Padres Targeting Starters Haren and Jimenez

Kyle Rivas

The San Diego Padres are prioritizing starting pitching this off-season. Free Agent starters Dan Haren and Shaun Marcum are on their radar, but the trade market might be a more likely route for GM Josh Byrnes.

In his Weekly Chat with readers, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune discussed the Padres off-season plans, which may include signing a free agent starter like Dan Haren or Shaun Marcum. Centers sees Haren as the top free agent target for the Padres GM Josh Byrnes, but he also believes that the team is more likely to acquire a starter through trade. He cites Cleveland Indians pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez as a possible trade target. Jimenez makes sense for the Padres, according to Centers, in part because of the presence of fellow Latin American starter Edinson Volquez. He believes the Padres will focus on high-risk-high reward options that have a degree of cost control.

The Padres were 10th in the National League in ERA last season and their starting pitching was even worse, ranking 13th among NL rotations. They have a number of intriguing young starters on their roster, including Andrew Cashner, Casey Kelly and Anthony Bass, but aside from Volquez and Clayton Richard, there are few players certain to make an impact in 2013.

Thus far, other teams have been hesitant to give former Los Angeles Angels starter Dan Haren a deal that extends beyond two years, so this could be an opportunity for the Padres, who are a good fit for the Southern California native. Petco Parks is among the most pitcher-friendly parks in the game and the fly ball-prone Haren would certainly benefit from that environment. Centers sees Marcum as a back up plan should Haren sign elsewhere.

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