Padres sorting out winter plans for players

Goebbert to play in DR; team working out Despaigne's offseason schedule

Padres sorting out winter plans for players

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are not yet ready to lock things in stone and release an official list of winter ball plans, but they're moving closer.

Manager Bud Black said Thursday that first baseman Jake Goebbert is going to play in the Dominican Republic and likely will be joined there by catcher/first baseman Yasmani Grandal.

Also, outfielder Cameron Maybin, whose season has been limited as injuries and a performance-enhancing drug suspension have held him to 74 games, has expressed interest in playing winter ball, according to Black, as has first baseman Yonder Alonso, if the healing from right wrist surgery progresses to a point where he can. The Padres also would like first baseman/outfielder Tommy Medica to play this winter.

Meanwhile, infielder Jace Peterson and others are slated to play in the Arizona Fall League.

The Padres also are engaged in some negotiating with starter Odrisamer Despaigne.

"He wants to play a little bit," Black said. "It's been his yearly schedule to play a little. We talked with him [Wednesday] about what he's done."

In Cuba, Despaigne traditionally played in the regular season and then pitched some games in an international schedule during the offseason. With Despaigne 3-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 79 1/3 innings over 13 starts, and with him already having worked another 31 1/3 innings this summer at Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso, the Padres do not want him to take on a heavy winter workload.

Black mentioned maybe four or five starts in December would be the right amount for Despaigne.

The discussion led Black to recall his days pitching for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League during the winter of 1981-1982, on a team that included Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and former big leaguers Tony Armas, Bo Diaz, Steve Sax, Eddie Milner, Luis Leal and Luis Salazar.

The Leones won the Caribbean World Series in Hermosillo, Mexico, and Black still has his ring.

"I had a great experience there," Black said. "I really did."

Scott Miller is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.