SAN DIEGO — While the MLB Winter Meetings may be held in San Diego, there certainly has been no home-field advantage for the San Diego Padres when it comes to chasing some of the biggest free agent names on the market.
San Diego Padres miss out on two big free agents despite reportedly offering more money
If reports are accurate, the San Diego Padres offered more money to both Trea Turner and Aaron Judge, only to have the pair of free agents sign with other teams (the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees, respectively).
After an appearance in the NLCS last season, perhaps those vibes have dulled a little, but enough to have a pair of superstars choose the East Coast over sunny Southern California? Apparently cheesesteaks and pizza top fish tacos (and those higher tax rates in California have to be considered in these decisions as well. Just ask Freddie Freeman).
Miss out on Judge and Turner? Certainly the Padres reportedly aren’t afraid to throw around money, but, so far at least, no one is taking the bait. After resigning unsung hero Robert Suarez as well as Nick Martinez, it’s been a quiet offseason so far in San Diego. And that’s not a good thing for a Padres team that still has needs at first base and other spots as well.
Still, Padres general manager A.J. Preller brushed off any notion that San Diego needed to make a big splash … even as the team tried to bring in two of the most-wanted free agents on the market and is reportedly interested in shortstop Xander Bogaerts as well.
“We like our team. We like what we have on the roster,” Preller told reporters on Tuesday. “If we can add to it with players that make sense for our group, we’re going to look to do it within our budget. If not, I think we feel comfortable with what we have. I think we can be selective. That’s really what the last couple of weeks have been about and the last few days at the Winter Meetings.”
Certainly there is a lot of offseason left, and there are plenty of ways the Padres can improve their roster ahead of spring training. However, as the 2022 MLB Winter Meetings leave San Diego, it feels like the Padres are still waiting at the altar for someone to say “I do” to improving San Diego’s chances of getting even further in the postseason in 2023.
Editor’s note: Hours later, the Padres did indeed make their big splash, landing Xander Bogaerts on an 11-year, $280 million deal.