Report: Padres want to sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, trade for JT Realmuto
The San Diego Padres have suddenly been linked to the top names on both the free agent and trade markets, and there is reason to believe they are doing more than just window shopping.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com was told by a rival executive this week that Padres general manager A.J. Preller is “trying earnestly” to sign one of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado in addition to trading for Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Morosi notes that the idea is not all that unrealistic, as the Padres could add a $30 million salary and still be somewhere in the middle of the league in payroll. They also have a very deep farm system and could potentially make the Marlins a solid offer.
In addition to the aforementioned big names, the Padres have also reportedly shown interest in free agent right-hander Gio Gonzalez, who is 33 and coming off a down year. Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star, posted a 10-11 record and 4.21 ERA in 2018, but he went 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in five starts after the Washington Nationals traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers. He could end up being a bargain.
All indications are that the Padres are serious about making a big splash, so it’s just a matter of whether or not star players want to play in San Diego. If they’re willing to offer top dollar in what has been another quiet free agent market, they may have a leg up on other teams.