The San Diego Padres have had themselves an emotional rollercoaster of an offseason already.
The rollercoaster is nowhere near done unfortunately for Padres fans. The team seemingly going into a state of turnover with multiple players besides Soto potentially leaving San Diego like Josh Hader and Blake Snell. The team’s short-term future is still up in the air.
Superstar Outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. had a very good 2023 with a near 30-30 season, also winning his first Gold Glove and Platinum Glove this past season. Tatis had a good season, but the Padres as a team was disappointing, finishing 82-80 and missing the postseason.
One year removed from making the NLCS without Tatis, among all the potential moves the Padres may make this offseason, what if one includes Fernando Tatis Jr.? If there’s a chance he is at all available, the Red Sox can and should absolutely trade for him.
Why Trade Fernando Tatis Jr.?
The Padres would trade Tatis to ultimately open up the financial flexibility to extend Soto. With that, the Padres may still find Tatis’s off-field issues to be a problem that bothers them. While Soto is under contract for one more season, Tatis is under contract until 2035. The only major obstacle is Tatis Jr.’s no-trade clause he has until 2028, which could nullify any trade in the near future if he does not want to exercise it.
Why the Red Sox?
The Red Sox were in the same boat in 2023, finishing 78-84. With the introduction of Craig Breslow as the new President of Baseball Operations for the Red Sox, they are looking to bolster their roster for 2024 and beyond.
Now the Red Sox’s top priority will be starting pitching, especially with interest in Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Jordan Montgomery and the other prized arms on the market. As the rotation should be the first fix, the offense can absolutely use some upgrades as well–especially a right-handed bat with power … interesting.
Among these issues the Red Sox will have to address, is the Red Sox lack of star power. Rafael Devers is the Sox’s lone superstar on the roster, with players like Triston Casas and Brayan Bello who can turn into that kind of player at some point.
World Series teams throughout MLB history have had multiple superstars on those rosters, especially for Red Sox teams besides maybe their 2013 team. The Red Sox should look for a move to land someone like Fernando Tatis Jr.
The Red Sox and Padres have made lucrative trades in the past, Adrian Gonzalez and Craig Kimbrel to name some. The Red Sox have prospects with players like Ceddanne Rafaela and Roman Anthony. In this instance, everyone is available in the farm system except for Marcelo Mayer.
The Sox are looking to trade Alex Verdugo who is a very capable and young outfielder who would be a solid fit in right field for San Diego. How willing the Red Sox would be to take on another big contract like Xander Bogaerts’ contract is unknown. Tatis would get Boston back into playoff contention immediately with his breakout as an elite defender in the outfield to his 25-plus homerun potential. Going into his age-25 season next year, Devers and Tatis would run Boston for the next decade.
Altogether, the future of the San Diego Padres is anyone’s guess right now. What is certain is the important decisions that will be made before pitchers and catchers report in the spring. San Diego’s overall goal of shedding payroll may result in a young superstar being on the move. While Soto is more likely to be traded, the Red Sox should absolutely attempt to make a run at Fernado Tatis Jr. if the potential is there.
While pitching is and should be the top priority this offseason for Boston, the defense and run support for those arms cannot be ignored. Yes, this all is speculatory, as most offseason posts are. Boston and San Diego most likely will go in other directions. However, there is no denying that a blockbuster trade for Tatis Jr. would immediately pay dividends for the Red Sox and address problems for the Padres as well.
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