Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Last winter, the Padres laid the groundwork for their first postseason appearance in 14 years with a shrewd and savvy offseason. They traded for integral pieces like Trent Grisham, Jake Cronenworth, and Zach Davies, without sacrificing their future. With most of the roster set to return, there are fewer holes to fill heading into 2021.

With most of the roster set to return, there are fewer holes to fill heading into 2021.

“I don’t think there are any glaring holes that we see,” said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. “The biggest part of the last few years — and really the last few months — was about building something that we felt was sustainable. … We go into [the offseason] with a team, there’s not one specific area that we need to address.”

The Padres might not feel forced to make any moves, but they’ll almost certainly make a few tweaks in an attempt to take their roster from playoff-caliber to championship-caliber.


Kirby Yates and Trevor Rosenthal have hit the free agent market. Preller has already noted that upgrading his bullpen will be a top priority. The Padres would still be well served to look externally for a couple of relievers — including a closer.

Starting Pitching

Mike Clevinger is locked in to a two-year, $11.5 million extension, buying out his remaining arbitration years, but he is sidelined following Tommy John surgery. That being said, Dinelson Lament should fill in as the ace for the time being. The Padres have a host of prospects who will compete for the fourth and fifth spots. It’s a solid group. But it could certainly use more depth. Lamet is coming off injury. As Preller noted in October, the Padres “subscribe to the theory of: as many starters as possible.”

Padres Bench

The Padres had one of the best offenses in baseball in 2020, and they’ll return starters at all eight defensive positions. But Jurickson Profar, Mitch Moreland, Greg Garcia, and Jason Castro are all free agents this winter, leaving the Padres with little in proven bench pieces. Look for the Padres to add a versatile utility piece, a pinch-hit bat with thump, and maybe even another catcher. Reunions with Profar, Moreland, and Castro are all options.

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