The next two teams have known to have interest in Joaquin Benoit and in relief pitchers in general. The Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers are both said to be looking for relief help. Benoit is quite familiar with the Tigers as he has 28 career saves with them, including 24 in 2013.
The Blue Jays have a need in the bullpen and also have Dioner Navarro unhappily sitting the bench. Could Navarro be a valuable piece needed? A left-handed hitting catcher that could play everyday if Norris gets hurt, would be nice. Seeing Norris take that broken bat off his arm from Carl Crawford on opening day, got me worried immediately. If he went down, it might be a catastrophe. Bud Black should try to keep the young catcher nice and healthy all season long. Norris has proved to be a real leader out there and is really growing on me.
The Blue Jays have Navarro but have no shortstop that fits the Padres needs. Well Jose Reyes fits their needs exactly, but I would be absolutely floored if he were obtained. Reyes is owed $22 million in each of the next four seasons. $88 million dollars for a 32-year-old shortstop would be a dumb investment. The Padres have yet to make any such commitment, and I doubt they start now. Even though Reyes fits the bill exactly, Toronto would never consider dealing him and he would be too expensive for the Padres anyways. Enough said.
The Tigers also have no real shortstop of interest to the Padres. There just is not a real good fit with either team as far as the Padres gaining a shortstop that is ready to play now. Benoit is a valuable trade chip and I know A.J. Preller is not going to deal him just for the sake of trading him. Unless he gets desperate because of injury, Preller probably will probably stand pat and evaluate his players and their skipper. The season is truly a marathon.
The Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers have a real need in the bullpen, but the Dodgers did just obtain former Padre Ryan Webb from the Baltimore Orioles. The Marlins have Dan Haren who longs to be a Padre, but it would take another starting pitcher going down for the Padres to even consider that. A.J. Preller is in total evaluation mode right now.
As I mentioned, Gyorko is a likely trade piece. He is still relatively young and inexpensive, signed for the next five years at $30 million dollars. His 2013 season could still be in the memories of a potential partner and his value could still be high. In a ballpark more conducive to his swing, Gyorko could be a 25 a year home run producer. Who knows, perhaps he can do that here with the Padres.
All in all the trade market will heat up again. The Padres have too many quality relievers and A.J. Preller is too active to sit on a commodity and not try to capitalize on it. You could essentially link the Padres to any major league team, any player. The addition of A.J. Preller gives the Padres an unknown value. No major league team can predict the next move of the wizard of Petco! A.J. Preller, keep up the great work. The type of passion and love of the game you exude is truly contagious. We will all catch Padres fever, it’s just a matter of time.