The San Diego Padres have started the new year relatively quiet. There is less than two months remaining until pitchers and catchers report. The team still has some areas of need, one particularly, where fans of the club want to see change. That position is shortstop.
Many Padres fans were disappointed to see Trevor Hoffman not get into the Hall of Fame after his first time appearing on the ballot. The National League all-time saves leader gathered 67.3% on the ballot, but fell shy of the 75% needed to be inducted. As Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune notes, a strong opening appearance on the ballot is a good sign for future induction years.
Could the 2017 class be the year for Hoffman to be enshrined into Cooperstown? There is an excellent possibility that is the outcome.
On a positive note, it was good to see Mike Piazza be voted into the Hall of Fame. Piazza was on the last Padres roster to make the postseason and had a good year offensively behind the plate in 2006. He hit .283/.342/.501 with 22 home runs and 68 RBI during the campaign.
The team still has a large need for a shortstop as spring training begins next month. If Opening Day were tomorrow, Alexi Amarista would be the projected starting shortstop. The team has stated they need one, the fans know they need one. The position has been constantly shuffled to various players since the club had Khalil Greene, who was also on the Padres last postseason roster.
The Padres and Ian Desmond‘s camp were expected to speak this week, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. While talks are very preliminary, Desmond would be both a short and long term solution.
For the short term, he would likely be the shortstop. In the long term, if the team’s shortstop prospects pan out, he could slide to another infield position or even the outfield. There was some talk earlier in the offseason that the Desmond camp was pitching him as a versatile player who could play multiple positions to help give him a unique edge on the market.
The team could decide to go short term and have also been connected to Alexei Ramirez, writes Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. The team would be willing to sign the veteran to a short term deal. While he would produce below average to average numbers offensively, he would truly be an upgrade to anyone on the current roster.
- The club and Fernando Rodney‘s representatives remain in contact, tweets Chris Cotillo of SBNation.com. He notes that Rodney is in talks with multiple clubs.
- The Padres will host an open showcase Friday for 16-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro Armentos, tweets Ben Bradler of BaseballAmerica.com. Dennis Lin notes that the outfielder’s services should be in high demand, which may make it difficult for the Padres to acquire the international talent.
- The Padres continue to add to their infield depth, signing veteran infielder Adam Rosales to a minor league contract, tweets Matt Eddy of BaseballAmerica.com. He has played all infield positions and some outfield in his career. In his major league career, he has played with the Reds, Athletics and Rangers. He has slashed .227/.294/.342 as a hitter at the major league level.