Padres mostly set, approach Meetings calm
Wheeling and dealing largely out of the way, with lefty reliever biggest need
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Welcome to the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. We're a stone's throw from theme parks like Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, but this week, the main attractions here will be all the deals, moves and rumors at the center of the baseball world.
It would be an understatement to say the offseason didn't wait for the Winter Meetings to get started this year. Already there have been major free agents signed, massive trades pulled off and movement throughout the Majors. After an outrageously busy stretch last week, one probably can't help but wonder what's left to be done here at the Winter Meetings.
The Padres were one of those teams wheeling and dealing early on. They bolstered their rotation by signing right-hander Josh Johnson, and they addressed their need for a left-handed bat by trading Luke Gregerson to the A's for outfielder Seth Smith.
San Diego still needs a left-handed reliever, improvement on the bench and some sense of organization in the bullpen. Otherwise, the Padres' 2014 roster is close to complete, setting up what could be a comparatively quiet week for general manager Josh Byrnes and the rest of San Diego's front office.
But Byrnes has made moves at recent Winter Meetings. He traded for closer Huston Street in 2011 and kicked off last year's meetings by re-signing pitcher Jason Marquis. And considering their depth of pitching and corner outfielders/first basemen, the Padres could attempt to further upgrade their roster through trades.
MLB.com will be on the scene all week, with all 30 teams covered from the time club officials begin to filter in Sunday night until the Rule 5 Draft ends and everyone heads home Thursday afternoon.
In addition to reporting on all the news and rumors coming out of Central Florida, MLB.com will hand out its Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards and talk to every Major League manager, including San Diego's Bud Black. The skippers will chat with the media to offer their insights on how their respective teams are shaping up over the offseason, and Black's media availability is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT.
Fans are welcome and encouraged to weigh in as well. Feel free to drop by the comments section on Padres.com this week with suggestions for what the team should do and what you'd like to hear from Byrnes, Black and Co. What's left for the Padres to do? Do you want to see them make a big move and try to trade Chase Headley? How do you see their bullpen shaking out? Who could they add, or perhaps send elsewhere, to push them into the thick of the NL West race?
All signs point to the Padres flying under the radar this week. But when the Winter Meetings roll into town, anything can happen.