Three free agents the Padres should pursue in 2021-22 free agency

Musgrove no-no
The Padres are hoping to bounce back from a rough 2021 campaign. Photo from NYT.

The list of Padres free-agent targets 2021-22 isn’t as big as most of their fans would like. But that only means that the team is well-round and that there aren’t many areas of concern heading into next season.

The Padres have a clear need of pitching but they’ll have plenty of solid arms back for next season. Mike Clevinger, Dinelson Lamet, and Ryan Weathers will all come back from their injuries, while Adrian Morejon proved to be a trustworthy reinforcement. Chris Paddack, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove were mostly good last season, so chances are that they’ll have a much-improved rotation come Opening Day next year.

Padres free agent targets 2021-22

Most of the Padres offseason rumors involve starting pitchers but this team also showed a lack of leadership when it mattered the most.

They shot themselves in the foot more often than not and were the only guys to blame for their massive meltdown in the second half of the season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Padres’ free agency could go down.

3. Marcus Stroman

People have often talked about how good can Marcus Stroman be, yet it always seems like he’s yet to realize his potential. He’s likely to demand a lot of money and the New York Mets would be wrong not to try and bring him back but hey, it’s the Mets we’re talking about.

The Padres would most likely have to trade Will Myers and/or Eric Hosmer to open up some space for Stroman’s contract. Then again, they have plenty of choices in the outfield with Jurickson Profar, Adam Frazier, and even Fernando Tatis Jr. spent some time there last season.

Stroman could provide the emotional spark they need to get over the hump and put their historical woes behind them. The Padres could’ve dominated the NL West from start to finish, yet it seems like they didn’t truly believe they could do it.

2. Nick Castellanos

Nick Castellanos posted MVP-caliber numbers last season, slashing .309/.362/.576  with an OPS+ of 136. He hit 34 home runs, 38 doubles, 1 triple, scored 95 runs, and drove in 100 across the 138 games he played last season. That guy is going to get paid big time.


Once again, the Padres would need to move some guys to make room for Castellanos’ financial demands but he’s the kind of guy that can carry the load when the team’s more emotional players, like Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, have their heads out of the game.

Castellanos will have plenty of suitors looking to acquire his services, as he’s clearly outgrown the Cincinnati Reds at this point in his career. He could agree to lesser pay to play for a contender, and the Padres have what it takes to win the whole thing.

1. Max Scherzer

And last but not least, Max Scherzer should be at the top of the Padres’ free agency list, but it won’t be easy. They reportedly had a deal in place for him right before the Los Angeles Dodgers snatched him away, and that pretty much doomed their season.

Scherzer made a case for being the best pitcher on Earth during his brief tenure with the Dodgers and they’ll do whatever it takes to bring him back, but they just don’t have enough financial flexibility to compete with his other suitors.

Even if the Padres rotation will be much better next season with all the injured guys coming back, Scherzer is the kind of guy who could turn a pretender into a real contender. It won’t be easy. It won’t be cheap. But they oughta get it done.

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