Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune shares a few Padres hot stove items in his weekly chat with readers...
- The Padres are interested in Dan Haren, though "it's going to be a wait and see game" if Haren is available in San Diego's price range. We've heard that teams are hesitant to offer Haren more than two years due to lingering questions about Haren's health, so the Padres could get an edge by offering Haren two years (or even two years with an option). Haren is from southern California and has "an excellent working relationship" with Padres GM Josh Byrnes from their time together with the Diamondbacks.
- Shaun Marcum is the Padres' secondary pitching target after Haren, Center reports.
- Center thinks the Padres are more likely to acquire a starting pitcher in a trade rather than in free agency, which fits with what Byrnes told MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith earlier this month at the General Managers' meetings. Center thinks if the Padres traded for a lower-tier, "classic risk-reward acquisition" pitcher like Ubaldo Jimenez, the club could have more payroll space left to sign the likes of a Haren.
- The Padres aren't likely to pick up a major bat this winter, Center believes.
- Center also shoots down the likelihood of the Padres trading for Giancarlo Stanton, Jeremy Hellickson and Ricky Nolasco, with the first two carrying too great a cost in prospects while Nolasco is too expensive and only under contract through 2013.
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