3. San Diego Padres
- 2019 record: 70-92
- 2020 projected record: 82-80
The San Diego entered last season with a lot of promise after signing Manny Machado. With one of the deeper farm systems in baseball that was ready to make an impact, many thought that the Padres would take a huge leap and compete for a playoff spot.
The Padres started off hot with an 11-5 record and took a .500 record into the MLB All-Star Break. The Padres lost the first four games of the second half and never climbed back to .500, finishing the second half of the season with a 25-47 record.
There were some components to why the Padres fell off. First, the team dealt with injuries to the likes of Chis Paddack and Fernando Tatis Jr. both of which were big contributors to the team. Second of all, Manny Machado was not that good last season, posting the worst offensive season of his career.
San Diego is still a talented ball club and underwent a bit of a change this offseason. The team added Trent Grisham and Tommy Pham to the outfield while losing Hunter Renfroe. Jurickson Profar is also now the starting second baseman and Drew Pomeranz agreed to a contract to return to the team that traded him to Boston four years ago.
Machado should be better and a full season of Tatis, Paddack and catcher Francisco Mejia would be dangerous. However, I still have doubts about the backend of the Padres’ rotation as well as the overall composition of the bullpen.
In a lot of ways, the San Diego Padres reminds me of the Los Angeles Angels from this past decade. If everything goes as planned, the Padres are good enough to be a playoff team. But things never always go as planned in the MLB, the team will suffer some injuries, the depth will be exposed again and they will put together a promising season but will still be one year away.