The Winter Meetings have begun, which indicates that many of the big name free agents are being signed to massive contracts already. One team that has been active in many of the negotiations is the San Diego Padres. In the middle of last season, they were able to acquire generational talent Juan Soto, and they did not stop there as they offered a larger bag to 2022 AL MVP Aaron Judge, but he decided to remain with the Pinstripes.

Despite being in a small market, the Padres organization has been willing to spend a ton of millions to bolster their roster. Thus, the front office executed a a plan B to sign former Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a massive 11-year, $280 million deal. This is their third star SS in the roster, so they will need to adjust for 2023. Even with the Bogaerts, the Padres may still add numerous pieces before the start of 2023, but these are names they must avoid.

Noah Syndergaard

With a myriad of free agents being signed already, one position the Padres may explore in free agency are the starting pitchers. Despite having Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove on the roster, they may need back-end help who is reliable because injuries or other off-field issues may arise. Even if Noah Syndergaard will address that role for San Diego, they must not allot a starting rotation spot to him.

There were instances in his stint with the New York Mets that he was able to become a consistent Cy Young candidate, but that is far from the case already. Noah Syndergaard has struggled to showcase sustained success in his previous team–Philadelphia Phillies. Even during their inspiring postseason run, manager Rob Thomson had other options that were more consistent, so the Padres must choose a more reliable fourth or fifth starter after their aces.

Joey Gallo

Live and breathe baseball?

🚨 Get viral MLB graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The outfield depth of the Padres can still be enhanced before the season starts in 2023, so they may inquire on former Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joey Gallo. He was a fantastic option in the heart of the Texas Rangers lineup, but he has struggled to contribute on a big market like the Dodgers and even the New York Yankees.

Playing in a Padres uniform is not necessarily a big market, but there will be immense pressure to contribute because of the heightened expectations of San Diego. Moreover, Joey Gallo has had trouble finding his rhythm and ability to contribute on other facets when the long-ball is not working. The name value may carry more money than usual, and San Diego must keep their eyes on A.J. Pollock or Andrew Benintendi instead.

Craig Kimbrel

A former elite closer who pitched in a Padres uniform for one season, Craig Kimbrel may be in an intriguing relief pitcher who will be a boost for the San Diego bullpen. In his previous stint with the Padres, he tallied 39 saves, but that was seven years ago. The dwindling play of Kimbrel when he was a Dodgers uniform is cause for concern as his ERA has popped to close to last season.

The Padres re-signed Robert Suarez to a new contract, and he looks like the better option than Craig Kimbrel. Additionally, the arms retained for the upcoming season like Luis Garcia and Drew Pomeranz are far more better than Kimbrel. Age is catching up on one of the most talented closers, and San Diego is one franchise that must invest more on the youthful relievers.