San Diego Padres and the Kendall Deal?

Friends of ours in Pittsburgh spoke directly with David Littlefield of the Pittsburgh Pirates to get the inside scoop on the possibility of Jason Kendall being shipped to the San Diego Padres in a trade.

Several rumors have put Kevin Jarvis in Pittsburgh for Jason Kendall. Pittsburgh would absorb a significant portion of the $42 million due to him over the life of his contract.

Many fans have even bought into the rumors and see Kendall as a definite possibility.

On a call with several of our Pittsburgh area reporters, David Littlefield gave it to them straight.

"There is no interest in any trade between the two teams," said Littlefield from Phoenix. "The Padres don't feel the need for Kendall."

The reasoning behind the curt remarks from Littlefield was clear. The offer to take salary off the hands of the Pirates in exchange for next to nothing was not met well. Not to mention the insistence by Kevin Towers that they foot more than half the bill. Towers knows he is dealing from a position of power in these particular trade talks. The market for Kendall is not very big with so many names dotting the free agency list and more catchers on trade watch than ever before in the history of baseball. Even Mike Piazza is linked to trade rumors.

Perhaps the strongest comment linking this together was the following comments from Towers:

"Owners are tired of losing money," Towers said. "They want people who manage their payroll wisely, put a good product on the field and turn a profit."

It is a delicate balance in San Diego. Fans have been duped before and are smarter now. They want the best, especially headed into a new ballpark. They may not know when a good move always takes place, but they are well aware of the names. A Sandy Alomar signing will bring the house down upon Towers, where an Ivan Rodriguez will give him and the team legitimacy (Not that Rodriguez is coming to San Diego, just in this example).

"My sense is that more deals will happen this year because of the marketplace," Towers told the USA Today. "We already saw a megadeal with the Phillies and Astros (the Billy Wagner trade), and I think you'll see more of them.

"Teams want to see what they can do on the trade front before the wave of free agency."

Marlins General Manager Larry Beinfest also touched base Thursday with the Towers, but what they discussed is unknown at this time. Beinfest is trying to unload Derek Lee, but the likely scenario would be concerning one of their young arms.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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