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A.J. Preller interview with Darren Smith

My notes from Thursday's interview

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Preller interview with Darren Smith (MP3)

  • GM meetings were a whirlwind for Preller.  He's starting to get a sense of how the marketplace is going to play out.  There wasn't much time to reflect on attending for the first time as a GM.  He's trying to figure out some moves to improve the ball club.
  • There's not a ton of depth on the free agent market.  The trade market however is a topic of discussion.  Whether the trade market is going to be active this off-season, it is hard to say.
  • Preller will listen to any trade offers.  There have been trade rumors about pitchers Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross as well as catchers Yasmani Grandal and Rene Rivera.  They are the strength of the Padres ball club so it makes sense that other teams are interested.  Preller says "From our standpoint we're open to at least hearing but we view it as a strength where we're looking to build around those guys."
  • There are no untouchable players in the Padres system but there are different tiers.  If teams wanted to obtain certain players they would have to make a "knock your socks off" offer.
  • Preller inherited pitching depth.  The organization also has prospects that they think can develop into every day major league players.  "It's our job to build on that."
  • Yasmany Tomas is a right handed power threat at 23 years old.  He's had great success on the Cuban club.  He could play in a corner outfield spot.  Whether he'll go straight into the major leagues, that's up to the team that gets him to decide.  The scouting department has made a commitment to do their homework on players.  "There's a lot of discussion going on for us, it's not focused on one player in particular."  Preller won't say if the Padres made an offer to Tomas.
  • Rumors say Carlos Quentin would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to become a DH for an American League club.  Preller won't confirm that, only saying that Quentin wants to continue to play.