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Rangers add Gallardo for three players

The Rangers consummated their rumored deal with the Brewers on Monday, trading for right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo.

In return, the Brewers receive three players — infielder Luis Sardinas, right-handed pitchers Corey Knebel and Marcos Diplan.

The Rangers will also receive cash in the deal to, presumably, offset the $13 million Gallardo will earn in 2015, the final year on his contract, according to

Gallardo, 28, has spent his entire career with the Brewers, breaking into the big leagues in 2007. He’s 89-64 with a 3.69 in 214 games (211 starts). He was 8-11 with a 3.51 ERA in 32 starts a year ago.

Knebel was the eight-best prospect in the Rangers system according to Diplan was ranked No. 20.

Sardinas made his big league debut last season, hitting .261 in 43 games.

— Corey Brock

Kevin Gregg to have a showcase

Veteran right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg will have a throwing showcase on Tuesday in Arizona for about 15 teams, the New York Post reported on Monday.

Gregg, 36, appeared in only 12 games last season for the Marlins after having bone chips removed from his right elbow in August. The report stated that he’s expected to “sign quickly” after the showcase.

Gregg has appeared in 583 games in a career that began in 2003 and has seen him pitch for five big league teams. He has 177 career saves, including 33 for the Cubs in 2013.

Gregg is 22nd on the active list for games played among all Major League players.

— Corey Brock

Street is gone … now what?

As expected, the Padres made their first move Friday when they traded closer Huston Street to the Angels as part of a six-player deal that netted them four prospects.

Could this be just the tip of the iceberg as far as moves before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline for the team?

The Padres have been getting a lot of hits for weeks on third baseman Chase Headley, reliever Joaquin Benoit, pitcher Ian Kennedy and outfielder Chris Denorfia.

They could move some of them in deals. Heck, they could move all of them. The most likely candidates are Headley (a free agent after this season) and Denorfia, as the team already has four outfielders under contract for 2015 — Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin, Will Venable and Seth Smith.

Headley, two years removed from leading the NL in RBIs (115), could get a decent return, but only if the Padres sent some if not all of his remaining salary (likely $4 million or so) with him in a deal.

Stay tuned, things could get interesting in the next 10 days or so.

— Corey Brock

Padres: Getting hits on Street, Benoit …

It’s no surprise at all that the Padres are getting plenty of early inquiries on relievers Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit.

It’s not just the ability to get outs more often than not late in games that makes these two so attractive, though.

Both are controllable next season. Don’t underestimate the importance of this.

Street has a $7 club option while Benoit is owed $8 million as part of the second year of a two-year deal he signed with the team last winter.

That could make these two looks even more attractive the closer we get to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline — and could potentially impact the type of player the Padres get in return.

Make no mistake, the Padres will almost certainly deal one or the other. They almost have to.

— Corey Brock

Padres aren’t done yet …

It’s already been a busy winter for the Padres, who on Tuesday landed outfielder Seth Smith in a deal with the A’s, helping them land the left-handed bat they coveted this off-season.

The Padres dealt from a position of strength — pitching — to get Smith, who general manager Josh Byrnes figures could get 400+ plate appearances in the outfield and off the bench.

Dealing reliever Luke Gregerson, he of the wipe out slider, wasn’t easy for the Padres. But, as history shows us, relievers don’t often fetch a big return — not unless it’s on or before the July 31 Trade Deadline when teams are much more desperate for relief help.

The Padres hope to have Nick Vincent handle the seventh inning, Dale Thayer the eighth and closer Huston Street the ninth inning moving forward. Prospects Kevin Quackenbush and Leonel Campos could make a push in Spring Training to land jobs.

That said, the Padres will likely add one if not two more relievers before the start of Spring Training. Now that they’ve added Smith and starting pitcher Josh Johnson, look for them to turn their attention to finding a left-handed reliever.

— Corey Brock

Padres moves immiment?

The Winter Meetings are set to begin a week from Monday in Orlando.

Could the Padres be done filling their off-season needs before getting on a plane for Florida? Or could they be completely finished by the time they leave the Sunshine State?

“In the next week or two, there could be some activity,” Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said Saturday.

The Padres have already added a starting pitcher to their stable of arms, when they signed free agent Josh Johnson to a one-year deal worth $8 million.

Now the attention goes back to their primary off-season need, which is finding a left-handed hitter. We (sort of) know this: The team will add a bat through a trade and not free agency. And that player will likely be an outfielder.

The Padres are also looking to add a left-handed reliever to balance the bullpen.

To be sure, this could be a far different winter than the ones Byrnes has previously had in San Diego — where he made three notable trades (Mat Latos to the Reds for four players, getting Carlos Quentin from the White Sox and Andrew Cashner from the Cubs) after Dec. 17.

By then, Byrnes could essentially be finished shaping the 2014 roster. Stay tuned.

— Corey Brock

About that Padres pitching staff …

One of my most recent Hot Stove posts boasted this headline (done by me, of course): Padres: Pitching not required.

On Wednesday, the team signed right-hander Josh Johnson to a one-year deal worth $8 million.

So what do I know? Wait, don’t answer that.

Actually, in all fairness to myself, the Padres’ top priority this winter — and it still remains so — is finding a left-handed bat. They weren’t going to add a pitcher just for the sake of doing so.

But adding Johnson gives them not only depth but a top-of-the-rotation kind of arm to help fill an improved rotation, even if he carries some risk.

The Padres have more depth within their starting ranks than they’ve had in years, which leads me to believe it’s entirely possible that to land that left-handed bat — and I’m not talking a platoon guy — but someone with upside, that they could package some pitching together to make that happen.

Let’s look at the rotation candidates as it stands today (no specific order):

Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy, Johnson, Eric Stults, Tyson Ross, Burch Smith, Robbie Erlin, Joe Wieland, Cory Luebke with several other youngsters close, like highly-regarded Matt Wisler.

What’s the old saying? You can never have too much pitching. That’s probably true, but in order to get an impact bat, if they feel that’s their true need, they may have to part with with of the aforementioned arms and a prospect to do so.

— Corey Brock

Padres not in on Nolasco

A report circulated Friday that the Padres were one of the teams in pursuit of free agent pitcher Ricky Nolasco.

That’s not true, a source said Friday.

Nolasco is expected to command a multi-year deal, perhaps as great as four years in length. That, of course, would carry a pretty steep price tag as well.

The Padres, who would like to add a starting pitcher, won’t go that far on a deal. And pitching isn’t their top priority of the winter.

The first priority for the team remains finding a left-handed hitter to help them remedy their woeful offensive output against right-handed pitchers in 2013.

That could likely come through a trade, though free agents David Murphy and Nate McLouth are names the team might be considering.

— Corey Brock

Padres: Pitching not required

It’s no secret the Padres — especially playing in a big ballpark — have tried to built their team with run prevention in mind.

That equates to pitching and defense. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This winter, the team hasn’t placed pitching atop their off-season wish list. They’re reasonably happy with the arms and the depth they have for the rotation going into 2014.

There are plenty of candidates for five spots — Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and Eric Stults are essentially assured of spots. Robbie Erlin, Burch Smith, Joe Wieland, Cory Luebke (if healthy) will be in the mix and young arms like Juan Oramas, Matt Wisler, Matt Andriese, Donn Roach and Keyvius Sampson might not be far off.

That’s not the say the Padres will turn their back on arms this winter. However, a deal — and any additions would likely come through trade, not free agency — would only be for a front of the rotation type starter or someone who offers long-term value.

Instead, the Padres will focus mostly on finding a left-handed bat after the team went through a woeful season against right-handed pitchers.

— Corey Brock

A quiet Trade Deadline for the Padres?

It’s certainly beginning to look that way.

Granted, things can change quickly between now and Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline and the Padres might still be blown away by an offer for, say, one of their relievers.

But for now, it appears there’s a good possibility the team won’t make any moves.

If you read rumors about the availability of outfielder Carlos Quentin, move on. He’s not and has never been on the table as far as trade discussions. He holds a no-trade clause and he’s been approached about waiving that right.

As much as the Padres would like to add a starting pitcher — and they will before the start of Spring Training — they might have a better chance to make a deal after the regular season.

Yes, the Padres have some interesting trade pieces, especially relievers Luke Gregerson and Joe Thatcher, but the market is still flooded with relievers, leading to speculation that contending teams won’t need to overpay to add an arm.

Again, this could all change in the time it takes me to hit the ‘publish post’ button, but I won’t be surprised at all if the Padres wait until the off-season to make big changes to their roster.

— Corey Brock