After acquiring Blake Snell and Yu Darvish in a matter of a couple of days, expectations will be sky-high for the San Diego Padres in 2021.
After a series of moves leading up to the 2020 San Diego Padres season, many thought the Padres were a playoff contender coming into Spring Training. The Padres squashed those expectations and took the league by storm with a powerful lineup. At the trade deadline, the Padres made multiple big splashes that ultimately led the Padres to finish with the third-best record in baseball, only behind the two teams who later met in the World Series.
Unfortunately, the season did not end like the Padres or the Friar Faithful would have liked it to, but everyone knew that the Padres had arrived and would be a threat for the next several years.
The offseason did not get off to a great start for San Diego, as bad news arrived about ace Mike Clevinger and the team’s top catching prospect Luis Campusano. Still, expectations for the Padres are high going into 2021.
Padres general manager A.J. Preller was not satisfied with where the current Padres roster stood, so he gave the fanbase a very nice belated holiday gift that shot up the Padres’ expectations even further.
Preller sent away seven prospects, including once-highly touted catching prospect Francisco Mejia, and breakout starting pitcher from 2020 Zach Davies. In return, the Padres received Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell and Chicago Cubs ace Yu Darvish. San Diego also signed a top prospect from the Korea Baseball Organization, infielder Ha-Seong Kim to a deal, which adds immense depth to the already loaded Padres infield.
Building off the 2020 campaign with these powerful additions makes the Padres one of the favorites to win the 2021 World Series, which also comes with expectations surrounding the Padres that have never been higher.
Prior to the 2020 season, the Padres in their 50-year existence only made the playoffs five times. The first three times the Padres made the playoffs, the team failed to reach the postseason the following year, including both the franchise’s two World Series appearances.
Simply put, the Padres failed to meet expectations following their best years.
The expectations surrounding the 2021 Padres will surely be welcomed by the players, coaching staff, front office, and fans. The season will surely feel different from the normal, “I hope the Padres don’t finish with 100 losses” season. It also remains unclear what the season will look like, with some rules up in the air along with COVID-19 potentially impacting the season.
Baseball fans now respect the Padres, pay attention to the Padres, and expect them to win seemingly on a nightly basis.