With Mike Clevinger now sidelined for the 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery, the Padres’ need for starting pitching is more pronounced, and the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee writes that the club is considering a range of rotation possibilities. This includes the very top of the free agent market, as “the Padres have let the agent for Trevor Bauer know they’d like to be kept apprised as his market evolves.” San Diego has also “spit-balled” the concept of trying to acquire Blake Snell from the Rays, as Tampa Bay is reportedly open to dealing the former AL Cy Young Award winner.
Other potential targets could include Japanese righty Tomoyuki Sugano (who will be posted this offseason) and possibly the Rangers’ Lance Lynn, who the Padres looked into acquiring at the trade deadline. Acee isn’t certain, however, whether the Padres have re-engaged with the Rangers about Lynn any more recently. While there is a certain amount of basic front office due diligence attached to the Padres’ interest in any of these pitchers, the fact that San Diego is at least open to major moves like a big expenditure on Bauer or trading a significant prospect package to land Snell is certainly indicative that the Padres are willing to think big as they look to contend in 2021.
More from the NL West…
- Diamondbacks assistant GM Jared Porter “is the heavy favorite” to become the Cubs’ next general manager, according to The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma (subscription required). Newly-minted Chicago president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has stated that he wants to make an external hire for the GM job in order to bring a fresh viewpoint into the Cubs’ front office, though Porter is still a known quantity, having previously worked with Hoyer in both Chicago and Boston. Other speculative general manager possibilities for the Cubs include another Diamondbacks AGM in Amiel Sawdaye, as well as former Marlins president of baseball ops Michael Hill.
- The Diamondbacks had a busy offseason last year, and general manager Mike Hazen “wouldn’t anticipate that type of a splash” this winter since “the majority of the work we did last offseason was for multiple years,” Hazen told The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan (subscription required). Many of those roster moves didn’t pan out during a last-place season for the team, but while Hazen said the Snakes are examining how and why they performed as they did in 2020, the smaller sample size of the shorter season is a factor in evaluation: “One of the lasting questions that we all have was what was real about the 60 games.” In terms of potential offseason needs, Hazen cited relief pitching, a right-handed hitting outfielder, and possibly third base, though Hazen is confident of a bounce-back year from Eduardo Escobar.
- Scott Oberg has begun a throwing program, The Athletic’s Nick Groke reports (Twitter link), as the Rockies right-hander is making his way back from undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in September. The hope is that the TOS surgery will finally solve the blood clotting issues that have plagued Oberg throughout his career, as he has undergone multiple procedures in the past. Oberg didn’t pitch at all in 2020, leaving Colorado without an important piece of its bullpen. In 2018-19, Oberg posted a 2.35 ERA, 3.29 K/BB rate, and 9.0 K/9 over 114 2/3 innings.