San Diego Padres
It has been a busy offseason for the San Diego Padres.
With the talent in their organization given another year to marinate in 2019, the 2020 season could be the year when the contention window opens up.
In 2019, the Padres got strong seasons from Chris Paddack, Joey Lucchesi, and Dinelson Lamet in the starting rotation. In addition to that trio, Cal Quantrill made his MLB debut and MacKenzie Gore emerged as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.
Their projected rotation next season features plenty of high-upside arms, but is short on pitchers with a reliable track record. The Padres should look to add to the rotation to protect against injuries or regression, and acquiring a pitcher like Samardzija would give them that protection.
This could be a pivotal season for Padres general manager A.J. Preller, and questions have arisen as to whether he is on the hot seat.
After years of building a talented farm system, Preller and the Padres will need to see their patience begin to pay off in the NL West standings.
Adding a pitcher like Samardzija would not be a headline move by any means, but he could provide the pitching staff with a veteran presence in a rotation that is light on experience.
As the free-agent market for starting pitchers continues to thin, the trade market is still flush with pitching options. With the Giants embracing a rebuild, the division rivals could swing a mutually beneficial trade.
According to Spotrac, the Padres are well below the CBT limit with an estimated payroll of $139.3 million. They have the ability to absorb Samardzija’s contract without worrying about crossing the CBT.
The Padres have not been discreet in their desire to trade Wil Myers and the remainder of his six-year, $83 million extension he signed back in 2017. He looks a logical trade target for the Giants, and a trade involving him and Samardzija could help out both teams.