Padres leave Meetings seeking more depth

Padres leave Meetings seeking more depth

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Padres entered the Winter Meetings in need of pitching, a backup catcher and a shortstop.

They acquired one of each in the Rule 5 Draft, but in terms of proven big league talent, they're still very much in the market at all three spots.

In fact, aside from an eventful Thursday morning, the Hot Stove never reached a simmer for the Padres at the Winter Meetings. That said, Padres general manager A.J. Preller considered the trip a successful endeavor.

"The additions today we liked and we're excited about," Preller said Thursday. "But we also got the ability to sit down with people and talk face to face, get a better sense of what are the possibilities and what are the things that probably aren't going to happen."

During the Meetings, the Padres checked in with just about every team that has a shortstop for sale. They have interest in Detroit's Jose Iglesias and Texas' Hanser Alberto, among others. Free agent Erick Aybar also has been discussed as an option, but it seems more likely the club acquires a shortstop via the trade route.

On the pitching end of things, the Padres are exploring both avenues -- free agency and the trade market. They'd like to add at least three starters to the mix before camp, but are hesitant to offer multiyear deals.

"That's an area that we definitely need to add numbers, add depth, add guys that have a chance [to make the rotation]," Preller said. "... We're going to try to create some competition there."

Goals accomplished
Acquiring young talent is always a goal for Preller, and he did just that in the Rule 5 Draft. But otherwise, the Padres didn't formally get much done this week. They did, however, spend their time in Maryland talking to the agents for available starting pitchers and could sign a hurler or two in the next couple of weeks.

Unfinished business
A lot. Manager Andy Green called the team's rotation competition "as wide open as you could imagine a Major League rotation being." As it stands, Luis Perdomo and Christian Friedrich are the only pitchers probable for the starting five. The Friars also need a shortstop to compete with Luis Sardinas and perhaps another backup catcher. On the trade front, they'd be dealing from a position of strength in the outfield and at second base.

Rule 5 Draft
For the second year in a row, Preller and the Padres made the biggest splash at the Rule 5 Draft. The Friars, who already owned the third pick, traded up for the first and second selections as well. In order, they drafted right-hander Miguel Diaz from the Brewers, catcher Luis Torrens from the Yankees and shortstop Allen Cordoba from the Cardinals.

GM's bottom line
"[The Winter Meetings] have been a narrowing-down process for us, in terms of what our options are," Preller said. "And it'll continue the next couple of weeks as we try to add players and add talent to the roster."

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.