Padres’ Points: Preller, Luebke, Trade Deadline Targets

The San Diego Padres now sit at a 39-48 record entering their final series before the All-Star break, a season-worst nine games under .500 and losers of five in a row. According to, the Padres have less than a three percent chance of making the playoffs. What has been a huge disappointment for Padres fans has even been a larger one for the ownership group.

“To say were disappointed is an understatement,” Padres owner Ron Fowler said in a recent interview on the Mighty 1090. He goes on to say while they’re not going to concede the 2015 season, they will look to ways to improving the current roster and fix what has gone wrong in San Diego. The sense I get from the interview is the team is still “all in” on fixing what has been an embarrassing 2015 season for the franchise (Twitter link).

Also, a report that came out yesterday from Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune that the team will look to both buy and sell at the deadline. He outlines all the possible trade candidates, from those in the final years of their contracts (Justin Upton) to controllable pitchers for whom the club may get a decent return (Andrew Cashner).

As for adding pieces, a left-handed bat and major league shortstop are the club’s top of the list. Adding depth and talent to a depleted farm system could be also on the team’s radar. Lin notes that adding major league-ready talent is a general target as well.

As for A.J. Preller, club president and CEO Mike Dee thinks Preller has done well in his first 11 months as general manager. “We think he’s done an outstanding job. The major league club is one part of it; it’s a big part of it. We all wish we were winning more games, but listen, you’ve got to swing to hit, and (Preller) took a big swing this season with this team.”

Beyond 2015, Lin says the Padres are expected to be once again active in free agency this coming offseason. This would suggest that another payroll raise, which is already at record levels, could be in order.

Injury Notes

  • Cory Luebke (Tommy John surgery) has been diagnosed with a shoulder strain, tweets Dennis Lin. Luebke, who has been pitching in the minor leagues attempting his second comeback, will be reevaluated in five days.
  • Justin Upton (left oblique) was held out of the lineup Wednesday because of what appears to be a minor oblique strain, tweets Corey Brock of He returned to the lineup on Friday batting cleanup.
  • Tim Federowicz (torn mencius) will catch Brandon Morrow‘s (right shoulder inflammation) bullpen on Saturday, then will begin a rehab assignment with Fort Wayne, the club’s Low-A affiliate, tweets Dennis Lin.

Friar Notes

Ken Rosenthal of had multiple notes about the Padres on the possible players they are interested in with the trade deadline coming up at the end of the month.

  • High-ranking officials from the Padres saw Blue Jays pitching prospects Jeff Hoffman (#73 prospect of 2015 according to Baseball Prospectus) and Daniel Norris (#34 prospect of 2015 according to Baseball Prospectus) with their respective minor league teams. Both are high-ceiling prospects and Norris may intrigue the Padres, who lack left handed pitching in the minor league system.
  • Craig Kimbrel is drawing significant interest from other teams and the Blue Jays are one club that could potentially use help for the back end of their bullpen, which is seen by many as a weakness.
  • Joaquin Benoit could be an interesting piece to trade at the deadline and one bullpen-needy team, the Twins, are already targeting Benoit. He’s familiar with the American League Central, pitching as a member of the Tigers from 2011-2013.

Friar Moves

  • The Padres announce that they have reinstated right handed pitcher Dale Thayer from the 15-day disabled list and optioned left handed pitcher Frank Garces to Triple-A El Paso. Garces, whose been the only left-handed pitcher on the pitching staff, has pitched 28.1 innings. He’s given up 12 earned runs in 31 appearances.

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