Padres getting “more aggressive” in marketing Grandal

The Padres have reportedly become more active in including Yasmani Grandal in potential trade talks, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

San Diego has plenty of organizational depth behind the plate, as the Padres have already received a number of calls regarding Grandal, Rene Rivera and Austin Hedges, one of the best defensive catchers in the Minors. Though the Padres were originally not very open to the idea of moving Grandal, recent developments within the free-agent market may be changing their minds.

The Padres, who have been trying to improve their offense this offseason, have already missed out on free agents Pablo Sandoval and Yasmany Tomas. They also had interest in first baseman Adam LaRoche, who signed with the White Sox.

With the already thin free-agent market becoming even thinner in recent weeks, San Diego may need to rely on a trade to achieve its goal. The Padres have been linked to the Reds’ Jay Bruce and the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, among others, over the past week.

They are also hesitant to trade away either Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross, though Ian Kennedy is believed to be more available. Kennedy, who is arbitration-eligible, will likely make close to $10 million next season.

As for Grandal, he had an encouraging 2014 campaign in his return from ACL surgery, posting 15 home runs, 19 doubles and 49 RBIs in 128 games. He also notched a .356 on-base percentage after the All-Star break, indicating he could be ready to carry a heavier load in 2015 with his recovery from the ACL surgery completely behind him.

The Padres would prefer to hold on to Grandal, but they may ultimately need to consider moving pieces they had originally planned to keep if they still plan to upgrade offensively.

— Paul Casella

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