It's been about a week since mlbtraderumors posted the Bill Shaikin tweet linking the Padres to Mark Trumbo, so you can be sure there's been some rumblings since. Of course, they cover the basics. The Padres made that minor trade of Colt Hynes to the Indians for cash considerations. A yawn-worthy move considered the club had already designated the lefty reliever for assignment. And of course they have let us know about Brad Ausmus getting hired as the Detroit Tigers manager and Padres' bench coach Rich Renteria getting hired as the Chicago Cubs manager. But those are not the stories I want to talk about.
A few days ago, MLBTR referenced a tweet by ESPN's Jim Bowden that talked about a conversation had with Padres GM Josh Byrnes.
Josh Byrnes told us the Padres biggest needs this off-season include; 1. LH Reliever 2. LH Bat 3. Better Health 4. General Up-Grades— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 4, 2013
For all you How I Met Your Mother fans, please take a moment to salute General Upgrades. Anyway, this is a mild interesting list. Despite the Padres trading Joe Thatcher and Colt Hynes and outrighting Tommy Layne to the minors, the team is interested in signing a lefty reliever. The MLBTR posting mentioned some names that could be in contention for the job via free agent signing: J.P. Howell (last seen with the Dodgers), Manny Parra (Reds) and Oliver Perez (Mariners).
Howell was a pretty effective lefty specialist for the NLCS losing Dodgers. The smart money would probably be that he returns to L.A. at a price most wouldn't consider paying for a bullpen arm.
Parra and Perez both have had problematic pasts alternating between successful stretches and painful performances. The Friar Faithful should recognize Perez from his early days with the Padres. Back then he was a 20 year old fireballer that excited the club alongside Jake Peavy. However in order to acquire an experienced middle of the order bat in Brian Giles, the team dealt him to the Pirates on the back of a shaky sophomore season. At the right price it'd be nice to see him back in a Padres uni.
The other posting worthy of mention is the list of non-tender candidates. Players that clubs may make free agents instead of offering them a salary and potentially going to arbitration over it. Here's the list. One Padres player shows up on the list: Jesus Guzman. Guzzy has had his moments with the Padres, but his defensive liabilities, increasing salary and a couple of other younger, cheaper options make a non-tender a possibility.
Another interesting name on the list is former Padre Joe Thatcher. The Queen Of The Run Fairies didn't fare too well with the Diamondbacks after the Padres traded him for Ian Kennedy. After those struggles, Arizona may see his projected $2 million salary as too pricey and non-tender. It would be amusing if the Padres picked him up (for cheaper that $2 million) to fill their want for a lefty reliever.
It's also worth mentioning that a non-tendered Seth Smith (A's) might be nice way to fill the #2 offseason need mentioned above of a LH bat. I don't foresee Oakland non-tendering him though. Garrett Jones (Pirates) would be another, but he is coming off a down 2013 season. If we consider actual free agents then OF David Murphy is coming off a similar such season, but has been a solid lefty bat in the past. OF Nate McLouth had a career revitalization in Baltimore and the Padres would have to flash some cash to sign him. Eric Chavez is a Mt. Carmel grad that could back up 1B and 3B. Luke Scott, Travis Hafner, Carlos Pena, Lyle Overbay, Justin Morneau, James Loney, Eric Hinske, Rick Ankiel, Raul Ibanez, Laynce Nix and Greg Dobbs all certainly bat left handed, but each come with their own issues.
To finish up the recap, MLBTR retread some ground on the Chase Headley speculation front. Yahoo's Tim Brown had a tweet saying the same thing we had heard before about the Padres holding Headley for now.