All has been quiet at the Winter Meetings to this point for the Padres, as many of you thought it would be. Not surprising is the fact that GM Jed Hoyer has been getting "action" on several of his players, including Heath Bell and Kevin Kouzmanoff. At first glance it doesn't seem like Kouz will be going to the Giants. The names that were floated, Fred Lewis and Kevin Frandsen don't get my heart racing and apparently didn't get Hoyer's going either. We already have a better version of Lewis, in Tony Gwynn Jr., and I'm not certain that Frandsen would be a good enough fielder, or hitter to succeed in the utility role on the bench. Keep searching. Kouz attracted interest from up to 8 teams. As I pointed out on Darren Smith's show on XX1090 a week or so ago, the situation at 3rd is a bit crowded, especially with the emergence of Kyle Blanks in the outfield and at the plate. I guess as I mentioned it's a good problem to have. Chase Headley is a natural third baseman and it would seem that either he or Kouz will be moved to open up the slot for Blanks.
The Kevin Correia situation is worth watching. The Padres know that if it gets to arbitration, Correia is going to get a healthy raise from the 1.1 million he made after incentives last season. Hopefully they'll be able to agree with him before it gets to that point. I thought that Correia excelled in the starters role and provided a great lift to the team as a starter. He's still young and can contribute.
Heath Bell is another interesting situation. 42 saves in his first year as a closer, but also due a healthy raise in arbitration. The Padres have to figure out if they believe Bell has reached his "ceiling" or if there's still room to grow. I'm sure the team feels there are some internal candidates to replace Bell if he's dealt, like Mike Adams who is also arbitration eligible, Luke Gregerson and to some degree Edward Mujica.
Keep track of all the developments at the meetings in Indianapolis by following Corey Brock on Twitter @FollowThePadres, or at www.padres.com.
USD Back home tonight...
The USD Toreros return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion tonight, with another tough non-conference matchup facing New Mexico, coached by Steve Alford. The Lobos are a perfect 8-0 this year and feature a very experienced team, which beat the Toreros last year at the JCP 57-54. USD is trying to snap an ugly 4 game losing skid that started in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout. The Toreros have been struggling terribly from the floor, shooting around 35% over the skid, and scoring just 52 points a game. Brandon Johnson should return to the lineup tonight after missing Sunday's game at Fresno State as a result of a coaches decision. Hope you can make it out to the game tonight, but if not, I'll have the call for you starting at 6:45 on XX1090 and on the web at www.usdtoreros.com.
A family loss...
Sad news hit me yesterday, when my dad called from Chicago, to inform me that the family dog, Maxwell, a great Golden Retriever, had to be put to sleep. We had him for nearly 15 years and this friendly, warm animal, turned me into a dog lover. I didn't have a dog growing up due to allergies, so this was my first real pet. Max was rescued by my family from the Anti-Cruelty Society and given a great home, where he was treated like a king. Max was not doing well toward the end, having a lot of trouble walking, and fell a few times. He was developing cancer, and the vet agreed it was time. I'm really going to miss Max, and his wagging tail, it will certainly be strange to walk into my parent's house next time I'm in Chicago and not have him greet me. I know he's in a better place now, and not in any pain, but it doesn't make it any easier. Here's some pictures of him, when he first came to the Masur house...
That's all I have for you today...have a great day!