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It's Game Two of the World Series between Houston and Philadelphia
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MLB: What next for the San Diego Padres?

The San Diego Padres fell short of reaching their first World Series appearance since 1998. They eliminated the New York Mets in the Wild Card series before surprising the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division series. 

It was the Philadelphia Phillies that put a stop to the Padres' charge, so what will they do in the offseason? 

Juan Soto

Are the Padres about to announce a long-term deal for outfielder Juan Soto, who they acquired from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline. 

Soto is under Padres team control until the end of the 2024 season, but they may lock down the superstar to a long-term deal just like they did with Manny Machado in 2019 and Fernando Tatis Jr in 2021. 

Soto turned down a multi-year contract with the Nationals prior to being traded to the Padres. Washington offered a huge 15-year, $440 million deal to try to keep the young superstar but were, in this case, unable to match Soto's ambition. 

Speaking in the postseason press conference, general manager A.J Preller said to ESPN: "They're guys that, you know, in Juan's case should be here for many years to come. 

"I think we'll have that conversation. All this is pretty fresh. From Juan's standpoint, he's getting to know the city and getting to know the organisation. When we made the deal, we made it knowing that we got him for three pennant races. 

"He's an incredibly talented player, he's an impact player, and we'll have those conversations here. This offseason is kind of taking the temperature, seeing where his head is going."

Rotation

The first three of the starting rotation had excellent postseason appearances. Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove are a very solid top three. 

The Padres have lacked depth in their starting rotation, their fourth and fifth starters towards the back end of the regular season, namely Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea are expected to leave as free agents. 

Nick Martinez became a reliable reliever and can opt out of his deal; the Padres could try to keep him and make him a starter. Also, they could put Adrian Morejon back in the rotation. 

The free agent market for pitchers is light and the Padres need to be quite cute in this respect if they want to bolster their rotation. Could they offer Clevinger or Manaea a way back? 

Or could the Padres trade any of their starters? Darvish and Snell are only a year away from free agency, so if things are going well for the Padres, then they could be in line to leave in July. 

A.J. Preller could creatively use them in a trade if need be, although it's far more likely that they will stay with the side. 

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Coaching Staff change?

Bob Melvin set about assembling his coaching staff in the offseason when he was appointed as Padres' manager in the offseason. A.J. Preller was delighted with the coaching staff when Melvin took time out for health reasons earlier in the season. 

Both Preller and Melvin wouldn't commit to any of the coaching staff coming back for 2023 until they had gone through some postseason meetings and debriefs. 

Speaking to the official San Diego Padres' website, Melvin said: "I think this coaching staff was very inspirational with the players. All these guys had a role in getting the attention of the group that they were in charge of. I was happy with everybody.

"Nothing's for sure, but we were happy with what the staff did."

Notable Free Agents

First baseman Josh Bell is a free agent having arrived in the Soto/Nationals trade at the deadline. Brandon Drury accompanies Clevinger and Manaea, Will Myers and Craig Stammen as free agents. Will the Padres bring any back? It's unlikely.

Bell arrived with a record of .311 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI. Since joining the Padres though, Bell hit only .192 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 53 games. He didn't live up to what was expected of him, but will still find a decent enough contract with another club next season. 

It's rumoured that the Houston Astros have made enquiries, with the 38-year-old Yuli Gurriel is a free agent and is not expected to come back to Houston, even if they win the World Series after a bad season. 

All of the others are testing the free agency waters and should be taken by clubs.

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