Padres and Marlins start 3-game series Friday night
The San Diego Padres took on hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts this offseason in an attempt to return to the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
That quick-fix approach hasn't paid off, and some of those acquisitions could be dealt by the time the Padres open a three-game road series with the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
San Diego (49-53) brought in Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks and Wil Myers through trades and signed starter James Shields to a four-year, $75 million deal.
The Padres have underachieved, though, and manager Bud Black was fired June 15 and replaced on an interim basis by Pat Murphy. With the club's first playoff appearance since back-to-back NL West titles in 2005 and '06 seeming unlikely, San Diego has been rumored to be making available many of the players from general manager A.J. Preller's offseason shopping spree.
If Justin Upton is traded before the deadline, he'd be leaving in style. He hit a two-out, three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to give the Padres an 8-7 win over the New York Mets on Thursday after they trailed 7-1 through six.
"Livin' in the moment. Whatever happens tomorrow happens - or doesn't happen," Upton said. "Just taking it day to day."
Norris went 5 for 5 with a grand slam for San Diego, which has won five of six.
Ian Kennedy's name also has come up, leaving it unclear if he'll be around to make his start with the deadline coming four hours prior to Friday's first pitch.
Kennedy (6-9, 4.58 ERA) allowed one run and struck out seven in six innings to beat the Marlins 3-1 on Saturday. He's 3-4 over his last eight starts despite posting a 2.53 ERA.
"I've been in this situation before," said Kennedy, who was dealt from Arizona to San Diego at last year's deadline. "No matter what's going on, I still have to go out and pitch. It doesn't matter if I'm going or staying a Padre. Whatever it is you still have to do your job and pitch."
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last four against the Marlins (42-60), who also could be planning more moves.
Miami has lost five of six - including dropping the final three of a four-game series with the Padres last weekend - after falling 1-0 to Washington on Thursday. Shortly after the game, it was announced that a 13-player deal between the Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta had been completed, with Miami receiving prospects while sending Mat Latos and Michael Morse to the Dodgers.
"When I have to sit here and say we've made a trade and we haven't added (major league players), it means something has not gone right," team president Michael Hill said. "As we currently sit right now, we're 18 games under .500 and not performing the way we felt like this team was capable of performing."
David Phelps (4-7, 3.86) has lost his last three starts while receiving one run of support in 17 2-3 innings. The right-hander opposed Kennedy on Saturday and allowed two runs in six innings.
Five of the six runs Phelps has allowed in those three defeats have come in the first three innings.