Reliever Brad Hand is the most sought-after trade chip the Padres have had since A.J. Preller took over as their general manager in 2014, reports AJ Cassavell of MLB.com. “Half the league or more” has called about Hand, a team source told Cassavell, which helps explain the Padres’ reportedly high asking price for the southpaw. San Diego feels as though it’s justified in seeking a significant return for Hand, per Cassavell, as the 27-year-old has been among the majors’ top relievers since breaking out last season and comes with affordable control through the 2019 campaign.
- One of Hand’s teammates, second baseman/third baseman Yangervis Solarte, is also a trade candidate, but Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune doesn’t expect the Padres to move him. Rumors connecting Solarte to other clubs have mostly been speculative, tweets Lin, who notes that the 30-year-old’s injury status seems to decrease the likelihood of a trade. He has been out for over a month with a strained oblique, and a return doesn’t look imminent as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. The switch-hitting Solarte hasn’t taken right-handed batting practice yet, which could change this weekend, and will still need to go on a rehab assignment after that happens.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters Saturday that he’s unsure whether the 46-50 club will buy over the next week-plus. If they do, though, Daniels indicated that the Rangers will seek controllable starting pitching, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Everyone wants controllable starting pitching, so that’s not surprising, but it’s clear Texas needs it more than a lot of other teams do. After all, three members of the Rangers’ rotation – Yu Darvish, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross – are scheduled to become free agents after the season.
- A couple of injury updates on the Dodgers, courtesy of J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter links): First baseman Adrian Gonzalez should return before Sept. 1, but outfielder Andre Ethier likely won’t. Back problems have been ruinous to both veterans this year – Gonzalez has been out since early June, and Ethier hasn’t played at all.