Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks as baseball season is about to begin. The San Diego Padres are reportedly still talking trades (or not?) with other clubs as the first day of camp approaches.
Despite two separate reports saying that the Padres were shopping outfielder Matt Kemp in trade discussions, they are currently not shopping the former All Star, reports Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union Tribune.
Kemp, who is owed $18.25 million from the club this year is getting paid an awfully large amount on what many pundits consider a rebuilding organization. Despite claims from the front office that the team has the intent to contend this year, reports like this illustrate the team’s desire to find an opportunity to unload a unfriendly team deal in order to create financial flexibility for the future.
One report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports suggested the Padres were shopping both Kemp and catcher Derek Norris. He did note that a deal would be unlikely at least until the start of Spring Training.
If the team were to deal Norris, the team already has what many scouts believe is a legitimate starting catcher in Austin Hedges. Though Hedges could still need some minor-league time in order to improve his offensive ability, a trade of Norris would make more sense in mid-season rather than now.
While both players could be moved before the start of the season, it just doesn’t seem realistic. The club wants to give a fan base hope of contending as the team enters its tenth season of not playing playoff games in October.
Trading both players, who are well liked and highly respected by the average fan in San Diego, would not be a wise thing to do.
- Fernando Rodney (hamstring) should be fully healthy by the time Spring Training begins, tweets Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune. The right-hander had been dealing with a hamstring injury while pitching in the Caribbean.
- The Padres appear to be willing to spend big on prospects on the international front setting their eyes on two players who stood out in the Cuban junior leagues, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America. The team is likely to sign two Cuban prospects who have performed exceptionally well: outfielder Jorge Ona and left handed pitcher Adrian Morejon.
- The Padres have hired former major league pitcher Hideo Nomo as an advisory to baseball operations, according to a team press release. Nomo won the Rookie of the Year award with the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 1995.
- The team also announced at this weeks team Town Hall event that former major league outfielder Steve Finley has joined the organization in some capacity, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. He was part of the television broadcast team last season.
- The Padres signed veteran utility man Skip Schumaker to a minor league deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal. If he makes the roster, he’ll get $1.25 million plus incentives, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The club continues to sign potential bench players with the ability to play multiple positions. It will be interesting to see what the bench looks like come Opening Day, because right now it is up in the air.
- Also, the Padres have signed right handed pitcher Trey McNutt (32nd round, Chicago Cubs, 2009) to a minor league deal, tweets Jeff Sanders. Prior to the 2011 season, he cracked Baseball America’s top-50 prospect category. Last season he pitched sparingly for the Cubs, just pitching eight innings and giving up six earned runs in the Arizona Rookie League.
- Finally, the team has signed right handed pitcher Seth Rosin (4th round, San Francisco Giants, 2010) to a minor league deal, writes Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Rosin has played sparingly in the major leagues but did make one appearance for the Philadelphia Phillies last season, giving up five runs in two innings pitched.