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Mailbag: Who will Padres acquire?

Mailbag: Who will Padres acquire?

With Greg Maddux traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later, when do we as fans find out who the players are? I've always heard this term used in baseball. Do we find out in the offseason or at the end of the season?
-- Adam W., San Diego

Here's how this deal works out: The Padres and Dodgers agreed on a list of five players, all Minor Leaguers. From that list, the Padres, in this case, will choose two of them by a deadline of Oct. 15. This gives the Padres more time to scout these players between now and the end of the Minor League season. Now keep in mind that these two players will likely be lower-level prospects who aren't anywhere close to being ready to contribute at the Major League level. But general manager Kevin Towers said there are some names on that list he's excited about.

If possible, can the Padres play a game or two at Qualcomm Stadium? The stadium is in playable shape and it shouldn't take much to play a weekend series there, should it? This team is going to need some spice to bring back the fans in the coming years and I think something like this would sell out.
-- Jason M., Menifee, Calif.

C'mon Jason, I hope you're kidding. There's a perfectly good reason why the Padres moved from Qualcomm Stadium to PETCO Park -- it's not a good baseball stadium. Now, I realize the Padres had some good times there (and plenty of bad times there as well), but PETCO Park, in my opinion, is one of the top stadiums in baseball with its downtown location to sightlines, etc. I don't see how moving games to Qualcomm Stadium will help the team in any way and I don't think it will be the draw you think it will be -- unless, say, Stone Temple Pilots play a free show afterwards.

Are the Padres interested in taking on pitcher CC Sabathia next season?
-- Aseer A., San Diego

Interested? Absolutely. Is it feasible for the Padres to sign him? No way.

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While it's true the Padres figure to have three open spots in the rotation to follow Jake Peavy and Chris Young, they don't figure to be players in the Sabathia sweepstakes for one very simple reason: money.

Sabathia made $9 million this season and figures to command so much more than that with his next contract. Ask yourself this, if San Francisco paid pitcher Barry Zito $126 million over seven years, what will Sabathia fetch? The Padres could very well fill those vacant rotation spots internally -- with Steve Garrison and Wade LeBlanc, to name a couple -- or could look for lower-priced free agents.

What is the deal with the Padres continuing with pitcher Cha Seung Baek? They have already thrown in the towel, so I would think the rest of this year is a tryout for next year. Doesn't the system have another kid to try out? Why continue on with Baek and his soaring ERA? Do they still see something in this guy?
-- Jim R., San Diego

I have to disagree. I think there's nothing wrong with taking a good look at Baek moving forward. He is a guy who figures to get a chance to crack the starting rotation in 2009, possibly as a fifth starter. Unlike other pitchers the Padres have moved in and out of the rotation, Baek has the ability to miss bats because he has good stuff. Now, his stuff doesn't always show up and, for whatever reason, the guy has been a better pitcher on the road than at home, where most Padres pitchers have their greatest success. I think you will see plenty of Baek over the final month of the season and, quite possibly, 2009. Ask yourself this: What do you want in a No. 5 starter?

What is going on with Matt Antonelli? I haven't heard much about him this year.
-- Pat H., Chambersburg, Pa.

Not unlike other players who make the jump from Double-A to Triple-A, Antonelli has struggled this season with Portland. It happened to Chase Headley, before he got things turned around. It happened to LeBlanc, who only recently started to turn things around and have success. But for whatever reason, it hasn't happened yet for the Padres' No. 1 Draft pick from 2006. That said, Antonelli, a second baseman, is hitting .297 in August, which has raised his average to .213. He has nearly as many walks (75) as he does strikeouts (83), but hasn't consistently hit for the Beavers. The Padres certainly haven't given up on him by any means.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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