Are the GM’s meetings already starting to heat up?
The Padres are currently at the General Managers Meetings. Often much of the ground work for future moves begin before the Winter Meetings that start in December. Jed Hoyer and the front office brass could have a very busy off season with the questionable future’s of Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell, along with many holes including middle infield help. With the uncertainty of last years everyday Padre players such as, Free Agent Jerry Hairston Jr, David Eckstein and Miguel Tejada. That brings us to another question mark in Everth Cabrera. His heath issues along his atrocious campaign in 2010. The Padres have virtually no middle infield depth close and are looking to bolster their middle infield through trade or Free Agency.
The Padres have spoken to the Brewers “repeatedly” about their second-base prospect Brett Lawrie, who could be obtained for young pitching. While MLBtraderumors.com’s writer Ben Nicholson-Smith says,” The Brewers don’t want to trade top players for back-of-the-rotation starters, but teams are reluctant to include top young pitchers in potential deals.” There has been speculation starting pitching of the likes of one of Shaun Marcum or Brett Cecil of the Toronto Blue Jays might be potential candidates to acquire Lawrie.
One option for the Padres could be to trade for a pitcher, like a Matt Garza or James Shields from the Tampa Bay Rays who have an abundance of pitching. Trading Heath Bell to maximize Bell’s value now then flip him, for one of Garza or Shields to the Brewers to meet their starting pitching needs for Brett Lawrie. Of course the Padres just traded two quality arms in Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica however, some analysts speculate the Padres will still trade Bell because of money. The Padres have plenty of candidates to fill in middle relief roles and Jed Hoyer seems confident in either Mike Adams or Luke Gregerson to close in the near future. The Padres could also sign a relatively cheap Free Agent pitcher to fill the void. There are many attractive Free Agent pitchers who could be had at a bargain price, Trevor Hoffman anyone?
The Padres don’t have the Major League starting pitching depth to acquire Lawrie but would the Brewers settle for another young prospect in Simon Castro, or a package of players to bolster their pitching depth? The Padres could dangle Bell and possibly a back end of the rotation starter like LeBlanc. The Padres have Simon Castro, one of the more attractive young starting pitching prospects in all of Baseball according to Baseball America, Castro is rated number seventeenth overall, Brett Lawrie is number fifteen. The Padres also have young pitchers like Corey Luebke that projects to be a solid middle of the rotation starter and will be vying for a job in Spring Training for the number five spot in the starting rotation. Could the Padres dangle Luebke or LeBlanc along with other attractive young pitchers to entice the Brewers enough to give up their top prospect?
The Brewers locked up Corey Hart, have Ryan Braun in left field and General Manager Doug Melvin has floated the idea with Rickie Weeks about a new deal. Internally, there is some uncertainty among scouts where he fits defensively. Having said that, Lawrie