The San Diego Padres aren’t content.
A few weeks ago, everybody wondered why general manager A.J. Preller was standing still. Despite being rumored options, none of the big names ended up in America’s Finest City. Then, Preller awoke and made a flurry of moves.
It started with the addition of New York Yankees slugger Luke Voit, and then things got more interesting with the Bryan Reynolds rumors. But, less than a week before MLB Opening Day, the Padres traded for Oakland Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea in a stunning move.
The addition of Manaea adds to an already-loaded Padres rotation and shows the entire National League that the Padres aren’t going to wait around any longer. They are loading up for a run, and even without Fernando Tatis Jr. for the first few months, this team should be able to hang around with the best of them.
The Padres added another talented arm by trading for Sean Manaea
The Padres made breaking news early on a Sunday morning by trading a pair of prospects for Manaea. In 2021, he finished the year with an 11-10 record and a 3.91 ERA. Moreover, he reunites with former Athletics manager Bob Melvin, who joined the Padres after they parted ways with Jayce Tingler in the offseason.
In another strange twist, Manaea made his Spring Training Padres debut against the Athletics, and he was slated to start against the Padres before the trade went down.
He pitched well in his debut, twirling 3.1 innings and giving up just one run on six hits with four strikeouts. The first glimpse of Manaea in a Padres uniform was encouraging, and the rotation got another impressive addition.
The Padres aren’t standing around and waiting despite the Dodgers and Giants posing a threat in the NL West
The National League West was already tough as can be. The Los Angeles Dodgers added Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel while bringing back Clayton Kershaw. That makes up for the loss of star shortstop Corey Seager, who headed to the Texas Rangers.
The San Francisco Giants lost Kris Bryant but made a splashy free-agent move by signing Carlos Rodon to a pricey two-year deal. After winning the NL West last year, the Giants are set to make another run, although it is unlikely to happen this time around.
Then, there is the Padres. The lineup has Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth, Luke Voit, and Tatis — once he returns from his wrist injury. Trent Grisham, Eric Hosmer, and Wil Myers are also in the San Diego lineup, and who knows what A.J. Preller has up his sleeve.
But, the rotation is the bread and butter of this Padres team. Before the Manaea acquisition, they were loaded from top to bottom. With the addition of Manaea, they might end up with one of the best rotations in the entire MLB. Here is how the projected starting five looks as of now:
- Yu Darvish
- Sean Manaea
- Joe Musgrove
- Blake Snell
- Mike Clevinger
That is a ton of talent, and if they can stay relatively healthy, the Padres could end up making a push for the NL West, or at least a Wild Card spot.
Unfortunately, Clevinger looks to begin the season on the IL as he deals with soreness.
That is a blow to the Padres, but as Melvin said, it gives them time to slow down, and the addition of Manaea is a big reason why they can afford to do that.
If Clevinger opens the year on IL, the Padres have plenty of options — including Chris Paddack and Nick Martinez.
MacKenzie Gore is right around the corner from making his presence felt in San Diego, and Dinelson Lamet was dealing before injuries forced him to miss quite a bit of time.
All in all, the Padres pitching depth was loaded before the addition of Manaea. After the trade with the Athletics, the Padres are showing the entire MLB that they will be a problem in 2022 and beyond, especially if they can stay healthy.
Stats Courtesy of Baseball-Reference