The NL West-leading Padres are on the move. They extended manager Bud Black's contract through 2013 on Monday -- with club options for 2014 and 2015 -- and general manager Jed Hoyer is talking about adding both a hitter and a pitcher by the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline.
"We'll try to accomplish both and see if we can," Hoyer said of the dual hitter-pitcher option for a club that opened the 2010 season with the second-lowest payroll in the majors after Pittsburgh.
Hoyer told CBSSports.com that he's eying a starting pitcher because the club wants to protect three young starters who have pitched limited major-league innings -- Mat Latos, Clayton Richard and Wade LeBlanc -- from overextending themselves.
He added that he would like to add a hitter to help "lengthen" a lineup that currently ranks 12th in runs scored in the National League, and 14th in slugging percentage.
One such hitter whom Hoyer did not name is Milwaukee's Corey Hart, who just so happened to share a National League clubhouse with Padres manager Bud Black at last week's All-Star Game.
Asked the other day if he did any reconnaissance work, Black smiled.
"He had a little bit of time, and I was in the clubhouse," Black said of a between-rounds moment while Hart was jacking baseball's out of Angel Stadium during last Monday's Home Run Derby. "I said, 'Nice round.' And he goes, 'Thanks.' And that was that."
"I did mention, 'Hey, a lot of those balls would have gone out of Petco,'" Black said, smiling. "I did say that to gauge his response."
"He kept looking at the TV and said, 'Yeah, they would have,'" Black said, still grinning. "I gauged his reaction to see if he would say, 'Yeah, I know man, let's go.'
"I didn't get that. I was making sure that he knows we're watching."
Likes: What a great story the Chicago White Sox are. ... A total of 14 games left between the White Sox and Tigers beginning on Aug. 3. ... Rocco Baldelli back in Tampa Bay's system. ... This recent piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Mario Mendoza, he of the Mendoza Line. ... Finally saw the last two episodes of Treme, the excellent HBO show. Have not heard anything about it recently. Hope they renew it for a second season. ... Looking forward to TBS re-running the George Steinbrenner episodes of Seinfeld all week. ... Love American Slang, the new Gaslight Anthem disc. ... About time Friday Night Lights got some Emmy love.
Dislikes: Scott Rolen out with a hamstring injury. This is a very key point in Cincinnati's season. ... Minnesota's Justin Morneau out for another week with that concussion. Those are nothing to mess with, and you never know how bad they are. Here's to a speedy recovery. ... I've seen worse than Everybody's Fine, the Robert DeNiro flick we watched via Netflix the other night. But the writers went way overboard with piling on the stuff from his ingrate kids. The ending came around and fixed that some, but still, a disappointment.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"And in the end
"The love you take
"Is equal to the love
-- The Beatles, The End