MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Hoffman hoping third time's a HOF charm

Former Padres closer saved an NL-record 601 games

Hoffman hoping third time's a HOF charm

SAN DIEGO -- For the last two years, Trevor Hoffman has anxiously awaited the call from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, anticipating his possible election. This marks his third year on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.

In 2016, the former Padres closer with a National League record 601 saves came off a golf course near his home in North County and learned that he missed by 34 votes (67.3 percent). Earlier this year, the Padres brought video crews to his house awaiting the blessed call. It never came.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rule 5 protection decisions loom for Padres

Rule 5 protection decisions loom for Padres

SAN DIEGO -- It's nearing decision time for the Padres and a few of their long-time Minor Leaguers.

The San Diego front office has until 5 p.m. PT on Monday to protect any eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place next month at the Winter Meetings. San Diego currently has two spaces available on its 40-man roster, giving general manager A.J. Preller some room to add.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Munoz among AFL title game standouts

Munoz among AFL title game standouts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The fall of Ronald Acuna concluded in appropriate fashion. The Arizona Fall League's best prospect and MVP led its best team to the championship Saturday afternoon, driving in four runs as the Peoria Javelinas defeated the Mesa Solar Sox, 8-2.

After the Braves outfielder lined out to third base in his first at-bat, he went down to get a breaking ball from Cubs right-hander Alec Mills and lined it into center field for a third-inning RBI single that tied the game 2-2. An inning later, Acuna fought off a high fastball from right-hander Jake Stinnett and dumping it into right-center for a two-run single that doubled Peoria's lead to 6-2. He later capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres eye reunions with Stammen, Chacin

Returns for free-agent righties on San Diego's offseason radar

Padres eye reunions with Stammen, Chacin

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Padres are hoping to reunite with a pair of right-handers this offseason in reliever Craig Stammen and starter Jhoulys Chacin.

The two revitalized their careers in San Diego in 2017. Now free agents, both remain squarely on the Padres' radar for '18 as well.

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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.

Source: Padres check on Hosmer, pitchers

Preller lays groundwork, enjoys productive GM Meetings

Source: Padres check on Hosmer, pitchers

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Padres have indeed checked in with the camp of free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer, but it appears that's mostly due diligence at this point.

According to a source, San Diego has inquired on "around 50 free agents" already, the majority being pitchers. Discussions are still preliminary, as the General Managers Meetings wrapped up on Wednesday.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Padres get Competitive Balance pick in Draft

Padres get Competitive Balance pick in Draft

With the conclusion of the 2017 regular season, the preliminary order for the 2018 Draft took some shape, thanks to the reverse order of the standings. The Tigers and Giants finished tied with the worst record in the Major Leagues last season, but Detroit was awarded the No. 1 pick in the 2018 Draft by virtue of having a lower winning percentage in 2016.

After the Tigers and Giants, the next eight picks go to the Phillies, White Sox, Reds, Mets, Padres, Braves, A's and Pirates.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Lockett finishes strong as Peoria clinches West

Lockett finishes strong as Peoria clinches West

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Similar to the rest of his pro career, Walker Lockett's Arizona Fall League experience didn't go as well as he hoped at the start. But he battled through and came up with his best start of the season when it mattered most.

Lockett allowed just one run and three baserunners in six innings, leading the Peoria Javelinas to a 4-1 victory over the Scottsdale Scorpions on Wednesday night. Peoria (17-12) clinched the West Division with the victory and will play the Mesa Solar Sox (16-12-1) on Saturday for the AFL championship. MLB Network and MLB.com will broadcast that game live at 3 p.m. ET.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sources: Padres fielding calls on infield trio

Spangenberg, Solarte, Asuaje drawing interest from other clubs

Sources: Padres fielding calls on infield trio

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Early in the offseason, the Padres aren't viewing their logjams at second and third base as problems.

Quite the opposite, given that all three candidates for the two positions are already drawing interest from other clubs. According to sources, opposing teams began inquiring about Cory Spangenberg, Yangervis Solarte and Carlos Asuaje even before the General Managers Meetings started this week.

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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.

Padres to host Dodgers for series in Mexico

Three-game set in Monterrey scheduled for May 4-6

Padres to host Dodgers for series in Mexico

ORLANDO, Fla. -- For the first time in 19 years, Major League Baseball is returning to Mexico.

The Padres and Dodgers will play a three-game regular-season series this coming May in Monterrey, MLB announced on Monday. The games, which will take place May 4-6 at Estadio Monterrey, mark the first regular-season contests in Mexico since 1999.

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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.

Tatis looking like Padres' SS in near future

Preller may seek short-term option for '18 at Meetings

Tatis looking like Padres' SS in near future

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Fernando Tatis Jr.'s remarkable 2017 campaign is officially over. His impact on the Padres' offseason plans is not.

Tatis, ranked as the club's No. 4 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, put forth a brilliant age 18 season between Class A Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio. After 17 games in the Dominican Winter League, the Padres opted to shut Tatis down for the year, believing his 665 plate appearances to be plenty.

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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.

Remembering the 1st time MLB came to Mexico

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Remembering the 1st time MLB came to Mexico

On Monday, Major League Baseball announced that for the first time since 1999, big league baseball would be returning to Mexico. The Dodgers and Padres will play a three-game series in Monterrey from May 4-6.

While it will be the Dodgers' first foray into professional games in Mexico, the Padres have been involved every time, including opening the 1999 season vs. the Rockies. MLB first came to Mexico on Aug. 16, 1996, when the Padres squared off against the Mets at the very same place -- Estadio Monterrey, in the shadows of the iconic Cerro de la Silla mountain range.

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Inbox: Should Padres keep the bullpen intact?

Beat reporter AJ Cassavell fields fans' questions

Inbox: Should Padres keep the bullpen intact?

Why mess with the bullpen? The Padres should at least do whatever they can to keep Brad Hand and Craig Stammen. They are irreplaceable, steady and reliable.
-- Mike B., Bonsall, Calif.

Steady and reliable? Yes. Irreplaceable? Certainly not. Hand and Stammen are two very different cases, so let's take a look at them individually.

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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.

Padres have several in-house outfield options

Only Margot appears to be a lock going into spring

Padres have several in-house outfield options

SAN DIEGO -- Manuel Margot will anchor center field for the Padres in 2018. That much seems certain enough.

The rest of the outfield is anyone's guess. The Padres enter the offseason with at least seven other outfield candidates for the 2018 roster. All seven come with serious question marks.

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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.

Myers aims to tweak footwork, land future GG

Myers aims to tweak footwork, land future GG

SAN DIEGO -- A year ago, Wil Myers found his name squarely among the top defensive first basemen in the sport. On the night Major League Baseball's Gold Glove Award winners were announced, Myers was a finalist, and a very deserving one.

He didn't win. But he could have. And at the time, it felt like a future Gold Glove Award was inevitable. After all, Myers had dazzled defensively in his first full season at the position.

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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.

Padres' FA strategy likely to focus on short term

Padres' FA strategy likely to focus on short term

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres enter free agency this month with many of the same needs they had a year ago.

They'll be looking for a shortstop. They'll be looking for starting pitching. They'll be looking for relief depth. And they could add a backup catcher. Sound familiar?

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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.

Chacin, Aybar, Stammen join free agency

Padres reinstate 5 players from 60-day DL, roster at 38

Chacin, Aybar, Stammen join free agency

SAN DIEGO -- The bulk of the Padres' young roster is under team control for years to come. But there will be a small bit of turnover this offseason, nonetheless.

Righty starter Jhoulys Chacin, shortstop Erick Aybar and righty reliever Craig Stammen all hit the open market as free agency began on Monday afternoon. The Padres have expressed at least some interest in bringing back all three. As expected, none received qualifying offers.

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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.

Padres prospects show off skills at Fall Stars

Urias homers, Naylor triples in Arizona showcase game

Padres prospects show off skills at Fall Stars

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A big part of the Padres' future was on display in Saturday's Fall Stars Game as Luis Urias and Josh Naylor, two of the younger position players in this year's Arizona Fall League, impressed in several facets of the game in a losing effort for the West team.

The duo accounted for both of the West team's runs and the two hardest-hit balls of the game in a 4-2 loss against the East at Salt River Fields.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres enter Hot Stove with infield questions

Who will start at SS in '18? How does Solarte fit into 2B/3B mix?

Padres enter Hot Stove with infield questions

SAN DIEGO -- The core of a young Padres roster will return largely intact in 2018.

But there are certainly a few question marks entering the offseason. The club answered one of those this week, hiring Matt Stairs as hitting coach.

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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.

Stairs eager to impart OBP wisdom on Padres

Stairs eager to impart OBP wisdom on Padres

SAN DIEGO -- New Padres hitting coach Matt Stairs once preached, somewhat famously, to "Swing like you live: hard."

It's a witty one-liner, no doubt. But it tells only half the story. See, Stairs' mindset at the plate is, indeed, to swing hard. Not necessarily "often."

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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.

Padres hire Stairs as hitting coach

Padres hire Stairs as hitting coach

SAN DIEGO -- Matt Stairs has rejoined his former team as its new hitting coach, the Padres announced Monday. Stairs spent one season serving in the same role in Philadelphia.

"Matt possesses a true understanding of and passion for hitting," said executive vice president and general manager A.J. Preller. "Throughout his playing career, he was a student of the game. In this process, we looked for teachers who could make an immediate impact with our players, and Matt brings invaluable knowledge and experience both as a coach and as a 19-year Major League veteran."

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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.

Cosart, Friedrich opt for free agency

Cosart, Friedrich opt for free agency

SAN DIEGO -- Scratch two names off the Padres' list of 2018 rotation candidates.

Right-hander Jarred Cosart and left-hander Christian Friedrich -- both of whom underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery during the season -- cleared outright waivers and have opted for free agency, the club announced Monday.

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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.

Source: Schumaker promoted to first-base coach

Source: Schumaker promoted to first-base coach

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have promoted Skip Schumaker to the role of first-base coach, according to a team source. Schumaker, who had spent the past two seasons working in a baseball operations and player-development role, will also be in charge of baserunning and working with the club's outfielders.

The Padres have not confirmed the news, but an announcement is expected after the conclusion of the World Series.

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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.

Storm hosts 'Haunted Stadium' for Halloween

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Storm hosts 'Haunted Stadium' for Halloween

The Minor League season ends in early September, and the players pack up and head for home. So, what's a Minor League stadium supposed to do for all those lonely months in the offseason? The Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres' Class A Advanced affiliate, turns its stadium into a literal "Field of Screams."

That's not a metaphor -- that's the tagline for their annual Haunted Stadium event, when Lake Elsinore Diamond transforms into a haunted house of delights. 

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Padres have potential Gold Glovers for 2018

Padres have potential Gold Glovers for 2018

SAN DIEGO -- There were no Padres among the Gold Glove Award finalists announced by Rawlings on Thursday morning. It's now been five seasons since Chase Headley took home the club's most recent defensive hardware in 2012.

As a unit, San Diego struggled defensively in 2017, but there were certainly a few standout individual performances which could portend Gold Glove candidacies next season.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Pipeline Inbox: When will Tatis Jr. arrive?

Jonathan Mayo answers fans' questions about baseball's biggest prospects

Pipeline Inbox: When will Tatis Jr. arrive?

One of the best parts of what we do at MLBPipeline.com, at least for me, is to watch the guys we covered as prospects rise to the big stage. So while I don't have a particular rooting interest in this year's World Series, I can look up and down both rosters and see guys that I talked to "before they were stars."

Submit a question to the Pipeline Inbox

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres expect to field trade interest in Hand

Closer had career year in 2017, was named to National League All-Star team

Padres expect to field trade interest in Hand

SAN DIEGO -- Dominant relief pitching has once again played a central role in the postseason, and the increased emphasis on bullpens in October likely means relievers will be a hot commodity this offseason.

It just so happens that the Padres have one of the sport's most coveted relievers in left-hander Brad Hand. And it certainly sounds as though he's available this winter for the right price.

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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.

Majority of Padres' coaches expected to return

Club has begun search for hitting coach after departure of Zinter

Majority of Padres' coaches expected to return

SAN DIEGO -- The majority of the Padres' coaching staff is expected to return for the 2018 season, with two notable absences.

San Diego is still looking for a replacement for hitting coach Alan Zinter, who was let go in September. Meanwhile, infielders coach Ramon Vazquez will not return either, leaving one further vacancy on manager Andy Green's staff.

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AJ Cassavell is in his seventh season as a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.