The Padres swapped All-Star closer Huston Street to the Angels last night in a six-player trade and they likely aren’t done making deals.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Padres are expected to trade outfielder Chris Denorfia before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. The 34-year-old is batting just .244/.295/.329 with one home run this season, but he owns an .809 OPS against southpaws for his career and could be a useful platoon player/extra outfielder for a contender. He’s making $2.25 million in 2014 and will be a free agent this offseason.
The return for Denorfia will likely be minimal, but the Padres could fetch more if they end up dealing third baseman Chase Headley, right-hander Ian Kennedy, and new closer Joaquin Benoit. All three names continue to surface in trade rumors, with the Blue Jays among the teams linked to Headley.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.