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Friars show interest in dealing for Bruce

Looking for offense, new GM Preller inquires about two-time All-Star
MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Say this much about first-year Padres general manager A.J. Preller: He's apparently leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of offensive help.

Preller, looking to upgrade what was the worst offense in baseball last season, has been looking for help both domestically and internationally. The Padres have already had discussion this winter with first baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Pablo Sandoval, and they were also involved to some extent in talks with the Braves prior to last week's trade of outfielder Jason Heyward to the Cardinals.

SAN DIEGO -- Say this much about first-year Padres general manager A.J. Preller: He's apparently leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of offensive help.

Preller, looking to upgrade what was the worst offense in baseball last season, has been looking for help both domestically and internationally. The Padres have already had discussion this winter with first baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Pablo Sandoval, and they were also involved to some extent in talks with the Braves prior to last week's trade of outfielder Jason Heyward to the Cardinals.

The Padres are also showing strong interest in Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. MLB.com has learned the Padres and Braves have emerged as the leaders for the 24-year-old power bat.

Now it appears the Padres may have interest in Reds outfielder Jay Bruce.

A source told FoxSports.com that the Reds -- who are pursuing starting pitching -- have had preliminary discussions about trades involving Bruce, who will make $12.042 million in 2015 and $12.542 million in 2016. The report adds that Cincinnati has spoken with San Diego.

The Padres have four outfielders under contract for 2014: Carlos Quentin, Will Venable, Seth Smith and Cameron Maybin. Quentin and closer Joaquin Benoit, as it stands today, would be the highest-paid Padres at $8 million for 2015.

Bruce, 27, is a two-time All-Star who has eclipsed the 20-home run mark six times. He hit 18 in 137 games in 2014, a season cut short by arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Bruce is under team control through 2017.

The Padres have pitching to trade, though a source told MLB.com this week that the team -- which was once thought to be amendable to dealing either Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross to land offensive help -- is now giving strong consideration to keeping both.

Ian Kennedy, who won 13 games and topped 200 innings and 200 strikeouts last season, stands to make around $10 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility.

The Padres and Reds are no strangers to deals. In December of 2011, former Padres general manager Josh Byrnes sent pitcher Mat Latos to the Reds for pitchers Edinson Volquez and Brad Boxberger, first baseman Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter.

Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Jay Bruce