It doesn’t look like A.J. Preller and the Padres will be big spenders the way they were last winter, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes in a preview of the team’s offseason. Lin notes that starting pitcher Ian Kennedy is expected to decline his qualifying offer and test free agency. He also notes that the Padres still badly need a shortstop, and could also pursue a starting pitcher and outfielder, since Kennedy and Justin Upton seem likely to depart. James Shields and Derek Norris, meanwhile, could be potential trade candidates. Moving Shields and the $65MM remaining on his salary would give the Padres more flexibility (which means Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit could also be trade candidates). If Norris departs after a solid first season in San Diego, the Padres could hand the catching position to youngster Austin Hedges, a strong defender. Here’s more from the West divisions.
- The Athletics have announced a pair of promotions within their front office. They’ve promoted director of player personnel Billy Owens to assistant GM, director of player personnel. Director of professional scouting and baseball development Dan Feinstein, meanwhile, is now assistant GM, pro scouting and player personnel.
- The Angels have named Jose Molina their catching coordinator. As MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweets, that’s a new position for the organization. Gonzalez further clarifies that Molina will mostly be working with minor leaguers. On paper, this looks like a terrific hire for the Angels, since Molina had a rock-solid reputation as a pitch-framing catcher. Molina caught for the Angels for parts of seven seasons, mostly serving as his brother Bengie’s backup. The 40-year-old last appeared in the big leagues with the Rays in 2014.