We are still days away from the 2014 MLB trading deadline, and the San Diego Padres have already made two significant moves — dealing All-Star closer Huston Street to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and shipping Gold Glove third baseman Chase Headley to the New York Yankees.
Are the Friars done selling? Probably not.
The Padres will likely shift their focus to fielding offers for OF Chris Denorfia. Like Headley, Denorfia will be a free agent following the 2014 season. A career .300 hitter vs. left-handed pitching, Denorfia could fill a platoon role for a team like the Toronto Blue Jays where outfielder Colby Rasmus has hit just .212 vs. LHP in 2014.
After Denorfia, the Padres may look to move a pair of right-handed arms in Joaquin Benoit and Ian Kennedy — both of whom are under contract after the 2014 season.
Benoit will draw significant interest from teams looking to bolster their bullpen. The righty has posted a 1.99 ERA to go along with a 0.836 WHIP over the course of 40.2 innings thus far. Among those interested in Benoit are the Detroit Tigers who could use some help protecting Joe Nathan, a closer who has been shaky at times this year. The Tigers may halt their pursuit of Benoit, however, after reaching a deal with the Texas Rangers to acquire RHP Joakim Soria on Wednesday. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians could also use a proven veteran arm in their bullpen, and they have been rumored to have significant interest in Benoit.
The Padres will field calls for Kennedy, but don’t be surprised if San Diego chooses to keep the veteran righty, who won’t be a free agent until 2015. Kennedy will likely only be dealt if Padres management is swept off their feet, as they were in the Street trade. If not, it may be wise for the club to leave the fate of the 29-year-old Kennedy in the hands of their future general manager.