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Padres continue to monitor offseason market

Club hasn't ruled out late acquisitions before camp starts
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- It's time to begin familiarizing yourself with the Padres' 2017 roster. According to general manager A.J. Preller, it probably isn't going to change much between now and Feb. 14, when pitchers and catchers report to the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona for Spring Training.

"In general, we're pretty close to this being the group that we're going to go into Spring Training with," Preller said. "If we end up signing another guy or two, so be it. We're still looking -- you're always looking from a pro scouting standpoint. But more or less, this is the group we're going to go in with, I think."

SAN DIEGO -- It's time to begin familiarizing yourself with the Padres' 2017 roster. According to general manager A.J. Preller, it probably isn't going to change much between now and Feb. 14, when pitchers and catchers report to the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona for Spring Training.

"In general, we're pretty close to this being the group that we're going to go into Spring Training with," Preller said. "If we end up signing another guy or two, so be it. We're still looking -- you're always looking from a pro scouting standpoint. But more or less, this is the group we're going to go in with, I think."

Of course, this is A.J. Preller we're talking about. In his three years as general manager, he hasn't been one to shy away from a deal. But it's hard to see where, exactly, the Padres could still make a big splash.

The two areas they're still looking to address are largely depth concerns. They'd like to add a shortstop to compete with Luis Sardinas for the starting job. And they're open to adding another starting pitcher to the mix of nine candidates currently competing for five jobs.

Video: SD@ARI: Sardinas makes a great running grab

"There's always opportunity to add somebody," Preller said, "even as you get into camp."

Padres fans should know that well. Last year, Christian Friedrich signed on March 3. He went on to lead the team in starts and is a favorite for a rotation spot entering the 2017 season.

Video: COL@SD: Friedrich's 10 strikeouts in 10 seconds

Two years ago, Preller waited until one day before the season to pull off a trade with Atlanta for closer Craig Kimbrel.

This time around, the Padres could very well add a starting pitcher in the latter stages of free agency. They've been rumored with veterans Jered Weaver, Doug Fister and fan-favorite Jake Peavy.

But on the trade front, a move for a shortstop appears far likelier.

"It's going to be an area we continue looking at as we get into Spring Training," Preller said. "My guess is before Spring Training, we're probably going to stay with the group that is, with Sardinas and [Allen] Cordoba and Dusty Coleman. That crew will come in and have the chance to compete. But realistically, it'll be something that we'll still be looking at in Spring Training, comparing what's out there, most likely via trade, versus what we have in-house."

Video: CHC@KC: Coleman smacks an opposite-field two-run shot

Of course, just because the Padres probably won't make a major splash, doesn't mean they've got their Opening Day roster figured out. In fact, the opposite is true, as plenty of questions need to be answered before the season opener in Los Angeles on April 3.

Who starts at second? Who cracks the rotation? Who wins the available outfield jobs?

"There's a lot of questions to answer," said Padres manager Andy Green during Monday's press conference to announce Wil Myers' extension. "But there's a lot of interesting baseball players that are young and under team control for a long time, that have talent."

Blash clears waivers

Padres outfielder Jabari Blash cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A El Paso on Wednesday. The right-handed slugger batted .169 with three homers in his rookie season.

Blash will still have the chance to compete for a roster spot this spring, but it would seem to be an uphill battle for him. Alex Dickerson, Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot are the early favorites to earn the four available outfield spots.

Blash arrived in San Diego via the Rule 5 Draft last season and struggled mightily before missing the final month and a half with a hand injury. He was designated for assignment Friday to clear room on the 40-man roster for right-hander Trevor Cahill, who signed a one-year deal.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Jabari Blash