SAN DIEGO -- In addition to looking for a left-handed starting pitcher and a lefty bat to balance the offense, Padres general manager A.J. Preller is keeping an eye out for a shortstop to answer the team's long-standing conundrum at the position.
Preller is said to be considering both trades and free agents as options to end the revolving door at the position. It's a high priority, according to people inside the organization.
Since the start of the 2009 season, the Padres have used 18 different shortstops -- that's right, 18 different shortstops.
While Preller left the General Managers Meetings in Florida last week without a shortstop, the search is well underway.
The Padres were linked to Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who was dealt to the Angels last week.
San Diego has interest in free agents Ian Desmond and Alexei Ramirez. The team could be looking for a temporary fix, with 20-year-old Javier Guerra -- obtained Friday from the Red Sox as part of the Craig Kimbrel deal and rated the Padres' No. 3 prospect by MLBPipeline.com -- likely two years away.
Free agency might be a better fit for the Padres to find a shortstop than dealing away players, which is why Desmond or Ramirez could be attractive on shorter-length deals.
Trading for a shortstop is a little more tricky.
The Padres don't have nearly the talent in their Minor League system they had a year ago at this time -- though that has changed to some degree in the last week when Preller added notable prospects to the farm system. Could Preller move some of those new prospects for a shortstop?
The team could continue to deal from its 25-man roster -- as it did in sending relievers Joaquin Benoit to the Mariners and Kimbrel to the Red Sox -- but Preller and the Padres aren't believed to be in rebuild or tear-down mode. They want to win in 2016, especially after falling short of lofty expectations in 2015 with 74 wins.
The Padres moved Jedd Gyorko from second base to shortstop in the second half of this past season, and he essentially held his own there in 29 games, though FanGraphs had him at minus-four in defensive runs saved.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.