San Diego Padres rumors: New catching target, Yankees trade talks, more

Let's take a look at some of the latest San Diego Padres rumors, including an option behind the plate to keep an eye on this offseason.
Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado
Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

NASHVILLE — Hello from Music City, where the San Diego Padres are sure to be one of the most talked about teams at this year's MLB Winter Meetings. With that in mind, here are some of the latest MLB rumors surrounding the Friars.

San Diego Padres rumors: Martin Maldonado a potential free agent acquisition?

In his weekly column for USA Today, MLB insider Bob Nightengale writes that the Padres are one of five teams that are expressing interest in the 37-year-old backstop. Joining the Padres on the list of interested teams is the Houston Astros (where Maldonado has been the primary catcher for the past four seasons), Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox and Miami Marlins. 

If signed by San Diego, Maldonado would be a veteran who could potentially be paired with Luis Campusano next season. However, Maldonado hasn't posted an OPS+ over 70 in a full non-COVID season since 2019, so Padres fans would have to expect Maldonado to not bring the pop that Gary Sanchez (116 OPS+ in 72 games last season with San Diego) did after being signed.

New York Yankees rumors: One name not in trade talks with San Diego

Nightengale also writes that, if the Yankees acquire Juan Soto in a trade with the Padres, one player who won't be in the return to San Diego is shortstop Anthony Volpe. The 22-year-old Volpe produced 3.3 bWAR in his rookie season in 2023 and Nightengale pens, "His name hasn’t come up," in the Soto trade talk.

That makes sense on a number of levels as the Yankees are expected to have Volpe as a part of their core moving forward and San Diego has plenty of options at shortstop already.

Speaking of trades, Nightengale adds that many in the industry believe Ha-Seong Kim to be San Diego's biggest trade chip, thanks in part to his play on the field and his $8 million deal this season. However, much like the Yankees with Volpe, the Padres certainly seem to treasure what Kim means to the lineup.