Ten days ago, it was reported by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that the Padres were unlikely in the James Shields‘ sweepstakes. Now, all signs point to a James Shields signing in San Diego – something that may become one of the most surprising story lines of the offseason.  A decision could be coming very soon, as Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported says that Shields has multiple offers in hand and is expected to sign by the end of the week. Let’s take a look at the latest Shield news:

1. James Shields

  • Multiple executives from around the league say that the club had recent contact with James Shields’ agent, Jon Morosi tweets.
  • Padres are working hard to add a frontline starting pitcher, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.
  • Shields has a strong preference to stay near his West Coast home (which is in San Diego), Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.
  • Two of four executives that were asked predicted that the Padres were the club that Shields would ultimately land with, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweets.
  • Padres are “definitely a team to watch” in the James Shields’ sweepstakes, Jon Morosi said on MLB Network.
  • Padres are “in” on James Shields while a few other clubs are kicking the tires, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes.
  • Bob Nightengale went on 1360 Fox Sports San Diego and said said the following, “It’s where he wants to go, he lives there and loves it there.”
  • The Padres have to be considered the favorites to land Shields for his services, Bob Nightengale tweets.
  • Theres a growing sense among some people involved in the Shields conversations that he will ultimately land with the Padres, Buster Olney of ESPN tweets.

If the Padres do land Shields, what would the potential Opening Day rotation look like?

  •  James Shields

The fifth rotation spot would end up being a battle over at least the four candidates listed above. Morrow has the ability to easily win the job, as someone in the baseball industry suggested to me earlier in the offseason that he has the ability to become the club’s third starter. If they all stay healthy, the club’s rotation arguably could be very close of being competitive with the Dodgers strong rotation.

2. Cole Hamels

 If the club ultimately signs Shields, Hamels would become very unlikely become a Padre. Let’s take a look at the latest news surrounding Hamels and the club:  

  • Padres and other clubs involved in Hamel’s trade talks have not come close to the Phillies asking price, Bob Nightengale tweets
  • General Manager Ruben Amaro covets Andrew Cashner, Jeff Passan tweets. This raised the question – would you trade Cashner for Hamels? I did a poll  on this with around 50 people answering “no” while 20 people were willing to trade Cashner in the right deal.
  • There are a growing number of folks in the industry that think that Hamels will open Spring Training as the member of the Phillies, Dennis Lin of UT San Diego tweets.
  • At least one official who recently had contact with the Amaro believes that the General Manager is still reluctant in giving up any money at all in a Hamels deal, Dennis Lin tweets.

By not acquiring Hamels, the club would have a small pool of impact prospects to use in a potential deal in July if the team is looking to upgrade at a positions during that time.

3. International Prospects 

  • Padres are one of the five likeliest destinations for Cuban infield prospect Yoan Moncada, writes Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. Big market clubs such as the Dodgers have the advantage to land Moncada, and seems to be a long shot at best for the Padres.
  • Padres are one of multiple teams that have watched another workout for Cuban infield prospect Hector Olivera, tweets Jesse Sanchez. Of the two, Olivera seems more likely to land in San Diego.
  • More on the potential of Olivera in a Padres uniform can be read here.

Padres Quick Hits

  • Padres had recent discussions with the Brewers involving infielder Luis Sardinas, tweets Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Rosenthal noted that the discussions were not recent. General Manager A.J. Preller had Sardinas while he was an executive with the Rangers. Sardinas would be brought in to potentially be the starting shortstop.
  • Padres released the following minor league players, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports. All are  right-handed pitchers (twitter links): Max Beatty, Cory Bostjancic, Erik Cabrera, Coby Cowgill, Josh Richardson, and Ruben Mejia.
  • Padres agreed to a minor league deal with catcher Wil Nieves with an invitation to Spring Training, Corey Brock of MLB.com tweets. Nieves has a very good chance of winning the backup job in Spring Training. He was originally drafted by the Padres in 1995.
  • The Padres announced the club’s minor league roving coordinators for the upcoming season.

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