In his latest Padres mailbag, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune runs down a number of trade-related topics, beginning with taking stock of the team’s top chips. Lefty Brad Hand’s name has already surfaced as an early trade candidate, and also calls infielder Yangervis Solarte perhaps the likeliest position player to be dealt by San Diego. Lin also notes that after absorbing significant money in the trades of James Shields, Matt Kemp, Melvin Upton and others, the team isn’t interested in taking on a bad contract as a means of coercing a trade partner to surrender young talent. Unsurprisingly, Lin goes on to note that the Padres remain on the hunt for a longer-term option at shortstop. Allen Cordoba has hit surprisingly well for a 21-year-old making the jump directly from Rookie ball, but Lin suggests that the Friars don’t yet feel he’s ready to be an everyday MLB shortstop based on a small sample of work at the plate (and an even smaller sample at short).
More from the Senior Circuit…
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch spoke to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak about the team’s decision to option struggling outfielder Randal Grichuk to Class-A Adavanced Palm Beach as opposed to Triple-A Memphis. Mozeliak indicated that the drop to Class-A ball was about the specific people in Palm Beach with which Grichuk could work and also perhaps about trying something different with a player that has twice been optioned back to Triple-A in the past. “My feeling is, you’ve always heard me say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different outcome,” said the GM. “This is no different, so I really felt like we had to do something different here, and it’s outside the box, but he’ll work with (offensive strategist) George Greer for a week or so and see how things go.” As Goold also notes on Twitter, with extended Spring Training still in progress in nearby Jupiter, Grichuk will also have the opportunity to rack up extra at-bats on the back fields.
- Despite the fact that right-hander Robert Gsellman will move to the bullpen in the near future when Steven Matz and Seth Lugo join the rotation, the Mets still view him as a starting pitcher in the long term, writes Danny Knobler for MLB.com. Manager Terry Collins expressed firm belief that Gsellman will be a “quality starter” in the Majors, but for the time being he’ll be relied upon to help in the ’pen. Gsellman will still get at least one more start this weekend, Knobler writes, and Collins pointed out that the righty could even return to the rotation in 2017 when Zack Wheeler’s innings count climbs to the point where the Mets need to cut back his innings.
- Braves GM John Coppolella chatted with FOX’s Ken Rosenthal about James Loney’s abbreviated tenure in his organization. Loney was signed almost immediately in the wake of Freddie Freeman’s wrist fracture, but he was granted his release four days later after the Braves landed Matt Adams from the Cardinals. Coppolella tells Rosenthal that the Braves were not yet engaged with the Cardinals in trade talks when Loney was signed and wasn’t sure the Adams deal would get done even after negotiations with St. Louis kicked off. The Atlanta GM added that Loney was offered the option to remain with Triple-A Gwinnett and showcase for the other 29 teams, but Loney and his reps elected to once again explore the open market.