The annual MLB Winter Meetings are a place where most trade talks are initialized by teams.
A deal might not necessarily happen at the jovial event, but the groundwork is laid by most general managers, as they begin to formulate and execute a plan for the 2018 season.
The Padres are currently weighing their options, as the team has many paths they may go down.
Eric Hosmer rumors are still swirling as the ownership group seems hell-bent on competitive baseball in San Diego sooner, rather than later. If the Padres sign Hosmer, I would expect the team to get active in improving for the 2018 season. Instead of trusting the process, some prospects may be dealt for viable talent now. That could very well happen. I do not believe even the Padres know what they will do at this point. The franchise has remained flexible and if a deal to improve the team now happens, expect San Diego to once again be a hot topic in major league baseball.
In recent days there has been talk that the Cubs are looking for relief help and could be interested in Brad Hand. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweeted this out. With those same rumors comes talk that the Padres are once again asking the Cubbies about a possible shortstop upgrade. Addison Russell and Javier Baez are both capable of playing the position and the Cubs appear to be ready to make a decision moving forward about one of them.
Baez and Russell could be attained, but do the Padres have enough major league-caliber talent to make a push for either? Brad Hand would surely be of interest to the Cubs and you could make an argument for a middle infielder type (Carlos Asuaje/Cory Spangenberg) or an outfielder (Franchy Cordero/Travis Jankowski), but the Padres offer little else in terms of what the Cubs would want. They need starting pitching, and unless the Padres include Luis Perdomo or Dinelson Lamet, they cannot help them in that regard.
Still, where there is smoke, there is fire. The two teams may never agree on a deal, but there surely is communication.
At this point the Padres would probably only want to move Hand for a package of prospects. Baez and Russell would fit an immediate need, but the Cubs would likely want more, and that’s where the Padres should just walk away. Russell and Baez would be nice additions, but only if they could be added without losing Brad Hand or any top prospects. There are better options in the free agent market that wouldn’t cripple the long-term plan. Zack Cozart and Alcides Escobar make sense on different levels.
The MLB Winter Meeting are all about rumors like this. It is very interesting that these two sides are speaking again. Kyle Schwarber is being shopped by the Cubs. Would the Padres have interest in him at first and move Myers to left? And would they have enough to pay the price for that talented, young, left-handed slugger? Stay tuned. The plot could thicken as A.J. Preller might very well be on the prowl again.