Will Padres Look to Free Agency in 2018?

Credit: AP Photo

With the San Diego Padres still several years away from competing, there are a couple of players that should be of interest to them heading into 2018. These players could potentially help establish that elusive “winning culture” that San Diegans are clamoring for.

There are a plethora of names being discussed as future pieces for the next great Padre team. Fernando Tatis Jr., Hudson Potts, and Luis Urias are just a few of the prospects that could potentially lead the team to a level of success not seen in decades. Unfortunately, these players are young and have years of development left in front of them.

There are, however, two free agents that will be available after the 2017 season that are, if nothing else, interesting.

Zack Cozart

Zack Cozart is having a career year, receiving his first MLB all-star nod in 2017, and would be a great fit for the Padres at shortstop. The Friars have been without a quality shortstop since the departure of Everth Cabrera, and having Cozart for two or three seasons would be an ideal fit until one of the young prospects are ready to take over the position. Those chosen to play shortstop over the past two seasons have not offered any sort of promise or consistent production.

Placing Cozart in the middle of the Padres’ order will immediately give them a much-needed offensive boost from the shortstop position. Cozart will turn 32 next year, so making him a long-term solution at a position with a fair amount of organizational depth wouldn’t make much sense. He’s hitting .302 with 23 home runs, so he may be in line for a massive contract with a big-market team to end his career. His defense, while not flashy, is solid and usually dependable. Cozart has played in Cincinnati which is a huge offensive upgrade over the cavernous Petco Park, but he’s been consistent enough to warrant an opportunity to become the veteran presence this Padre team so desperately needs.

Assuming the Padres trade Yangervis Solarte in the offseason, there will soon be a significant loss of power in this San Diego lineup.

Mike Moustakas

The Padres have been a very right-handed-heavy team for the past few years. This has led to them being susceptible to right-handed pitchers and easy for opposing teams to plan for. Solarte has been a solid player for the Padres, but he needs help in the middle of the lineup if he stays with the team. With the next great Padres team still a couple of years away, Mike Moustakas would be another great addition for the Friars in 2018.

Moustakas has shown impressive power this year and could prove to be a headache for pitchers in the N.L. West. The combo of Myers and Moustakas alone could be one of the more formidable matchups for pitchers in the entire National League. Moustakas is currently hitting .271 with 38 home runs. He also has an above-average 32% hard contact rate. This would be a huge offensive upgrade over Solarte and would immediately make San Diego’s offense a serious threat. Known as a pitcher’s park, Petco actually profiles very well for left-handed power, which should help Moustakas significantly.

Soon to be 29, Moustakas is young enough to be a part of the Padres’ future. However, if management is confident enough in their minor league system, they could potentially sign him to a two or three-year deal to bridge the gap until the younger talent arrives.

These moves would only happen if the Padres felt they could potentially contend for an N.L.Wild Card spot in 2018. General Manager A.J. Preller still may wish to tank for another year to ensure the strength of the minor league system. If not, the Padres may find themselves trying their luck in the free agent market to get their playoff hopes started a year earlier than anticipated.

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4 thoughts on “Will Padres Look to Free Agency in 2018?

  1. Our lineup today does not score enough runs, hits for very bad BA and OBP. WAY TO RH for my taste also. Most of the prospects are more RH hitters. I think there is something to be saud for our kids to develop in a higher stress above average team. Both pitchers and hitters. If it was good for these youngsters to win in AAA last year it will be GREAT to see what they would look like on a 81-86 win team in 2018. When Tatis is ready we trade Cosart. I think the same goes for Meyers, when Naylor is ready send him back to the AL. In fact Sokarte would be fine at 1B next year IMO. I would strongly consider get bith these guys this offseason. We need Progress, REAL PROGRESS.

  2. Well, actually….these moves would only happen if the free agents mentioned here, WOULD AGREE to come to San Diego. Preller can’t force that..

    Having said that, I do think in two more yrs, they’ll make a splashier (if that’s a word) acquisition, to let fans know, they’re serious about contending for the post season.

    I don’t think Tatis Jr, is 3 or 4 yrs away, either (as has been said by some media types who don’t know much about our farm system to begin with). I could see him being near 20 yrs old, and getting a callup at year’s end next season. So I don’t think Preller needs to go all out to get anything beyond yet another stop gap @ SS , in 2018.

    AJ Preller is both unpredictable and very competitive. And after watching the last 4 games, where we’ve been beaten like red headed stepchildren, I’ll go so far as today, it wouldn’t surprise me if ANYONE on the current 25 man roster, was traded…including Wil Myers, who in my opinion, won’t even be around, when this team finally makes it to the World Series.

    My 2018 black sheep??….3rd baseman, Christian Villanueva. Will prove, the Padres won’t have to look for a 3rd baseman for a few yrs. And he’s going to make Solarte expendable, if “Soly” isn’t traded during the off-season.

  3. I really hope they get Moustakas, I think he’d be an absolutely perfect fit for the team. Granted Potts looks good but the organization (outside of Villanueva who I do like alot) has very little in the way of 3B talent. Moose would eliminate that hole for a good 4-5 years, more than enough time for Potts to come up or one of the talented 18yr old international prospects to make themselves known. Plus it would give (within a year) a pretty talented base group of Urias, Myers and Moose. He’s good defensively, a powerful left handed bat and would fit in nicely in at 3rd in the lineup behind Margot & Myers (and eventually Margot-Urias-Myers).

  4. Just say no.
    Some defense minded, offense challenged SS is fine for next year, and maybe the year after.
    Mike Moustakas wouldn’t be bad, but at his age this is his best chance for a high dollar 4 or 5 year contract.
    The name that interests me, (and that the Padres appear to have little to no interest in), is Shohei Otani. Put him in the rotation as the 1 or 2. Combined with Clayton Richard you could have a couple of innings eaters. Let Otani PH in interleague games. Assuming he is reasonably successful he could be a veteran presence on the club by the time they are competitive.

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