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San Diego Padres expected to be in Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes

Shohei Ohtani

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Shohei Ohtani
(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

San Diego Padres expected to be in Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes

The 2023 MLB offseason will perhaps be the most entertaining winter yet. Shohei Ohtani will be a free agent, and the bidding war will start as soon as the World Series is over. If you guessed that the San Diego Padres will be in the Ohtani sweepstakes, you win a gold star.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post provided three reasons why the Padres will be extremely aggressive this winter to acquire the two-way sensation.

“1) They go for seemingly every star, and had the high bids for Trea Turner and Aaron Judge (and obviously Xander Bogaerts), and with prospects for Juan Soto, too.

2) Owner Peter Seidler has made a commitment to fans, and though his pockets aren’t nearly as deep as Steve Cohen’s, Seidler is as focused as anyone on winning (and Ohtani has made winning is his clear priority, too).

3) GM A.J. Preller is said to have impressed Ohtani last time by memorizing a 15-minute presentation in Japanese, and though the Padres were among the seven finalists, word was their inability to use a DH back then prevented them from being a true contender.”

Via The New York Post

It’s going to be an ugly fight for Ohtani, and the Padres know this. Unlike most other teams in the sweepstakes, the Padres are a team that needs Ohtani badly. They’re in fourth-place in the NL West, sitting at 43-47. They forgot how to hit, pitch and just about everything else in baseball despite their roster looking dominant on paper.

Surely Preller and the Padres don’t want to sell this deadline. If they want any chance at the postseason, however, they need to make some moves fast. Perhaps a retool could work, sending off contract-year players such as Blake Snell or Josh Hader. They also need to save up for Soto, who’s set to be a free agent next offseason and will demand a heavy contract.

Adding Ohtani to the Padres lineup/rotation would no doubt help their case as World Series favorites next season. Ohtani, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Bogaerts in the same lineup is scary. In the rotation, Ohtani alongside Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish gives the Padres more pitching security.

Either way, the Padres will have to fight to get Ohtani. Even then, it’s hard to take the Padres seriously. All they’ve been doing the past few years is acquiring big names, and it hasn’t worked. They’re performing worse with guys like Soto and Bogaerts than they were before they came along.

Whatever Preller decides to do at the trade deadline and this offseason, it needs to be spectacular. His seat should be heating up for letting his team stink with so much talent. The Padres farm system is fine for now, but they can’t keep sending top prospects off and getting nowhere close to a championship. Something has to change fast, whether it’s with Ohtani or not.

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