Results tagged ‘ Padres ’

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

Gregerson, Smith traded in ever-busy day for A’s

The A’s are pulling off yet another deal on Tuesday afternoon, with outfielder Seth Smith heading to San Diego in exchange for reliever Luke Gregerson. Chris Kusiolek reported it first, and the teams made it official around 4:45 p.m. ET. 

This move certainly strengthens the A’s already-sturdy bullpen ahead of newly-acquired closer Jim Johnson. Gregerson has held an ERA under 3.00 each of the last three seasons with the Padres. Smith hit .246 with 22 homers and 92 RBIs over the last two seasons (242 games) with the A’s. The Oakland outfield was becoming crowded after the acquisition of Craig Gentry from Texas today. 

– Joey Nowak

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

11/21 Roundup

The Royals made the biggest move of the day on Thursday, bolstering their starting rotation by signing free-agent left-hander Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract. Vargas, who will turn 31 in February, went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA last season for the Angels, who now have another hole to fill on their staff.

Meanwhile, Wednesday night’s big trade between the Rangers and Tigers continued to hold the baseball world’s attention. The swap of Ian Kinsler and Prince Fielder could have far-reaching implications. Among them:

  • The trade gives the Tigers additional financial flexibility they could use to pursue contract extensions for Max Scherzer and/or Miguel Cabrera, writes our Jason Beck. There also is the issue of how Detroit will adjust defensively, with Cabrera likely shifting to first and opening up a spot at third that could be filled by top prospect Nick Castellanos.
  • The ripple effects from the deal could surface in Cincinnati, says our Mark Sheldon,  impacting the Reds’ potential plans to move second baseman Brandon Phillips.
  • Kinsler’s departure from Texas likely eliminates the possibility of the Rangers parting with Elvis Andrus. That gives the Cardinals one fewer option in their pursuit of a shortstop, as our Jenifer Langosch explains.

In other news from around the league on Thursday:

  • The Tigers moved quickly to their next order of business, re-signing lefty Phil Coke to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.
  • The Giants have agreed to a deal to keep left-handed specialist Javier Lopez in San Francisco, with multiple reports indicating he will receive a three-year contract.
  • The Angels and Cardinals have discussed a swap that would send third baseman David Freese to Anaheim in exchange for an outfielder, such as Peter Bourjos.
  • After adding Josh Johnson to their starting rotation, the Padres will return their focus to acquiring a left-handed hitter, tweets our Corey Brock.
  • Our Adam McCalvy writes that the Brewers aren’t likely to trade Ryan Braun but could move him from left field to right.
  • Ike Davis tells our Anthony DiComo that while he would like to stay with the Mets, he understands that there is a significant chance the club could deal him this offseason.
  • Lance Berkman’s agent told Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his client is leaning toward retirement. The 15-year veteran, who turns 38 in February, posted a .700 OPS for the Rangers last season, and injuries have limited him to 105 games over the past two years.
  • The agent for free-agent catcher Brian McCann told Alex Speier of Boston’s WEEI that his client is willing to spend some time at first base and designated hitter with a new team.
  • The Rays are working toward a two-year deal to retain the services of catcher Jose Molina, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
  • The Dodgers and Giants have free-agent right-hander Dan Haren among their targets as they look to add pitching, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network.
  • Although outfielder Curtis Granderson became a free agent when he rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer, the club remains interested in bringing him back, reports the New York Post.

– Andrew Simon

11/20 Roundup

The Hot Stove was cranked up to full blast on Wednesday night, thanks to a surprise exchange of All-Stars. In a deal first reported by CBSSports.com and later confirmed by the teams, the Tigers will send first baseman Prince Fielder to the Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Detroit also will include $30 million to help offset the disparity between the two players’ remaining contracts.

Despite the move, the Rangers still want to add a free-agent hitter such as Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network.

In other news from around the league:

  • The Giants and left-handed reliever Javier Lopez are nearing an agreement on a new three-year contract.
  • After losing Tim Hudson to San Francisco, the Braves are looking to add a veteran starting pitcher, writes our Mark Bowman. A trade for the Brewers’ Kyle Lohse is one possibility.
  • The Padres finalized their one-year pact with free-agent righty Josh Johnson.
  • The Indians might have found a new right fielder in former Ranger David Murphy.
  • The Marlins would like to add a few good bats this offseason, particularly at catcher and third base, our Joe Frisaro writes. But that’s easier said than done, considering the high demand for such players.
  • Our Todd Zolecki wonders if the Phillies have finished tinkering with their lineup after signing Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd.
  • The Orioles signed former Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona to a one-year contract.
  • Free-agent righty Dan Haren and the Dodgers have “mutual interest” as Los Angeles looks to add to its rotation, reports ESPN Los Angeles.
  • The Royals have talked about pursuing A’s left-hander Brett Anderson, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
  • The Mets are suffering from “sticker shock” as they evaluate the free-agent market this offseason, reports the New York Post.

– Andrew Simon

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

11/17 Roundup

When a team is looking to improve on one facet of its club, it helps when it has a surplus in another area. Read ahead in today’s Hot Stove roundup to find out which club is in such a situation, and plenty of other news:

  • Between Jurickson Profar, Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler, the Rangers have a wealth of infield depth. The Dallas Morning News‘ Evan Grant reports the Rangers could very well trade one of those players (with some top prospects also working their way into the picture) to fill other needs. “We have three guys at the major league level and two guys at Double-A [Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas]; it would be irresponsible not to consider it,” general manager Jon Daniels told Grant. “Will we ultimately make a deal? I really don’t know. Teams are getting the lay of the land, see what’s out there and make a decision.”
  • The Blue Jays are looking to add starting pitching talent. But would they be willing to part ways with Jose Bautista in order to get it? The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo says it’s a possibility.
  • Cafardo also notes there’s a “growing sentiment” that the Padres will deal third baseman Chase Headley this winter.
  • It’s no secret the Tigers need a closer, and Joe Nathan and Brian Wilson are two names that have been closely linked to Detroit. It was reported earlier this week that there has been mutual interest between the Tigers and Nathan, but Buster Olney tweeted that the Tigers may prefer Wilson because of salary.
  • Right-hander Jeff Samardzija has the potential to be a building block for the Cubs moving forward, and David Kaplan is reporting that the Cubs have reached out to him about a contract extension. Samardzija, who will become a free agent after the 2015 season and turns 29 in January, had a 4.34 ERA last year and logged a career-high 213 2/3 innings.
  • Because of the unique structure of Bryce Harper‘s contract and some unresolved issues, the Washington Post‘s Adam Kilgore reports, Harper and the Nationals could be looking at a grievance hearing next winter.

– Joey Nowak

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

Giambi in, Perez out in Cleveland

The Indians wasted no time getting down to business on Thursday, re-signing designated hitter Jason Giambi to a Minor League deal and releasing closer Chris Perez.

The Tribe also traded for Minor League left-handed reliever Colt Hynes from the Padres for cash considerations.

Giambi was an important presence off the bench and in the clubhouse for the Indians this season and is expected to fulfill a similar role in 2014. He was signed to a Minor League deal with a non-roster invite to Major League Spring Training. The slugger hit three pinch-hit home runs and drove in 31 runs in 71 games (54 starts at DH), leading the club with an RBI per at bat ratio of 6.0ab/RBI in 2013.

Perez, the team’s former closer, struggled down the stretch in 2013 and was granted his unconditional release on Thursday. He will become a free agent after going 5-3 with a 4.33 ERA in 54 relief appearances.

– Joey Nowak

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