Dodgers: NL West competition stiffens as Padres 2020 push continues
The Dodgers have been passive so far this offseason, but the same cannot be said of their neighbors to the south down in the San Diego Padres.
In adding Tommy Pham via trade on Thursday night, the Padres solidified their place as the second-best team in the NL West behind the Dodgers. But the team has not only added Pham; the Padres, alongside the Atlanta Braves, have had one of the most active offseasons to this point.
More from Dodgers Way
- Kevin Kiermaier being ‘top target’ to replace Cody Bellinger is bad sign for Dodgers
- Are the Dodgers really prepared to hand Shohei Ohtani a blank check?
- Dodgers fans shouldn’t dismiss interest in Dansby Swanson for this reason
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
Before dealing young outfielder Hunter Renfroe to Tampa Bay to acquire their new clubhouse leader in Pham, the Padres acquired lefty reliever Drew Pomeranz via free agency, second baseman Jurickson Profar with a trade from the Oakland Athletics, and starting pitcher Zach Davies and up-and-coming right fielder Trent Grisham after a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers that sent top prospect Luis Urias to the Brew Crew.
All of these moves have combined to set the Padres up to compete at least for a second Wild Card slot in the National League, as the team still has plenty of money left to make a big splash this offseason. The team has been tied to Stephen Strasburg, a San Diego State University alumni, amongst other big-time arms on both the free agent and trade markets.
While Pham and Profar were not explicitly linked to LA’s front office rumors, the Padres still managed to constrict the outfielder and middle infielder markets with these two trades. Both of these trades were also with playoff teams in Oakland and Tampa Bay, which implies a degree of creativity that the Dodgers have not even come close to exhibiting this offseason. These deals also serve to raise the prices on players that play these positions, which coincidentally are positions that the Dodgers could be looking to bolster or improve upon.
Even with the moves for players that the Dodgers could not have been further from, like the trade for Grisham and Davies, the Padres being active does not really help LA. As long as the Padres are making moves for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, that puts additional pressure on the Dodgers to remain competitive (as if the fans weren’t already doing that themselves).
Beyond pressurizing the NL West race in 2020, the Padres have one of, if not the top, farm systems in all of baseball. With a stockpile of highly-touted prospects at their disposal, the Padres could easily go all in this season or next season, and if not, they will certainly be amongst the players challenging the Boys in Blue for the NL West title in the middle of the 2020s decade.