SAN DIEGO -- It was a busy offseason in San Diego (before it wasn't). Since the Padres’ disappointing 2021 season came to an end, they have hired a big-name manager, reshuffled their coaching staff, traded an All-Star and bolstered their bullpen.
Need a refresher on all the early offseason happenings in San Diego? We've got you covered. Here's a look at what the Padres have already done this winter -- and what's still left to do.
There's a new manager, right?
Yep, and he's widely regarded as one of the best around. The Padres dismissed Jayce Tingler shortly after the 2021 season came to an end, then shocked the baseball world in late October by hiring longtime A's skipper Bob Melvin away from Oakland.
San Diego set out in search of a manager with experience, clout and a history of success, and the club got its man. Melvin is a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner and helmed Oakland to four consecutive winning seasons.
What about the coaching staff?
When the Padres dismissed Tingler, they also informed the entirety of his staff that they were free to look elsewhere for coaching opportunities. The new hire (Melvin) had a major say in bringing his own group on board. It's certainly a unique staff with coaches from all manner of backgrounds:
• Bench coach Ryan Christenson
• Hitting coach Michael Brdar
• Pitching coach Ruben Niebla
• Quality control coach Ryan Flaherty
• Third-base coach Matt Williams
• First-base coach David Macias
• Bullpen coach Ben Fritz
• Catching coach Francisco Cervelli
• Bullpen catcher Herberto Andrade
• Game planning and coaching assistant Peter Summerville
Flaherty, Fritz and Summerville are the returnees on staff, with Flaherty likely to be handed a large say in the team’s game preparation. Brdar and Niebla are particularly intriguing hires: Brdar a 27-year-old hitting guru from San Francisco’s organization and Niebla a highly regarded pitching mind from Cleveland. You can read about the inner workings of the staff here.
What trades have the Padres made already?
General manager A.J. Preller isn't close to done, but he's already shaken up his infield mix with his decision to send Adam Frazier to Seattle in exchange for lefty reliever Ray Kerr and outfield prospect Corey Rosier.
Frazier wasn't a fit on a San Diego roster already flush with infielders and prone to hitting too many ground balls. Kerr is a hard-throwing lefty who figures to contend for a bullpen job. Rosier, drafted last summer, is more of a long-term play.
Separately, the Padres also landed catcher Jorge Alfaro from the Marlins -- an intriguing pickup as a potential backup or a No. 3 catcher. He's a high-upside bat who could also spend time in the outfield corners. That trade cost the Padres cash or a player to be named later.
Aside from Frazier, have the Padres lost anyone else this offseason?
There hasn’t been much turnover yet. But San Diego did lose a pair of relievers to teams within its own division. Closer Mark Melancon signed a two-year deal with the D-backs, and Daniel Hudson inked a one-year pact with the Dodgers.
Meanwhile, the Padres picked up team options on right-handers Craig Stammen and Pierce Johnson. Left fielder Tommy Pham remains a free agent, and a reunion is certainly possible, though perhaps unlikely.
Who have the Padres added?
Alfaro, for one. But Preller also landed a pair of right-handed relievers who will factor squarely into the bullpen mix. Luis García, 34, signed a two-year deal, fresh off an excellent season in which he posted a 3.24 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP for St. Louis.
Robert Suarez, meanwhile, has never pitched in MLB but was dominant in Japan, especially last season. The 30-year-old inked a one-year contract after posting a 1.16 ERA with a minuscule 0.77 WHIP for Hanshin.
What's left to do?
After a disastrous finish to the 2021 season, the Padres’ first order of business was to build upon their starting pitching depth. It seems likely they'll do so immediately, with the arrival of Nick Martínez. The right-hander had agreed to a four-year deal with the club just before the lockout, but the two sides ran out of time to finalize the deal.
As for the rest of their pitching staff, the Padres have work to do. They need to figure out who's closing games and decide whether adding another starter might be prudent.
But the biggest remaining question marks come on offense. Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers were trade candidates last summer. And they were trade candidates earlier this winter; nothing's changed on that front.
If the Padres can clear salary from one (or both) of those players, it could free up room for a middle-of-the-order bat on the free agent market. But there are obvious hurdles on the path to a deal involving either.