024 season,” adding, “It remains to be seen if San Diego decides to retool or offer an all-in deal for two players (Soto and Kim) who are under contract through the 2024 season. San Diego will have its work cut out for it.
For Kim, it would be a shame to leave San Diego, a city he has grown to love. However, it’s a different story when it comes to his future as a free agent. He might be better off moving to a team that needs him at shortstop. The difference in value between a starting shortstop and a starting second baseman is huge. In San Diego, with Bogaerts, it’s not easy to be a full-time shortstop.
Add to that the fact that Kim, who has one year left until free agency, could be traded, and you have the makings of a championship team that is going all-in to challenge for something big. It’s a chance for him to get more exposure and increase his name recognition and salary. There really isn’t much he can do this winter. It will be interesting to see what San Diego decides to do.