The San Diego Padres are in town for a three-game set against the Blue Jays that started on Tuesday evening, and outside of the obvious implications of keeping Toronto in a postseason spot that winning the series would have, its impact could extend beyond that. The Padres, winners of Game 1 in 9-1 fashion, made it to the NLCS last year and came into 2023 looking like one of the favorites to take home the Commissioner's Trophy.
Instead, we're almost 100 games into the season and they've been one of MLB's biggest underperformers.
Entering the series they sat at 44-50, eight games out of a wild card spot, and 10.5 back of the division lead. This has put them in a weird situation, since although their goal is to win now if they continue to struggle and are all but out of it by the trade deadline they may need to sell off some of their short-term pieces and start looking to 2024. This is where the Blue Jays come in. If the Jays can at least take two out of three against the Padres this could push them even closer to selling, which could end up benefitting the Blue Jays.
So if the Jays do take care of the Padres and push them towards selling, who are the players that could be available? Guys like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove are locked up long-term so they definitely aren't for sale. Superstar Juan Soto is set to be a free agent following next season, but considering what they gave up to get him last year, he won't be on the market. In fact, all of their bats that would be of interest are most likely not available. They do however have a few arms that could be very interesting to the Blue Jays.