The 2022 campaign was both a disappointment and a success for the San Diego Padres.
On the negative side, they finished 22 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. On the positive side, they eliminated the Dodgers in the NLDS before falling to the Phillies in the championship series. Overall, the 2022 season was a positive, but there is work to be done.
Three players for San Diego Padres to target
The Padres have also seen several players that could make sense come off the board. Jose Abreu would have been a perfect fit in their lineup but he signed in Houston. Relievers that could have made a difference have come off the board. Tyler Anderson would have been a solid fit in the middle of the rotation with his ground ball ways, but he was snapped up by the Angels. Robert Suarez and Nick Martinez are back but that is not enough. It is time for the Padres to make something happen.
The 2022 season was a step in the right direction for the San Diego Padres. Let’s look at three players that can help them make the next leap.
As it currently stands, the San Diego Padres are looking at Jake Cronenworth at first base with the idea of either playing Fernando Tatis Jr. at second or adding a shortstop to shift Ha-Seong Kim to second and Tatis to the outfield.
Instead, it may be better to bring in more of a proven power bat at the position. They already missed out on Jose Abreu who would have been a perfect fit in the lineup. Fortunately, there is another option available who would fit that need as well.
Josh Bell was the other piece that came to San Diego as part of the Juan Soto blockbuster. The former All Star and 2022 NL Silver Slugger winner struggled during his time with the Padres, posting a disappointing 75 OPS+ with three homers and five doubles in his 210 plate appearances.
However, Bell was able to get on base, drawing 32 walks in that time. He was still hitting the ball hard but ran into bad luck with his .233 batting average on balls in play. It is possible that he could be a bit of a bargain due to those struggles down the stretch, something that the Padres should take advantage of. Being back in a more familiar environment could make a difference as well, especially with a longer term deal in hand.
The San Diego Padres need another run producer in the lineup. Bringing Josh Bell back could make perfect sense.