Baseball Rumor Mill: Padres

The San Diego Padres will not make any offseason moves until they shore up one issue they have placed priority on. Meanwhile, other teams are making cursory requests regarding several Friars. The offseason has just begun and the rumors are flying from San Diego to New York:

Friars First:

"We probably won't do anything immediately," Kevin Towers said. "The (Trevor) Hoffman negotiations are the first priority. Then we'll carefully look at our trade and free agency options."

Kevin Jarvis is on the block. His prohibitive $4.25 million in 2004 in the final year of a three-year contract awarded him by former Padres president Bob Vizas will make Towers have to sweeten any deal he is a part of. Kendall remains an option at catcher as they would trade Jarvis' contract as part of the deal. Wiki Gonzalez could also go as part of the same deal as he is scheduled to make $1.25 as a backup. The team likes what they have seen in Humberto Quintero, although they still wish he had more pop, and Miguel Ojeda is still an option.

One thing is certain, neither Jarvis nor Gonzalez are in the long term plans of the Padres.

Growing speculation has the Boston Red Sox inquiring about Bruce Bochy to be the next coach of their team. Grady Little was fired Monday and Boston President Larry Lucchino has considered looking into the hiring of Padres Manager Bruce Bochy. Bochy is under contract in San Diego at the present time and the Red Sox would have to offer compensation to pry him away.

Another Padre Manager on the list is Davey Lopes. He would be the first African American manager in team history and the club feels he could handle the clubhouse and pressure.

Lopes, currently the first base coach for the San Diego Padres, also has a relationship with Lucchino, from their time in Baltimore and San Diego. In fact, when Lopes returned to San Diego prior to last season, the Red Sox had expressed some interest in him, for some coaching capacity.

Lopes has already said he would like another shot at managing. In an interview with Brendan Morgan, printed in the Providence Journal last month, he had this to say about the Red Sox: "'Growing up in New England, I was a Red Sox fan. I hated the Yankees. Still hate the Yankees,' he adds with a laugh, ‘though I admire their organization. I watch the Red Sox when I can, and with the ownership there now I have a little bit of a connection (Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino was president and CEO of the Padres during Lopes' first tenure with the team). I always wanted to play in Fenway Park, and I got that chance. It would be nice to do something else there someday if the opportunity happens. You know, if there's another managerial job in the future for me, fine. If not, this will work out all right.'"

Perry Hill is being sought by the Padres. Hill is the infield coach with the Florida Marlins and he is closely monitoring what will happen to the likes of Derek Lee, Luis Castillo and Mike Lowell. If he feels the team will be broken up, Hill will look elsewhere. The Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers are also pursuing Hill.

Greg Maddux remains a favorite to land in San Diego. He broke Cy Young's record of 15 straight years with 15 or more victories with 16 last season and the Padres feel he would be a calming influence to young studs Adam Eaton and Jake Peavy.

The rumor of Maddux coming to town is hitting into reality stage as a source has confirmed his interest in coming to San Diego.

Rumors the Padres have interest in:

Ivan Rodriguez has floated a possible three-year deal worth $21 million. But the Marlins might let him go and start catcher Ramon Castro, whom they can pay as little as $300,000. Pudge would find plenty of suitors on the open market, the Padres could be one of them.

The Royals will be examining the free agent catching list for a No. 1 catcher. That list will include Javy Lopez, who hit 43 home runs with Atlanta, and Ivan Rodriguez, who hit .297 with 16 home runs with Florida. The asking price for both, however, will be too steep for the Royals.

Alex Rodriguez and Rangers owner Tom Hicks, who has vowed to cut payroll, are saying publicly that A-Rod will stay. That could knock them out as a potential place for Andy Pettitte to land. Houston is also out of the Pettitte race.

Andy Pettitte appears to be staying in New York. "You guys know what [Pettitte] has done for this club," Pitching Coach Mel Stottlemyre told reporters Monday. "It doesn't take anybody very smart to realize without him, there's a huge hole."

Around the division:

First baseman Derrek Lee made $4.25 million this year, but the Marlins might prefer to trade him rather than deal with him in arbitration. Arizona is a destination Lee could end up in if the free up some cash in the process.

Although GM Brian Sabean hinted that his Giants payroll would be slashed next year by as much as $10 million, the club said it'll be more like $7 million -- from $83 million to $76 million.

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