Just a few months after the Dodgers took home their first World Series title since 1988, the Padres are making headlines. A series of trades and signings have led to San Diego being touted as one of the teams to best in 2021, even before any other moves happen in MLB.
Padres GM AJ Preller was recently asked about improvements made by his team since they were eliminated by the Dodgers in the Division Series. The most blatant question was whether he felt that this new Padres team was now better than the division-rival Dodgers. Preller answered the question in the most diplomatic way imaginable, as expected for an MLB General Manager.
Uh, that’s, that’s pretty better right there,” he said. “They’re obviously, they’re the class of the league right now and they’ve been the class of the division for pretty much the decade. We’ll see how it plays out. … The goal here is to win a championship. That’s the idea.
Adding in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish is going to make any team better than they were a year ago. But the Padres were beat up going into that NLDS against the Dodgers. Mike Clevinger tried his best to battle through an injury, and that’s part of the reason he needs to miss the 2021 season.
Dinelson Lamet is another guy that held the Dodgers in check for much of 2020, but he didn’t get a chance to pitch due to injury. The duo of Snell and Darvish should provide San Diego with a decent boost, regardless of the health of their other pitchers moving forward. They also signed top international free-agent Ha-Seong Kim, but the jury is still out on his potential.
Are the Padres better than the Dodgers now? No…but it’s closer than it was a season ago.
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