The Padres have made a flurry of moves this offseason, but the question is, does the front office have one last move in them? Coming for the local perspective, the team is just about set, according to a tweet by Dennis Lin of UT San Diego. However, a report surfaced by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that has once again linked the Padres to All Star pitcher Cole Hamels of the Phillies. Outfielder Wil Myers is not a part of those talks and it would be a deal involving prospects. It would be similar to the deals that A.J. Preller has done earlier in the offseason. Even with all the additions, the club still seems to be one move away from being legitimate contenders in the National League. The acquisition of Cole Hamels would not just make the team a possible contender for the division title, they would be on closer than they have in years to competing with the Dodgers.
Even with the revamped roster, the team could still use upgrades at certain positions and also could trade away a player or two. Let’s take a look at possibilities:
1) First Base
- Back in December, the team had been linked to corner infielders such as the Pirates Pedro Alvarez and the Orioles Chris Davis.
- A report by Fox Sports said the Padres remained a possible fit for Ryan Howard, who the Phillies seem to want to move.
My Prediction: Like A.J. Preller said at the Matt Kemp press conference, the team will open with Yonder Alonso and Tommy Medica as the club’s Opening Day first basemens. If the platoon of Alonso and Medica is not working out, the team could turn to the trade market if the club is contending in the summer.
- The team had been linked to Japanese shortstop Takashi Toritani, who decided to stay in Japan and re-sign with the Hanshin Tigers.
- They made a play for then Rays infielder Ben Zobrist, who could have been an option at shortstop.
- The club made a run at Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond earlier in the offseason, according to a tweet by Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
My Prediction: Similar to the situation at first base, the team could always upgrade the position in the summer. The team will open up with Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes as the team’s Opening Day shortstops. There is a possibility the team could bring in an another veteran infielder on a minor league deal to create some more competition at Spring Training.
- The Marlins have interest in Will Venable, according to a tweet by Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
- The team also continues to listen on Carlos Quentin and Will Venable, according to Jon Heyman.
- There is a possibility Ichiro Suzuki could be a fit in San Diego, depending on how the backup outfield market shakes out, according to Dennis Lin.
My Prediction: At least two more outfielders will be dealt (or released) between now and opening day. Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin are those that seem the likeliest. Will Venable ends up making the team because of his defensive abilities and his left handed bat, something the Padres are currently lacking.
4) Starting Pitching
- Cole Hamels remains a primary target for the Padres. Other teams involved in Hamels services include: Red Sox, Cardinals, and Rangers, according to a report by Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
- Dillion Gee of the Mets has been a named linked to the Padres since the Winter Meetings and the club continues to have interest in the Mets starter, according to a tweet by Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
- Marlins Dan Haren name continues to be thrown around as a possibility as he would like to pitch in the Western Coast.
My Prediction: If the team decides not to pursue Cole Hamels, the team could look at a Gee, Haren, or someone else as possibilities for another option to fill the back end of the rotation. Gee is the more attractive acquisition, given his years of club control. It doesn’t hurt to have more arms that can start, as the Padres have seen recently with the club’s injuries to their pitching in the minor leagues.