The San Diego Padres are on a mission. They recently signed shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a massive 11-year deal to boost this team’s offense.
The Friars contain one of the best core-4 group of players in the game, with Manny Machado leading the way — followed by Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, and now Bogaerts. Jake Cronenworth deserves a ton of credit also, and the Padres’ top three in the rotation are all capable of another season of elite ball.
The Padres’ front office needs to keep going. The lineup isn’t complete, even though Tatis will return in late April. The team lacks experience in the outfield outside of Soto and Trent Grisham. Bob Melvin is hoping Grisham can play as he did in the 2022 postseason, and if that is the case, the Padres will be loaded. However, don’t be shocked if you hear his name brought up in trade rumors now that the team is aggressively searching for outfield experience.
A veteran outfielder with a lot of experience is Michael Brantley. He isn’t very expensive either, as his annual value is at $8 million, currently. The former World Series Champion could be a great addition to this young Padres’ roster. The lefty can play both corner outfield spots and, more importantly, left field if needed. Now, Brantley isn’t the fastest player out there and won’t be the best defensive option, but he can still hit for contact at a high level and brings needed championship experience.
The former world champion has been very clutch in the postseason.
Michael Brantley has a 16-game hitting streak in the #postseason, tied with Pat Borders (1991-93) for the 4th-longest streak.
The only players with a longer streak:
Manny Ramirez 2003-04 17
Derek Jeter 1998-99 17
Hank Bauer 1956-58 17 pic.twitter.com/gsEBW8NO8M
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 16, 2021
Last season, he only appeared in 64 games but hit .288 with five homers and 26 RBIs. Brantley’s season ended after he underwent shoulder surgery but did tell Houston reporters he “should be ready by Spring Training.” It’s unknown when he will be cleared to play but should be ready when it matters.
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In the veteran’s three seasons prior with the Houston Astros, he hit over .300 and also did so four times with the Cleveland Indians. Brantley is one of the best pure hitters in the game and would give the Padres lineup a much-needed bat toward the tale end of it. The lefty has a career line of .298/.356/.439 and a career OPS of .794. He, alongside Juan Soto and Jake Cronenworth, makes a great left-handed trio.
The former Astro could be a valuable DH option as well. The Friars signed David Dahl to a minor league contract as he could be a potential DH option also. It’s unclear what route general manager A.J. Preller wants to go, but one thing is for sure, he wants to keep building a winning ball club.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.