With just over a month to go before Major League Baseball's trade deadline, the San Diego Padres and general manager Jed Hoyer know that there is work still to be done.
He knows that the team must make a trade for an outfielder, or just a productive bat, for this team to stay ahead in the NL West and make some noise in the playoffs. What he's not going to do is show his cards, regardless of how many time fans want to know what he's planning on doing.
If you live in the San Diego area, you might have heard Darren Smith on 1090 AM in San Diego interview Hoyer on several occasions. What remains humorous to me is how many times fans want to know who he's going after.
Just so we're clear on this Padres fans, Hoyer is not going to come out and tell you who he's going after because you know as well as I do that other teams will find that quote and make sure he doesn't get the players he's after.
So that being said, let's get to the speculation about who Hoyer could or could not be looking at, including players that may be on their way out of San Diego.
I'm not going keep this short and sweet. With the Padres currently leading the division over both the Giants and the Dodgers, you can pretty much guarantee that Adrian Gonzalez is going to be with the team through the rest of this season.
What happens after the 2010 season concludes is another question that won't be answered until possibly late November or early December. But as of right now, Adrian isn't going anywhere.
Heath Bell only has a month left in a Padre uniform. Yes, Padre fans, you heard me right. Bell will be the first one on the move because if you want to get that bat you covet so much, you need to give something to get something. The only player that will land you the bat you need is the current Padres' closer.
Don't get all excited on me and start to freak out about who's going to be the team's new closer if Bell is shipped elsewhere. Mike Adams and the rest of the Padres' bullpen cast, have done a phenomenal job out of the bullpen and can handle the closing duties just fine.
While Adams seems to be the odds on favorite to take over the role, the Padres could do a closer by committee until they find the right guy for the job and still be just fine.
This is one name that's been thrown around in the rumors as of late. Though he's having quite a year in Cleveland, hitting .283 with seven home runs and driving in 32, he's only hitting .217 (10/46) against National League clubs this season.
You have to wonder, with those kind of numbers can he be a productive hitter in Petco Park, a by now infamous pitcher's park?
David DeJesus is another outfielder that is getting a lot of run in the rumor sheets over the past few weeks. Although the Padres might have interest in him, so do the Giants, Angels, and Dodgers so the Padres are definitely not alone in their possible chase.
But, one snag in landing the Royals outfielder is Kansas City is in no way obligated to trade him for one reason. His $6 million price tag for next season isn't exactly "expensive" for the team to handle.
Ok, I will admit that this is probably a complete long shot but I'll take a stab at it anyway.
The Rangers are currently going through bankruptcy hearings and after a judge's ruling yesterday, it seems unlikely at this point that the team can continue their chase of either Houston's Roy Oswalt or Seattle's Cliff Lee.
That being said, the Padres and Rangers are no strangers to each other when it comes to being trade partners. Let's not forget, it was the Rangers that gave the Padres a nicely wrapped Christmas gift in the form of Gonzalez and Chris Young.
So what's stopping the Padres from possibly dangling Bell and a mid-level prospect or two in front of Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and asking what it would take to pry Josh Hamilton away from them?
Again, I understand that this a slim to none possibility, but it's worth a phone call from Hoyer, don't you agree?
Back in December of last year, the Padres flirted with the idea of signing Coco Crisp to a one-year deal and even came close to an agreement. However, according to reports, Crisp backed out and instead signed a two-year deal with the Oakland A's.
Well, seems karma has intervened and the A's could be looking to either deal or trade Crisp at the deadline. Though his $5.75 million option for next season isn't exactly expensive for the A's to exercise, his lack of on the field time due to injury is motivation enough to find a trade partner.
While the Padres may have flirted with him about seven months ago, don't expect those flirtations to pick back up again this time around.
Padres fans will know this name well as Xavier Nady has all ready had a stint with the Padres from 2003 to 2005 before being traded to the New York Mets for, yes you guessed it, Heath Bell.
Now, with the Cubs ready to deal certain pieces of their roster, Nady could be a player that the Padres could have for cheap. I'm not against it as I've been a fan of his while he was in San Diego. It was unfortunate that Nady never really got a shot to show what he could do, but maybe another shot shouldn't really be out of the question.
He's a cheap option and won't cost the Padres more than a possible low to mid-level prospect. He's currently hitting .262 with four home runs through 49 games with the Cubs.
Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham, Nyjer Morgan
Three players that could become available if the Washington Nationals slide any further away from the top of the NL East are Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham, and Nyjer Morgan.
However, the Nationals don't seem quite ready to become sellers just yet, especially with their new ticket seller, Stephen Strasburg.
The team has been in talks with Dunn about a two-year extension since spring training but the two sides haven't agreed on a deal as of yet. They've had ample opportunities to deal Willingham over the last year and change but seem unwilling to do just that, so where does that leave Morgan?
All three of these players, especially Willingham and Morgan, are going to get interest from teams looking for an outfielder but the way things look at this point, the Nationals seem just fine hanging on to them.
With the Padres having a plethora of pitching out of the bullpen, and with their apparent willingness to deal Bell, why not look at guy like outfielder Cody Ross?
He's currently hitting .287 with six home runs and 41 runs driven in. He could be the kind of player that the Padres would be looking for.