June 19, 2024

As the San Diego Padres gear up for the start of the season on March 20 in South Korea against the Los Angeles Dodgers, their outfield situation stands out as a significant concern.

While Fernando Tatis Jr. is slated to start in right field, there’s uncertainty surrounding the remainder of the outfield group. This uncertainty underscores the importance of considering a reunion with Tommy Pham, who previously played for the Padres in 2020-21.

It’s evident that the Padres are lacking depth in the outfield, making the case for bringing Pham back into the fold even more compelling.

The San Diego Padres have seen promising performances from their No. 2 prospect, Jackson Merrill, during spring training, raising the possibility of him making the Opening Day roster as the starting left fielder.

Adding to their outfield depth, the Padres recently secured outfielder Jurickson Profar on a one-year, $1 million deal. While Profar brings valuable experience, his career slash line of .238/.322/.383 suggests he’s better suited as a depth piece rather than a regular starter.

With only Jose Azocar, another bench option, currently on the 40-man roster, the departure of Eddie Rosario to the Washington Nationals has left Tommy Pham as one of the top available outfielders in the free-agent market.

Given the Padres’ limited outfield options and Pham’s availability, reuniting with him could provide the team with a much-needed boost in outfield depth and experience.

As Tommy Pham enters his age-36 season, his consistent performance throughout his career makes him an appealing option for the Padres. With an on-base plus slugging (OPS) of .786 over his 10 big-league seasons, Pham would represent an upgrade over Profar and Azocar, offering valuable experience in the outfield.

In 2023, while playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Pham had a productive regular season at the plate with a .774 OPS. However, it was during the postseason, particularly in the World Series against the Texas Rangers, that Pham truly excelled. In 21 plate appearances against the Rangers, Pham recorded eight hits, including three doubles and one home run, with two runs batted in. He concluded the Fall Classic with an impressive 1.165 OPS.

Given Pham’s potential impact and the Padres’ need for outfield depth, a signing of Pham would not come as a surprise. According to league sources cited by Dennis Lin of The Athletic, Pham remains under consideration as one of the Padres’ potential options in the outfield.

With Tommy Pham’s market value currently estimated at $8.3 million per year on a projected two-year contract, he represents a viable option for the Padres. Given their goal of maintaining a total payroll below $200 million (presently at $144 million according to Spotrac), signing Pham would address a positional need while also upgrading the outfield at a reasonable cost.

Pham’s potential signing aligns well with the Padres’ financial objectives, allowing them to bolster their roster without significantly exceeding their budget constraints. This makes Pham an attractive option as the team seeks to optimize its resources while enhancing its competitiveness for the upcoming season.

Why the Padres should reunite with OF Tommy Pham

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