San Diego was aggressive all offseason, and the club may be open to completing a deal during the first week of the season. According to The USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Padres are seeking an upgrade at shortstop. Clint Barmes and Alexi Amarista are internal candidates, but San Diego is exploring other options.
Major deals are not common in April, however Padres General Manager A.J. Preller has already made one major move this month, acquiring All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel from the Braves. Barmes, 36, posted a .245/.328/.294 battling line with the Pirates in 2014, and Amarista batted .239/.286/.314 to complement five home runs and 40 RBIs with the Padres last season.
While there is not a shortage of shortstops for the club to add, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes the Padres are more likely to add a lower cost upgrade than a big name such as Elvis Andrus or Starlin Castro. Rosenthal mentions Castro as a potential attractive piece, however adds the Padres have concerns with regard to his defense and have not been speaking with the Cubs with regard to their middle infielders. Fangraphs' Dave Cameron believes Jean Segura is the most logical trade target for the Padres.
Ultimately, the Padres have a pair of shortstops who are known for their defensive abilities rather than their offensive upside. But that may change soon, although no deal is likely imminent.
Castro posted a .292/.339/.438 batting line to complement 14 home runs and 65 RBIs a season ago. Addison Russell or Javier Baez could replace him if the Cubs do opt to move him, but Chicago is looking to win this season and may not be interested in dealing their starting shortstop.
Andrus, 26, posted a .263/.314/.333 batting line in 157 games with the Rangers last season. He has proven to be inconsistent defensively, though, and adding offense but losing defensive stability may not be what the Padres are looking to do.
Segura posted a .246/.289/.326 battling line in addition to five home runs and 31 RBIs in 2014. He had a solid year offensively with the Brewers in 2013, and may be an upgrade at a reasonable cost.
Escobar posted a .275/.315/.406 to complement six home runs and 37 RBIs last season. Minnesota has deemed Danny Santana their shortstop of the future, and dealing Escobar would give Santana an opportunity to play consistently.
Mercer posted a .255/.305/.387 line in addition to 12 home runs and 55 RBIs last season with the Pirates. Pittsburgh wants Jung-ho Kang to receive regular at-bats, and as a result, moving Mercer may be an option.