The Padres will spend (some) in free agency …

New San Diego Padres general manager Jed Hoyer told me on Thursday that the team plans to spend in free agency, though the payroll will again be in the $40-million range as it was a year ago.

The Padres improved 12 games from 2008 despite a lowered payroll that went from roughly $70 million in 2007 to $43 million a year ago. That figure won’t change much, though the Padres did get Jake Peavy and Brian Giles off the book in the last year.

“As far as approaching free agency, we’re not going to be major players
for free agents because of the size of our payroll,” Hoyer said. “But we’re going to go after targets
we like … aggressively. We have money in the budget to spend on free
agency.”

The Padres already have $11 million wrapped up in two players
— starting pitcher Chris Young ($6.25 million) and first baseman
Adrian Gonzalez ($4.75) — as well as another $1 million in second
baseman David Eckstein.

Counting Young, Gonzalez and Eckstein, and if Bell, Correia, Kouzmanoff
and Adams receive raises that amount to, say, $12 million, then that’s
$24 million. The rest of the roster is comprised of players who made
the minimum salary of $400,000 in 2009 or slightly more.

The Padres want a right-handed bat and some help for the starting rotation. This can be had through free agency, some of it. But trades might be the way the Padres go to improve their team in 2010.

– Corey Brock, Twitter: @FollowThePadres

Brewers were close to three-team deal for a pitcher

The Brewers were so close to completing what general manager Doug Melvin called a “big,” three-team trade for a pitcher ahead of Friday’s nonwaiver Trade Deadline that Ken Macha tuned into the MLB Network in the visiting manager’s office at PETCO Park and waited to see the news break.

It never did. 

The deal fizzled, and the pitcher in question wasn’t traded. Because of that fact, Macha and Melvin refused to talk about the blockbuster that wasn’t — Melvin did assure reporters that the pitcher in question wasn’t Toronto’s Roy Halladay — and the Brewers were left to soldier on with a weakened starting rotation.

Earlier in the week, Melvin thought he might have a shot at Seattle’s Jarrod Washburn, but “I didn’t think we were ever close,” Melvin said.

But Melvin was near to completing, “a much bigger deal,” that was so close to happening that within a half hour of the 4 p.m. ET deadline to trade players without first exposing them to waivers, Melvin had principal owner Mark Attanasio waiting near a phone for final approval. When the three-team proposal fell apart, Melvin had another trade possibility in the works within 10 minutes of the deadline. 

“It just didn’t happen,” Melvin said. “Both of them revolved around what another team was doing. Those are always tough.”

So who was involved in the mysterious big one? Macha would only reveal that it was not a pitcher who would have been available to start for the Brewers on Saturday. Melvin wouldn’t say, either, even when a reporter presented him with some possible names. One of the names was Atlanta right-hander Javier Vazquez, who had just pitched on Thursday, but a National League scout offered assurances that the Brewers and Braves weren’t talking about Vazquez on Friday.

– Adam McCalvy

Jake Peavy traded to the White Sox

We’ll have more later at Padres.com about the trade that just went down. Here’s a quick look at the deal. Poreda is the prize here and Richard is also very good and likely will join the team first.

Remember to check Twitter @FollowThePadres and Padres.com for more details.

SAN DIEGO – The Padres and White Sox agreed to a trade on Friday that will send 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy to Chicago for a package of four pitchers.

Two months after the two teams agreed to what is believed to be a similar trade, only to have Peavy use his no-trade clause to torpedo the deal – Peavy agreed to this particular trade.

Peavy, who is currently on the disabled list with a strained tendon in his right ankle, will likely be able to pitch again in late August.

Peavy, 28, is 6-6 with a 3.97 ERA this season for the Padres and owns a career mark of 92-68 with a 3.29 ERA in eight-plus seasons with San Diego.

Richard, 25, is 4-3 with a 4.65 ERA in 26 games (14 starts) with the White Sox in 2009.

Poreda, 22, is 3-4 with a 2.72 ERA between Class AAA and Charlotte Class AA Birmingham.

His contract was purchased from Birmingham on June 9, and he went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 10 relief appearances with the White Sox before being optioned to Charlotte on July 21.

Carter, 23, is 6-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 19 starts with Class A Kannapolis in 2009.

Russell, 26, is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA and five saves in 34 relief appearances this season with Charlotte.  He went 4-0 with a 5.19 ERA in 22 relief appearances with the White Sox in 2008.

No deal for Angels

General manager Tony Reagins said the Angels came up empty in their efforts to make a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal when they were unable to match up with other clubs.

Reagins was not specific about which clubs he was talking with, but reports indicated that the Angels made concerted efforts to acquire Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays and Heath Bell from the Padres.

“It really came down to not being the best fit for either party,” Reagins said. “We had a comfort level that we could go in certain situations and were willing to be aggressive. [Owner] Arte Moreno gave us no restraints. We went in with the idea of improving the club. A lot of effort was put into the process. From that standpoint, you move forward. We have business to take care of. Our focus is on Minnesota tonight. Our 25 guys have a comfort level they are going to be here for the rest of the year.”

There was one report that the Angels were close to a last-minute deal for Halladay, but Reagins would not confirm that. The Jays reportedly wanted shortstop Erick Aybar, infielder Brandon Wood, starter Joe Saunders and a prime prospect.

“Utimately, you have to find a match,” Reagins said. “You may offer talented players, but if the deal doesn’t fit for both parties . . . that’s the situation we were in. From a personnel standpoint, we made proposals that were very competitive and made sense. But the other side has to feel they made sense as well.”

 

    

Rockies getting Beimel

The Rockies have filled their left-handed bullpen need by obtaining Joe Beimel from the Nationals for two Minor League pitchers. Those names have not been revealed, but a source close to the talks said the Rockies were able to hold onto speedy second baseman Eric Young Jr.

 

Marlins not expected to deal

Barring some last-minute wheeling and dealing, the Marlins are not expected to swing a trade by the 4 p.m. ET deadline.

A source told MLB.com that the Marlins were not expected to complete a trade by the non-waiver deadline.

Florida had been talking with the Nationals about first baseman Nick Johnson. A possible deal would have included Triple-A right-hander Ryan Tucker. When the Nationals also sought Double-A Jacksonville lefty Aaron Thompson, the deal fell through.

Earlier on Friday, the Marlins ended their pursuit of Padres closer Heath Bell. The asking price was either Sean West or Andrew Miller.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

No movement on Gonzalez and Bell for Padres …

With less than an hour before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline it’s looking more and more like San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez might be staying put.

The Red Sox have moved on, trading for Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez for some players who might have been in the Gonzalez deal had their been one.

FOXSports is reporting the Dodgers might have interest in Gonzalez and/or Bell, though Bell might be the easier piece to move.

The Angels, who have some players who intrigue the Padres — possibly second baseman Howie Kendrick — could be another fit for Bell.

A week ago, Padres general manager Kevin Towers said that if nothing got done this week he would have a better idea of what he might get in return for Gonzalez and Bell if the team should decide to move either player in the off-season.

From all the reports out there, it sounds like Towers asked for the moon for Gonzalez and Bell, two players he doesn’t have to move by any means.

We’ll know more in less than an hour, but don’t be surprised if Gonzalez stays put. The same could be said for Bell, though the team could move the All-Star closer a lot easier.

– Corey Brock

Rockies still have interest in Beimel

According to a baseball source, the Rockies still have interest in acquiring Nationals left-hander Joe Beimel. The Nationals asked for infielder Eric Young Jr. in return, but the Rockies quickly said, “No thanks.”

Colorado is hoping that the Nationals will knock their price down in order to acquire Beimel, who has a 3.40 ERA in 45 games.   

– Bill Ladson  

Still by the phone …

The Rockies haven’t closed the door on their attempts to acquire Orioles lefty Mark Hendrickson or Nationals lefty Joe Beimel for their bullpen need. Both teams asked for seocnd base prospect Eric Young Jr. originally. We’ll see if the asking price comes down before 2 p.m. MT, the deadline. The Jays’ Scott Downs is a possibility, but there is a heavy salary burden this year and next that must be addressed before a deal can be completed.

Tigers could still add hitter

The fact that the Tigers didn’t have to give up a lot for Jarrod Washburn, and didn’t have to give up highly-rated prospects, means they’re still talking with teams about beefing up their offense before today’s nonwaiver trade deadline. Foxsports.com reported the Tigers have continued to talk with the Orioles about Luke Scott. They’re also believed to be checking around with other clubs to see if asking prices go down on other outfield/DH types before the deadline.

– Jason Beck

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