San Diego Padres Offseason Tracker: Hottest Trade Rumors, Free Agency News

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2013

San Diego Padres Offseason Tracker: Hottest Trade Rumors, Free Agency News

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    The San Diego Padres surprised many by finishing third place in the National League West, and this offseason will give the organization a chance to keep building.

    Third baseman Chase Headley didn't have the type of season that many expected. That makes this offseason very interesting for the franchise as it will have to decide what to do with the 29-year-old. San Diego could try to lock him up, or it could try to dangle the third baseman on the trading block.

    San Diego has some good building blocks in place. Headley, Yonder Alonso, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross have all shown promise. If they continue to improve, they could be key parts of getting the Padres back in contention.

    This tracker will be updated daily with any rumors and deals that the Padres are involved in, so stay tuned to see what San Diego does this offseason.

San Diego's Own Free Agents and Done Deals

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    Done Deals

    Nov. 19: RHP Josh Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Padres

    Nov 20: RHP Ben Paullus acquired from the New York Yankees in exchange for INF Dean Anna

    Nov. 25: Acquired RHP Devin Jones from Baltimore Orioles in exchange for RHP Brad Brach

    Nov. 25: Acquired 1B/OF Alex Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Miles Mikolas and OF Jaff Decker

    Dec. 3: Acquired OF Seth Smith from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHP Luke Gregerson, via @Oak_AllDay

    Dec. 11: Traded RHP Anthony Bass and cash to the Houston Astros in exchange for LHP Patrick Schuster (Rule 5 pick)

    Dec. 18: Signed RHP Joaquin Benoit to a two-year, $15.5 million deal

    Dec. 18: Acquired INF Ryan Jackson from the Houston Astros in exchange for 1B/OF Jesus Guzman

     

    Free Agents

    2B/SS Ronny Cedeno (Age 31)

    2013 stats (with HOU and SD): 89 G, .242/.287/.330, 3 HR, 8 2B, 3 3B, 21 RBI, 14 BB, 73 K

    2013 stats (with SD): 38 G, .268/.318/.366, 2 HR, 2 2B, 2 3B, 9 RBI, 8 BB, 31 K

    RHP Jason Marquis (Age 35)

    2013 stats: 20 GS, 117.2 IP, 9-5, 111 H, 18 HR, 72 K/68 BB

    LHP Clayton Richard (Age 30)

    2013 stats: 12 G/11 GS, 52.2 IP, 2-5, 7.01 ERA, 65 H, 13 HR, 24 K/21 BB

    1B/OF Mark Kotsay (Age 37)

    2013 stats: 104 G, .194/.253/.226, 1 HR, 2 2B, 12 RBI, 13 BB, 25 K

    Status: Will retire

     

     

Arbitration Eligible Players

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    Tendered

    1B/LF Kyle Blanks

    SS Everth Cabrera

    RHP Andrew Cashner

    RHP Luke Gregerson (Dec. 3: Traded to the Oakland A's for OF Seth Smith, via @Oak_AllDay)

    1B/LF Jesus Guzman

    3B Chase Headley 

    RHP Ian Kennedy

    RHP Tyson Ross

    RHP Tim Stauffer (Dec. 2: Signed a one-year, $1.6 million deal, via FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal)

    LHP Eric Stults (Dec. 2: Signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal, via FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal)

    *via MLB.com's Corey Brock

Dec. 18: RHP Joaquin Benoit Signed a Two-Year Deal with the Padres

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    Reliever Joaquin Benoit will be wearing a Padres uniform next season, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that Benoit gets a two-year, $15.5 million deal.

    Benoit had a 2.01 ERA and a 1.030 WHIP with the Detroit Tigers in 2013. He went 4-1 with 24 saves and struck out 73 batters in 67 innings over 66 games. 

    Perhaps the biggest reason the Tigers didn't make the World Series was their bullpen. However, Benoit was a force at the end of the game.

    The right-hander has had an ERA below 3.00 in three of the past four seasons.

    San Diego traded Luke Gregerson to Oakland earlier this offseason, so it was looking for someone to help get the ball to Huston Street. Benoit showed that he is a very good reliever with performance in 2013.

Dec. 12: Acquired LHP Patrick Schuster (Rule 5) from the Houston Astros

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    The Houston Astros selected left-handed pitcher Patrick Schuster from the Arizona Diamondbacks organization with the first pick in 2013 Rule 5 draft, and the Astros then traded Schuster to the San Diego Padres in exchange for cash to complete the trade for Anthony Bass.

    Schuster has spent five seasons in Arizona's organization, but he has yet to make it past Single-A.

    In 2013, Schuster had his best season in the minors. The 23-year-old posted a 1.83 ERA and a 1.083 WHIP in 44.1 innings, spanning 55 appearances.

    The Padres will pay the southpaw $50,000 and he must stay on the 25-man roster for the entire season. If not, they must offer him back to the Diamondbacks for $25,000.

Dustin Ackley: Possible Trade Target

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    The Padres have inquired about the Seattle Mariners' Dustin Ackley, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

    Ackley has struggled at the plate in his first three seasons, but he is still very young. The 25-year-old did a good job of bouncing back from a poor 2012 season.

    He hit .253/.319/.341 with four home runs, 18 doubles and two triples in 2013. He has a career slash line of .245/.315/.354.

    The No. 2 pick in the 2009 draft has been moved around in the field. He came up as a second baseman, but he has played center field and first base.

    San Diego checked in on Ackley, but it's not clear if the talks went anywhere. The New York Yankees and the New York Mets also inquired on Ackley.

Chase Headley: Extension Candidate, Padres Plan to Keep Third Baseman

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    After the San Diego Padres decided not to give third baseman Chase Headley a big extension after the 2012 season, the team looks pretty smart right now. However, now it must decide what to do with him.

    *Update: Monday, Dec. 9 at 10:55 a.m. ET

    The Padres don't expect to trade Headley, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

    ---End of update---

    *Update: Monday, Dec. 2 at 5:54 p.m. ET

    Peter Gammons reported that although talks about a contract extension for Chase Headley aren't progressing, the team will wait until at least June before looking to trade the third baseman. That gives Headley time to rebuild some of his value, and the Padres could get more from a team desperate for help in the middle of the season.

    San Diego could also keep him through the 2014 season and take its chances in free agency. It could always extend a qualifying offer, which would make it tougher for him to sign elsewhere.

    ---End of update---

    *Update: Sunday, Nov. 17 at 12:20 p.m. ET

    The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo wrote that there is "growing sentiment" that the Padres will trade Headley this offseason. Although they are able to increase their payroll, they believe that they could address a few different needs by dealing their third baseman.

    ---End of update---

    *Update: Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 3:50 p.m. ET

    CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reported that the Padres do indeed plan to meet with Headley's agents at the GM meetings in Orlando, Fla., this week. If it doesn't appear that a deal can be reached, the team will explore the idea of trading him.

    ---End of update---

    *Update: Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 12:15 a.m. ET

    Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted that the Padres are likely to discuss a possible extension with Headley at the GM meetings this week. However, there are no signs that any extension has ever been close to getting done.

    ---End of update---

    *Update: Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 8:50 p.m. ET

    Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that the Padres would like to keep Headley.

    San Diego hopes that his strong finish to the season will lead to a good year in 2014. Headley hit .305 with five home runs in September, so he may be back on track.

    ---End of update---

    Headley is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2014 season. The team can do one of three things: sign him to an extension, let him play out the season and hit the market or trade him.

    He won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in 2012, when he also led the league in RBI. He hit .286/.376/.498 with 31 home runs, 31 doubles, two triples and 115 RBI that year. Those are incredible numbers, especially considering he plays 81 games at Petco Park.

    It looked like he was in line for a big contract after the season, but nothing ever happened.

    Looking back, the Padres look smart for not giving him a huge deal. The 29-year-old hit only .250/.347/.400 with 13 homers, 35 doubles and 50 RBI this past season.

    Headley has 80 home runs and 369 RBI in his seven-year career. Keep in mind 31 homers and 115 RBI came in one year, which means he has 49 dingers and 254 RBI in the other six years combined.

    San Diego won't be able to get as much for him this offseason as it could have last year. Now the club must decide what to do with its third baseman as he approaches the final year of his contract.

Dec. 3: Acquired Outfielder Seth Smith from the Oakland Athletics

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    Age: 31

    Bats: L

    2013 Stats: .253/.329/.391, 8 HR, 27 2B, 40 RBI

    Contract Status: Eligible for arbitration, under team control through 2014

     

    The San Diego Padres have acquired outfielder Seth Smith from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHP Luke Gregerson, according to @Oak_AllDay.

    Smith has had good numbers in his career and should help San Diego's offense. The 31-year-old hit .253/.329/.391 with eight home runs and 27 doubles in 117 games. He has a career slash line of .265/.342/.456 in seven seven major league seasons.

    The left-handed hitter has experience inside of the NL West. He played for the Colorado Rockies from 2007 to 2011. He hit .293 in 2009 and .284 in 2011. His average dropped down to .246 in two seasons in Oakland, but coming back to the NL West should help him out.

    Smith has shown the ability to hit for a solid average and add some pop.

    He has shown the ability to play every outfield position, but he will likely be used at the corners. 

    It's a solid pickup for the Padres. The team needed help on offensive and used one of its arms to get a bat.

Padres' Top Priority: Left-Handed Hitter

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    MLB.com's Corey Brock tweeted that the Padres' top priority this offseason is to add a left-handed hitter.

    If the team decides to move Chase Headley, he could bring back a left-handed hitter. It's not clear who the team is targeting.

    As always, it could be tough to attract free agents to Petco Park. It's not the best park for hitters, but players who hit for average may be intrigued by playing in San Diego.

    The team already added a starting pitcher, so it's main target will now be offense.

     

Josh Johnson: Signed a One-Year Deal with the San Diego Padres

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    Josh Johnson used to be one of the best pitchers in baseball, but now he is looking for somewhere to pitch next season.

    *Update: Nov. 20 at 12 a.m. ET

    Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan reported that the Padres will have a $4 million club option for 2015 if Johnson makes fewer than seven starts in 2014.

    MLBTradeRumors.com's Tim Dierkes reported that Johnson can make an additional $1.25 million in incentives if he makes 26 starts next season.

    ---End of update---

    *Update: Nov. 19 at 11:30 p.m. ET

    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported that Josh Johnson has signed a one-year deal worth $8 million.

    The right-hander is 0-1 with a 7.43 ERA in three starts at Petco Park. He will move from a hitter's ballpark to a pitcher's park and from the AL to the NL, both of which should help his numbers.

    ---End of update---

    Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Johnson told the Padres and the San Francisco Giants that they were his first choice. Schulman also believes that Johnson is looking for a one-year deal, most likely so he could prove that he is healthy and more effective than he was in 2013.

    The right-hander struggled in his only season with the Blue Jays. He went 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA and allowed 15 home runs in 81.1 innings. 

    The 29-year-old is 58-45 with a 3.40 ERA through the first nine years of his career. He has pitched for the Florida/Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays

    Johnson has dealt with injuries throughout his career. He made at least 28 starts only three times in his career, 

     

Ronny Cedeno: Free Agent

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    After Ronny Cedeno was officially listed as a free agent, MLB.com's Corey Brock believes the infielder could still return to the club.

    The Padres are expected to look at other infield options for the bench, but Cedeno impressed after taking over for Everth Cabrera. After his average dropped in every month since the start of the season, Cedeno hit .273 in August and .265 in September.

    There are other options available in free agency, but Cedeno could be back with the Padres next season. 

Clayton Richard: Free Agent

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    Clayton Richard has refused an outright assignment and will become a free agent, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

    Although his 4.16 ERA over parts of five seasons with the Padres is nothing special, Richard looked good for most of his time with the club. Before struggling mightily this year, he had posted an ERA below 4.00 in three consecutive seasons.

    Richard showed promising signs, but he was unable to stay healthy. He made more than 20 starts only twice, and he topped 200 innings in both of those seasons. 

    The southpaw missed most of this season with a shoulder injury, and he decided to move in another direction after he was outrighted.