Padres set to convert on face-to-face Meetings

GM Preller has laid groundwork for deals; can Friars acquire offensive upgrade?

Padres set to convert on face-to-face Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- For the last two months, Padres general manager A.J. Preller has had phone conversations and exchanged emails with other front-office executives and agents in regards to finding potential fits to upgrade the team's woeful offense.

Starting on Monday, Preller and his front-office team will be able to conduct business in a face-to-face fashion, as baseball's annual Winter Meetings commence here, only a long fly ball from Petco Park.

Thus far, the Padres -- who have made no secret their desire to bolster their offense -- have done mostly legwork on potential deals, as Preller has cast a wide net in terms of exploring possible fits, both on the free-agent market (not as likely) and trade market (much more likely).

Could the Padres be active this week in their own backyard?

So far, Preller has made only one minor move, signing veteran infielder Clint Barmes to a one-year deal with a club option for 2016 for middle infield depth.

That's not to say Preller hasn't been active; the team offered big money, six years and also in excess of $100 million to free agent Pablo Sandoval, who signed with the Red Sox. The team was also in the running for Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas, though not to the extent the D-backs were (six years, $68.5 million).

The Friars have also been connected to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, Reds outfielder Jay Bruce and Braves outfielder Justin Upton in terms of trade targets. San Diego executive chairman Ron Fowler has said that Preller has "financial flexibility" to make deals.

Stay tuned to Padres.com this week for all the team's news at the Winter Meetings. In addition, Padres manager Bud Black will speak to reporters at 3:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday. You can find Black's thoughts on the roster and the upcoming season, his ninth, at Padres.com, later Wednesday.

Fans are encouraged to take part in the process by filling the comments section at Padres.com this week with their own suggestions -- areas of the team you would like to address and for what it will take to get San Diego back to the postseason for the first time since 2006.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.