The San Diego Padres had a very successful 2022 season.
They didn’t earn a particularly high seed, but were still able to make the playoffs.
Once there, they knocked out the favored New York Mets in the Wild Card round.
Then, they eliminated their longtime nemesis, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the Division Series.
They were sent home in the Championship Series by the Philadelphia Phillies, but they showed the world they are for real.
The most impressive part is that they did it all without Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts.
Manny Machado and Juan Soto were the offensive leaders of last year’s team: they combined with a strong rotation and an incredible bullpen to smash their ceiling.
This time around, in 2023, the Padres are adding two elite hitters to the foundation that took them to the NLCS.
Tatis will miss a few games in April with his suspension, but will return in the first month to offer his usual 40-homer power and 30-steals speed.
In addition to that, Bogaerts was signed to a $280 million contract to be at the top of the lineup.
The lineup is looking scary.
“Reminder that Bogaerts, Machado, Soto, and Tatis Jr. are on the same team,” FOX Sports MLB tweeted.
Reminder that Bogaerts, Machado, Soto, and Tatis Jr. are on the same team 🤯
📷: @Padres pic.twitter.com/qDdhLH7DI0
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) February 5, 2023
They were able to retain their aces in Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell plus the core of their amazing bullpen.
The Padres are set to fight for a ticket to the World Series and are well equipped to do so.
Soto even has some rebound potential after his less than stellar (for his lofty standards) 2022 campaign.
If all four are healthy and in a groove, it’s hard to see the Padres losing a playoff series.
They will all have to speak on the field, though.NEXT: MLB Analysts Predict Big Things For The Padres In 2023