Recent rumors have connected the Padres to Stephen Strasburg and Cole Hamels. Both hail from San Diego, but both are only trade candidates and it takes two to tango in those transactions and the Padres might have to give up a lot in terms of prospects to get either. James Shields is a free agent that could upgrade the rotation. He would only cost money (which Strasburg and Hamels will get plenty of as well) and a 2015 1st round draft pick. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal connected the Friars to the World Series Game 1 starter in a tweet today:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Source: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Padres?src=hash">#Padres</a> on periphery of Shields sweepstakes, unlikely to land him. Teams with heaviest interest still unclear.</p>— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/558246582156820481">January 22, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Not exactly the juiciest rumor, but being on the periphery is a start. Perhaps Preller is just biding his time. I personally think the organization would be in better shape with Shields rather than trading for Hamels or Strasburg. Any of the 3 would be a big upgrade to the rotation since Odrisamer Despaigne and Robbie Erlin are nowhere near as talented let alone accomplished as the 3 potential targets.