Padres fielding calls, but like young outfield mix

Padres fielding calls, but like young outfield mix

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Padres are poised to enter the 2017 season with four young outfielders and three outfield spots up for grabs.

By definition, that's a surplus. To the Padres, it's anything but.

Speaking at the Winter Meetings outside Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, general manager A.J. Preller said he's received multiple calls on his available outfielders. But as things currently stand, he feels there's plenty of playing time to go around for Travis Jankowski, Alex Dickerson, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe.

"Their games complement each other -- right-handed bats, left-handed bats, speed pieces, defense, some power," Preller said. "We've got to see it translate to the big league level. So barring anything unexpected, we'd like to see how some of those guys in the outfield mix pan out. But, yeah, that's one of the areas that teams will call us on."

Renfroe and Margot -- the club's top two hitting prospects -- are almost certainly untouchable. Jankowski and Dickerson, meanwhile, appear to be obvious trade chips.

The Rangers are among the parties that have checked in on Jankowski. San Diego has returned interest on 24-year-old Texas shortstop Hanser Alberto -- a slick fielder, who hasn't shown much at the plate during parts of two big league seasons.

For now, it sounds as though Preller and the Padres are content to enter the season with something of a platoon situation -- one that could also include Jabari Blash.

"We've got some guys that are optionable, some guys that you could potentially bring either up or down, depending on how they perform," Preller said. "They're guys that we think have talent and we want to give them an opportunity. ... We've been receiving calls in terms of that area. But for the most part, we're excited by the outfield group."

News and notes

• To the surprise of no one, it appears highly likely that right-hander Luis Perdomo will open the season in the Padres' starting rotation. Preller wouldn't quite make it official, but he came close.

"He ended the year in the rotation," Preller said. "My guess is if he continues to improve, he should be a guy to be in the rotation to start the year."

• The Padres are looking to sign at least three starters. But it appears unlikely they'll do so with any pitchers who might command multiyear contracts.

Said Preller: "Most of the guys on the market are probably more one-year fits that we've been looking at."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.