Diving into the depths: San Diego Padres

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
San Diego Padres
Rotation
1. Jon Garland
2. Kevin Correia
3. Chris Young
4. Clayton Richard
5. Tim Stauffer
6. Sean Gallagher
7. Mat Latos
8. Aaron Poreda
9. Wade LeBlanc
10. Edward Mujica
11. Cesar Ramos
12. Will Inman
13. Cesar Carrillo
14. Steve Garrison
The surprising addition of Garland leaves just one opening in the San Diego rotation. Stauffer, Gallagher and Latos figure to battle it out in spring training. I prefer Latos and Gallagher, but Stauffer could have the early edge, given his 3.58 ERA in 14 starts last season.
Bullpen
1. Heath Bell
2. Mike Adams
3. Luke Gregerson
4. Joe Thatcher
5. Edward Mujica
6. Ryan Webb
7. Adam Russell
8. Radhames Liz
9. Luis Perdomo
10. Greg Burke
11. Aaron Poreda
12. Mark Worrell
13. Ernesto Frieri
14. Craig Italiano
The bullpen hasn’t received any reinforcements — not unless Liz counts — but it’s the strength of the team anyway. I like Webb’s chances of becoming this year’s Gregerson.


Catcher
1. Nick Hundley
2. Yorvit Torrealba
3. Dusty Ryan
4. Mitch Canham
First base
1. Adrian Gonzalez
2. Kyle Blanks
3. Oscar Salazar
Second base
1. David Eckstein
2. Jerry Hairston Jr.
3. Matt Antonelli
4. Sean Kazmar
Third base
1. Chase Headley
2. Jerry Hairston Jr.
3. Oscar Salazar
4. Logan Forsythe
Shortstop
1. Everth Cabrera
2. Jerry Hairston Jr.
3. Sean Kazmar
4. Jesus Lopez
The Torrealba signing isn’t official yet, but all signs point to it happening. That should finish off the infield. Headley will be an everyday player after moving back to his original position, and Hairston and Salazar will serve as reserves. If Gonzalez is eventually traded, then Blanks will take over at first base.
Left field
1. Scott Hairston
2. Kyle Blanks
3. Aaron Cunningham
4. Jerry Hairston Jr.
5. Matt Stairs
6. Chad Huffman
Center field
1. Tony Gwynn Jr.
2. Scott Hairston
3. Luis Durango
4. Chris Denorfia
5. Aaron Cunningham
Right field
1. Will Venable
2. Kyle Blanks
3. Aaron Cunningham
4. Matt Stairs
5. Oscar Salazar
6. Chris Denorfia
While the infield is set, the outfield still looks like a mess. I have Hairston, Gwynn and Venable atop the depth chart, but none of the three projects as a long-term regular for the Padres. If Blanks is kept as an outfielder, he’ll probably just end up getting hurt again. Still, he may well be the second-best hitter in the organization and it’s hard to blame the Padres for doing everything they can to get him into the lineup. Cunningham is the one player here that I believe will start in the outfield for the Padres in 2011. He may head back to Triple-A for a little while first, though.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.