Padres is expected to follow up on Matt Olson’s business

When transactions are allowed again, the first baseman is in A. Matt Olson Among the most prominent names that will be discussed in the commercial market. The 2021 All-Star and Gold Glover have already been linked twice with the Yankees, Rangers and Braves, among others, and Dennis Lane of The Athletic suggests in his latest column in the Mailbag that Padres’ character will be “in the mix” on Olson as well. Chief of baseball operations AJ Preller has already, at a minimum, reached out to the Oakland front office as part of a widespread campaign of exploratory business talks across the league, according to Lin.

Despite the interest, Padres looks like a long shot at sealing a deal that Olson is involved in for myriad reasons. San Diego already has Eric Hosmer Fixed at first base and signed for four more seasons totaling $59 million. The brothers reportedly pursued various business scenarios involving Hosmer in an effort to create payroll flexibility and reduce the luxury tax ledger, but these efforts were not surprising.

Hosmer’s eight-year $144 million deal with the Padres was widely criticized from the start, and his first lukewarm .264/.323/.415 (99 wRC+) hitter streak since signing didn’t arrive in the last four years of the contract any more attractive ( Although it should be noted that the contract was preloaded, with Hosmer earning $20 million in 2022 and $13 million annually from 2023-25).

The universal designated hitter is seen as something of a previous conclusion so far, so one could imagine a scenario in which Hosmer spends more time in the DH and Olson plays first base. However, this still moved Padres’ payroll north by a good margin. MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz expects Olson to earn $12 million in 2022 before getting an additional raise in the final judging season in 2023. San Diego already has about $199 million in books for the 2022 season, according to Roster’s Jason Martinez. Resource, plus about $215 million in luxury tax liabilities. The Padres narrowly exceeded their luxury taxes in 2021, but it’s unclear if they’re willing to do so again in 2022 — particularly if it’s by a larger margin. Lynn notes that owner Peter Seidler has “vehemently refused” to discuss payroll and luxury taxes up to this point.

This $215 million figure is intrinsic to Padres’ reported effort to move Hosmer and/or the right-hander. Will Myers (Which owed $21 million in the last season of six years, $83 million is the same.) Perhaps if the Padres can find a way to pull one or both salaries, the subsequent luxury breathing room could make the potential Olson acquisition more feasible. However, it will take time to be on Padres’ side – which is not the case. Post-closing transactions are expected to be hectic, and it is not easy for Preller & Co. Find a deal that includes Hosmer or Myers. The front office in San Diego has been investigating trades involving the pair for at least the past year, after all — and much longer than that regarding Myers. If the Olson acquisition was based on a Hosmer and/or Myers transfer, it’s hard to imagine there would be time to complete this deal and then spin back into the letter A.

Some would suggest that the Padres are simply trying to bring Hosmer back to Auckland as part of a deal, offering in return better chances of pushing the deal across the finish line. This scenario certainly seems unlikely. The cost to Olson’s numbers will be very high in the first place, and the driving factor behind the looming Auckland selloff ostensibly is the desire for a payroll distribution. Dealing with Hosmer’s deal goes against that. Lynn speculates that the Padres could attempt to engineer a three-team swap that puts Hosmer with a third team and Olson in San Diego, but this is clearly a more ambitious project than simply finding an Olson receiver in a more straightforward two-team deal. .

Central to all of this is the uncertainty surrounding the state of the luxury tax/competitive credit tax itself. Tax limits are a major talking point in collective bargaining talks between the league and the players’ association. The MLBPA is seeking significant increases in tax thresholds, starting with a jump all the way to $245 million next season and reaching the $273 million threshold in 2026. Meanwhile, the league was only willing to offer much more marginal increases: $214 million in 2022-23 and incremental increases up to $222 million in 2026. The MLB is also seeking to significantly increase penalties for crossing the threshold, which the MLBPA considers a non-starter.

[Related: Latest Collective Bargaining Positions For MLB, MLBPA]

It is likely that any compromise that would be reached would come with a slight increase in the first threshold so that Padres could technically pressure Olson into battle without having to pay the tax. However, the Padres also have needs elsewhere on the list – namely in an off-court spot. If the hope is to add a defensive player and/or deepen the staff or bench at all, San Diego will be looking at composing the shoes as more than just Olson’s salary in the puzzle.

It all rests on a theoretical position that the Padres estate is prevented by the luxury tax alone, but we can’t know that for sure. Last year’s $174 million payroll broke the previous franchise’s payroll record by more than $60 million. The current projection of $199 million is over that number, and adding Olson and anyone else into the mix would bring Padres north of $200 million in actual 2022 salaries (and slightly higher in terms of AAV-based welfare accounts). It would require an unprecedented level of spending on the Padres, and we cannot know at what point the property will simply be uncomfortable with more expenses. It is possible that they have already reached this juncture.

To summarize a bit, there is good reason to expect that Padres will actually try to achieve something on Olson’s front. Time and time again Preller has shown that he will always explore creative options when marquee talents become available. San Diego hired head coach Bob Melvin away from the A-team earlier this season, and Melvin would surely love to have the former franchisor be the first primary man to follow down the I-5. If the Padres Hosmer family members somehow moved, they would have a hole in the first base. This all makes sense on paper, and the many permutations of Olson’s deals to San Diego or three big teams that include Olson, Hosmer, Myers and top odds make fun assumptions with major league transactions nearing a three-month hiatus.

However, at the end of the day, there are so many moving parts involved even in these theoretical exercises that it’s hard to see Padres finding a way to make the pieces work. However, Padres’ occasional participation in Olson’s market has some significance. Their latent presence could have repercussions for the asking price Auckland can offer other clubs, and if trade talks with other suitors continue long enough after the shutdown, it will only give the Padres more time to pull their latest trade mark. just awesome.