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Padres at the MLB trade deadline: Buyers *and* sellers?

The San Diego Padres find themselves in that middle ground between being buyers and sellers as we approach the MLB trade deadline. Because of that, they might end up being both.

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When the offseason of A.J. Preller finally ended, there was a similar sentiment across baseball: If this doesn't work, the Padres could be in a lot of trouble. Let's review:

Prospects, money, and lot of faith were put into the 2015 San Diego Padres. They were infused with offense in the form of Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton, something they sorely lacked in 2014.

James Shields and Craig Kimbrel were added to the pitching staff. It felt as if they were turning the corner as a franchise. 52 games into the season and it would fair if some Padres fans weren't happy. At 26-28, the Padres are six games out of the division lead and have to catch both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.

Teams at this stage in the season begin identifying themselves as teams that are one piece away and buy, or they identify as a team that needs to retool, rebuild and adjust for next season and those teams sell. Rarely do teams identify as both, but because of what the Padres did in the offseason ... they very well could be both.

Now, being a seller doesn't mean that the Padres are going into dumpster fire mode and selling everybody they acquired and signed in the offseason. They do, however, have some talent that could be of some interest to teams. Justin and Melvin Upton are two guys that could generate some buzz and calls.

Why would the Padres be sellers?

It's actually rather simple. Justin Upton is a free agent at the end of the year. Keeping him as a Padre long-term could be problematic unless the Padres front office and ownership keep the wallet open again. They could chose to go another direction with prospects like Hunter Renfroe and Rymer Liriano in the minor leagues.

If they do, that makes Upton (Justin) quite the moveable asset as we approach the July 31st MLB trade deadline. As a power hitter, there will be a number of teams calling aand the Padres could ask for a healthy and fair return. They also can move his brother Melvin, although he would need to play in some games to increase interest.

The Padres can also be buyers?

Ever since the Padres and A.J. Preller put together a supposed dream roster, there was something missing: a shortstop. Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes haven't been good enough as a tandem and since the beginning of the season the Padres have been looking for an upgrade.

Back at the start of May, it was reported by Jon Heyman that the Padres were interested in Jean Segura if he became available. And with the state of the Brewers, he could become very available. Whether they go for Segura, another lesser talented shortstop, or go for the home-run in Troy Tulowitzki, the Padres can use whatever they gather in the Upton deal to get that shortstop, a la anybody who plays franchise mode in MLB The Show.

Or they could swap Upton for the shortstop they want. With A.J. Preller, nothing is off the table, which is why and how the Padres are both buyers and sellers this year in the National League.