Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Padres' outfield depth draws trade interest

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Anyone need an outfielder?

The Padres have quite a few. And evidently, they're open for business.

SAN DIEGO -- Anyone need an outfielder?

The Padres have quite a few. And evidently, they're open for business.

It's widely believed the Padres will deal from their glut of outfielders this winter. At the GM Meetings in Carlsbad on Wednesday, Padres general manger A.J. Preller seemed to back that notion.

Latest offseason rumors

"Most conversations we're getting hit on, people are talking to us about our outfield," said Preller. "Other clubs have seen that we have players that are young and have the ability to play in the big leagues. ... That's the area we'll have to make some decisions and calls on."

A reminder of the Padres' current crop of outfielders:

Hunter Renfroe (trade candidate)
Franmil Reyes (trade candidate)
Wil Myers (trade candidate with a bulky contract)
Manuel Margot (unlikely to be dealt)
Franchy Cordero (unlikely to be dealt)
Travis Jankowski (trade candidate)
Francisco Mejia (a catcher who could move to the outfield part-time)

Among that group, the Padres are most likely to trade either Renfroe or Reyes. Myers has four years remaining on a back-loaded deal, and many feel the club would be selling low after an injury-plagued 2018 season. Margot and Cordero are high-upside, young options who can play center field.

As for Renfroe and Reyes, there's a bit of redundancy with the two. Both are slugging right-handed hitters, and neither is particularly good defensively. Together, they're blocking Myers' path back to the outfield from third base.

Renfroe broke out with an .805 OPS this season, and he led the team with 26 homers. Reyes, meanwhile, posted a .280/.340/.498 slash line in his rookie year, and he made serious strides during the second half. They're young, and they're controllable, and it's not out of the question that the Padres keep both.

But doing so would either turn Myers into trade bait or send him back to third base (where he struggled in 2017).

"What's the best opportunity to get the most out of Wil's ability?" Preller said. "Part of it is the roster construction. … I think we'll have a couple answers here in the next couple weeks as to what's best going forward."

Video: SD@LAD: Makita strikes out Utley swinging to end 7th

Makita clears waivers
The Padres' decision to designate Kazuhisa Makita for assignment last week was a pretty straightforward one. Makita is owed $1.9 million next season and is coming off a disappointing rookie campaign after seven years in Japan. He was never a threat to be claimed by an opposing club.

Sure enough, Makita cleared waivers on Wednesday and was outrighted to Triple-A El Paso. Preller insisted the move wasn't an indictment on Makita as much as a decision that came down to simple roster math.

"With Maki, taking him off the roster, part of that is, ultimately, you've got to take 40 guys," Preller said. "You look at your roster, and if there are guys you think you can get off the roster, that's part of the calculation as well."

Makita will compete for a bullpen spot in Spring Training, though his current standing as a Minor Leaguer makes that task significantly harder. He posted a 5.40 ERA in 43 big league innings last season.

Video: Must C Clutch: Galvis ties it, Mejia's slam wins it

Catchers for sale?
The Padres seem more than happy to enter the 2019 season with Mejia and Austin Hedges splitting time behind the plate. They also expect prospect Austin Allen to challenge for playing time.

With an excess of talented, young catchers, it makes sense that other teams have checked in with Preller on his backstop situation.

"That's clearly a spot that other teams are talking to us about," Preller said. "You always have to listen. Even if you're a championship club, you want to keep your eyes and ears open.

"At the catcher position, it's a hard spot to find talent, and we have three really good ones. We'll be listening. But short of anything significant, we'll go into camp with all three guys in big league camp and most likely have Mejia and Hedgy competing for the job or looking to share the job."

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

San Diego Padres