SAN DIEGO — It looked like the Yankees or Dodgers were clearly the most loaded teams in baseball this season, but after the Padres struck a major deal to bring in Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals as well as Josh Hader from the Brewers, San Diego has now entered that conversation.
Additionally, the Padres brought in another strong lineup piece in Brandon Drury from the Cincinnati Reds, who was the first to homer of the new Padres on Wednesday when he hit a grand slam.
Locked On Padres podcast host Javier Reyes joined the Locked On Sports Today show to discuss how things have changed in San Diego.
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“It’s been fantastic,” Reyes said on Locked On Sports Today. “It’s a true remake of the whole team. While it is Juan Soto that is the prized golden egg. It’s also the fact that there’s no more Eric Hosmer on the team who was a very much maligned character for Padres fans. On top of that, you also get Josh Bell, Josh Hader and Brandon Drury. There’s a real giant remaking of the lineup going on right now so it feels like almost a new team.”
Of course the Padres will also soon get back superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who has missed the entire season with a wrist fracture and is nearing his rehab starts.
While the Padres, 12.5 games back, won’t catch the Dodgers for the NL West division crown, they are currently in the second spot in the NL Wild Card, 2.5 games clear of the Brewers, Phillies and Cardinals and five games out of the first slot held by Atlanta. What does a playoff push look like for the Padres and what’s their ceiling?
“I think it’s as far as possible,” Reyes said. “I think they can go to the World Series. The Dodgers are obviously scary, the Mets with that Scherzer, DeGrom combo are going to give people nightmares, but we’ve seen how baseball unfolds if you can make it into the postseason. The rotation really matters. Yes the Padres have boosted the offense, but they’ve also got a nice solid set of starting pitchers with Blake Snell improving, Musgrove, Mike Clevenger and Yu Darvish. They feel really complete. It’s not guarantee you’ll win the World Series but it means you’re going to be in contention.”
Reyes said expectations for San Diego have come a long way since prior to the season when Fernando Tatis Jr. was injured going into the year.
“In spring training, I thought they could be in contention, a Wild Card team. But without Tatis and a lot of fire power…it felt like they were a little bit like the Angels, more of a top-heavy team. But with all these acquisitions and the players improving throughout the season has made them suddenly feel like a World Series contender…The team has depth. It’s become really fun talking about this team now.”