Green: Padres' rotation competition 'wide open'

Perdomo, Friedrich probable starters, with Cosart, Clemens, Vargas candidates

Green: Padres' rotation competition 'wide open'

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Padres have focused most of their energy at the Winter Meetings on acquiring starting pitching -- and for good reason.

As it stands, they will enter the 2017 season with Luis Perdomo and Christian Friedrich as rotation probables. The other three spots? According to manager Andy Green, they're "wide open" -- and Perdomo and Friedrich aren't exactly stone-cold locks either.

"We're going in wide open," Green said Wednesday. "You look at the team right now, you've got Christian Friedrich coming back. He's probably the most probable bet to be in the rotation. Luis Perdomo is right up there with him. ... But it's as wide open as you could imagine a Major League rotation being."

Speaking at his manager session at the Winter Meetings, Green named Jarred Cosart, Paul Clemens and Cesar Vargas as candidates. But all three present quetsion marks. Cosart and Vargas dealt with elbow trouble last season. And Clemens was maddeningly inconsistent.

Clemens strikes out Goldschmidt

In that sense, the Friars are looking to add at least three big league-caliber arms this offseason. They've been active on the trade front in search of a pitcher, but haven't found a match yet.

"Paul Clemens and Jarred Cosart are two guys that we picked up last year, and both showed flashes of really good things," Green said. "I've talked to them consistently through the offseason, and there's still more development ahead of both of those guys. And if they are going to lay hold of those positions in the rotation, they have got work to do."

Prospects Walker Lockett and Dinelson Lamet are outside rotation candidates, as well as Michael Kelly -- so long as he isn't selected in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

Here are some other key points Green touched on in his annual manager media session:

• Green said he expects to carry four outfielders on the Major League roster at the start of the season -- likely some combination of Travis Jankowski, Alex Dickerson, Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Jabari Blash.

• Regarding whether Jankowski or Margot -- both of whom possess elite range in center field -- would be pushed to left, Green offered the quote of the day:

"You might just go left-center, right-center and five infielders. You could cover the whole outfield that way."

• Along with Lamet, Lockett and Kelly, Green mentioned Phil Maton and Jason Jester as Minor Leaguers who could compete for a big league job.

• The Padres are close to rounding out their Major League coaching staff, Green said. They've filled both their first-base coaching job and their staff coordinator job. No official announcement will be made until they've also hired an infielders coach.

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