The Padres are “determined to add a starter,” according to Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic. With a slew of young pitchers comprising the Friars’ current rotation—Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, and Chris Paddack—and the addition of Manny Machado driving the team’s desire to win now, San Diego is a natural fit for a veteran starter to anchor an otherwise inexperienced pitching staff. Dallas Keuchel, of course, remains unsigned and fits the profile, though he and agent Scott Boras have remained firm on their asking price, which the Padres have thus far refused to meet. Rosenthal and Lin also mention Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman as a potential trade target. Stroman, who endured a disappointing 2018 campaign, remains a strong candidate to be traded at some point this season, though it remains unclear just how quickly the Padres plan to move in their hunt for a starter. As Rosenthal and Lin note, trades this early in the season are uncommon, though Keuchel remains on the table for the Padres if they can reach a compromise on the price tag.
Here’s the latest from around baseball…
- Following the revelation that MLB teams award a belt to the team that best suppresses its players’ arbitration salaries, several players—including Jameson Taillon, Chris Archer, and Anthony Rizzo—offered their thoughts on the news, in pieces from Nubyjas Wilborn of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Rizzo and others provide insight into the shaky relationship between the players and owners, also commenting on the possibility of a work stoppage when the current CBA expires.
- Mariners manager Scott Servais said that reliever Hunter Strickland, who suffered a grade 2 lat strain and was recently placed on the 10-day IL, will be out “at least a couple months,” per Greg Johns of MLB.com. In the meantime, then, it appears that Servais and the Mariners will adopt a committee approach to the closer situation, though the current bullpen options for Seattle are not particularly inspiring, with Cory Gearrin at the forefront of a thin group.
- Rockies fans may have had some concerns after right-handed pitcher Jon Gray left Sunday’s start against the Marlins in the seventh inning after meeting with the team’s trainer on the mound. However, Nick Groke of The Athletic tweets some good news for Colorado, as Gray was merely experiencing calf cramps and is expected to be ready for his next scheduled start.