So far this offseason, the San Diego Padres have yet to make a change to their roster in trade or free agency.
According to Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune , that could change prior to players reporting to spring training next month.
Owner Jeff Moorad has already been quoted as saying the team has about $5 to $6 million to spend and with that money the team could go bargain hunting for a few free agents that are still on the market.
The Padres have had interest in Ausmus in the past under former general manager Kevin Towers and with Ausmus being a San Diego resident, it seems he would be a logical choice, not to mention a cheap option.
Ausmus finished the 2009 season with the Dodgers, in 95 at bats, hitting .295 with one home run and nine runs batted in and a .343 on base percentage.
Center lists another cheap backup option for the Padres' outfield, former Blue Jays' outfielder Reed Johnson.
After hitting .303 for the Chicago Cubs in 2008, his 2009 season was injury plagued and he finished the year hitting .255 in 165 at bats with four home runs and 22 runs batted in.
The trade talk centering around Kevin Kouzmanoff has all but died off, especially with teams meeting their third base needs with free agents Adrian Beltre and Miguel Tejada. The Twins have had interest in Kouzmanoff before, but both teams have not had discussions since just after the winter meetings.
The Padres are playing their cards close to their vest and not letting other teams, or the media, know what players they could be potentially after.
The team could decide to go with the players they have now and begin to make decisions during spring training. That way they get a chance to see what they still need, though the team could decide to fill their holes through their minor league system.
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