In comments to reporters (including Kevin Acee of the San Diego Post-Tribune), manager Bob Melvin confirmed his plans for the Padres’ outfield in 2023. After spending all of 2021 and 2022 in right field, superstar Juan Soto will be shifting back to left field, where he spent most of the 2018-20 seasons, for the upcoming campaign. Soto graded out well as a defender in right over the course of the 2021 season, but defensive metrics soured on his glovework in 2022, when he rated as the second-worst defender in all of baseball by Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric with an OAA of -16.
Elsewhere in the outfield, Fernando Tatis Jr. figures to be a regular starter once he has finished serving his suspension for PED usage. Tatis, of course, had primarily played shortstop to this point in his career, but Xander Bogaerts now figures to fill that position on the diamond following the Padres signing him to an 11-year deal earlier this offseason. With Tatis now displaced, he appears poised to get regular starts in right field once he’s eligible to return in late April.
While right field figures to be where Tatis finds most of his playing time, Acee notes the star slugger has his eye on another position: center field. While Tatis is certainly athletic enough to handle center field, having already logged 56 innings at the position in his career, it seems unlikely that he would displace incumbent center fielder Trent Grisham, who won a Gold Glove for his work up the middle in 2022. That being said, Grisham struggled at the plate in 2022, slashing a meager .184/.284/.341 (83 wRC+) in 524 plate appearances.
Given Grisham’s offensive struggles, it stands to reason that Tatis could still slide over to center on occasion, opening up right field for a player like Matt Carpenter, Jose Azocar, or Brandon Dixon. This would make particular sense against left-handed pitchers, over whom either Azocar or Dixon would hold a platoon advantage in contrast to Grisham’s same-handed bat.
For his part, Melvin was non-committal as to where Tatis will play once he can return from his suspension, noting the club has to get through not only Spring Training, but the first 20 games of the regular season before Tatis can play anywhere. That being said, he did admit he could see Tatis moving around the field to play multiple positions as necessary, leaving open the possibility Tatis could get some starts in center over the course of the 2023 season.
11 years for Bogaerts. That has to be one of the sillier contracts I’ve ever seen.
Not as silly as the one Juan Soto’s about to receive
Soto’s young and is a much better hitter than Xander.
Not as much of a difference as we might think. Time will tell given Bogie has only played home games at Fenway. Soto is still a hell of a player but he hasn’t looked like the same player since joining the Padres.
These contract lengths are spoofing the CBT. They know the end of the contract is free money. It keeps them lower on the CBT by lowering the average annual value. They do seem to be borrowing from the future though. Maybe they hope the CBT will disappear before the bill comes due. Full TV revenue sharing would make it a no brainer to eliminate it. It’s a more sensible way to equalize things in my opinion. Something is odd with so many teams doing it. They may know something we don’t.
CardsFan57 great stuff my man. Somebody should email your post to Cohen and demand a public response lol
Cohen doesn’t seem to be doing it. He’s just plowing right through that CBT.
Haha can’t disagree with that, I will only add to it.
NY is widely reported as the most massive tv market, and Cohen is the richest guy in baseball. He seems to be setting the pace from the head of the spending pack, while say the SD organization is always robbing Peter to pay Paul; and always manipulating.
It’s an interesting era and time, that we can compare these two big spending teams when they are in two
Completely different financial environments with two completely different ownership values. I mean, Fowler/Seidler’s reported net worth is a fraction of Cohen; but these two teams are both top 3 in annual salary going into 2023. I think ultimately, even though the spending is exorbitant; it’s a result of the system WORKING; and also, as you are alluding to, some very subtle yet consistent manipulation.
A) Peter Seidler is wagering about a billion on the CBT being eliminated.
B) He is taking the Mike Ilitch route several big steps further by hoping to hoist a trophy leaving the back end calamity as someone else’s problem.
If he’s wrong about A), the Padres’ future roster will feature about 9 present-day Miggy Cabreras. The horror.
Padres are making more money than ever before bud that’s a huge part of their business model. Winning creates revenue.
I guess all it takes is an owner willing to actually “reinvest” all of the revenue, back into the product, for the good of his long term investment. Imagine that: A business man (venture capitalist, or some sort of finance guy) actually investing in San Diego major league baseball, as a product unto itself.
Plus, I’ll bet quite a few non-Padre, or non-San Diego area fans don’t know Seider’s background. He was raised in a baseball family, i.e. the O’Malley clan. He’s not doing anything he hasn’t seen his grandfather, uncle, and mom do before in L.A.. This isn’t just some ignorant rich guy investing in a MLB team as a hobby. I’m absolutely confident that Seidler has what he believes, is a workable business plan. I don’t think he intends to leave “the calamity Padres” to his kids as their family business. He’s also a family man, never divorced, has weather traumatic family challenges (his wife’s, and his cancer).
Here’s a nice little biography (if MLB rumors will allow it).: Put the h-t-t-p thingy in front of it: ebiographypost.com/businessperson/peter-seidler-bio-net-worth-wife
Seidler has decided that having $3 billion is enough to live on and that he’s going to reinvest his money into the team. Now the city of San Diego has invested its money in him by selling 3 million + tickets and tons of merch and sponsorships. Some times you have to spend money to make money. Hit Petco on a Tuesday. Place is packed. Never been that way.
Probably made enough money to cover payroll just from Fan Fest.
No plans at all except move Soto to LF.
I read every MLBTR article out loud in Dick Vitale’s voice when I’m sitting in my spacious house in Alaska. At the end of the article I always say, “IT’S AWESOME BABY!”.
People who live in spacious houses tend not to make comments like…this.
Look at his handle. He’s CravenAttention.
Gbs42 I’m CravenYourMomsBussy 🙂
And this is why the Mute button exists.
Good. Stay mad 🙂
4 years for Michael Walk-a
Troll on the Wacha post, Gman. We’re talking about the outfield here
What I found more interesting than him wanting to eventually play CF is the fact that Tatis is already in camp. So is Soto, Bogaerts, Cronenworth, Carpenter, Machado, and several other non-catcher position players. Most will be playing for their countries in the WBC, so its noteworthy that they are in Padres camp this early.
Pluck Reynolds from the Bucs and they should be good to go.
Reynolds isn’t that good. He Ks way too much and is a butcher in CF.
Reynolds strikes out at about an average rate, walks at a better than average rate, and is below average in center, not a butcher. Any team would benefit from having him, though a number of teams would put him back in a corner outfield spot.
Backup Catcher to the Backup Catcher
Dodgers didn’t do much to improve their team this off-season. Fact is, they may no have improved at all. NL West appears to be set for the Padres to finally capture the crown after several years of big trades and FA signings.
If the stars do their thing, Grisham only has to play his usual GG centerfield to be worthy of an everyday gig in the lineup. Personally I think last year was just a blip for him and he will be back this year with numbers like: .250 20 HR and 25 SB. Not bad for a guy who figures to bat eighth or ninth in the lineup.
The Padres only “problem” is that they’re so top-heavy as a roster that it’s almost inconceivable for a lower ranked option to fill in for injury and them not take a hit to their Division chances (ditto for SP once you get 2 deep on simultaneous injuries).
Granted, they have a ton a SSs, so they can shuffle guys around so they can decide which option at which position is best to fill in for their loss.
They’re certainly a team that’s built in an interesting fashion.
What a weird year Grisham had. .184 BA and over a 2 WAR? Gotta be some elite defense.
He did win a Gold Glove.
Also, he reached base at almost an acceptable rate and had some pop to make up for that low batting average.