SAN DIEGO -- Todd Walker is about to find out how good of a third baseman he is.
And the San Diego Padres got through the non-waiver trade deadline Monday without parting with any relievers -- specifically setup man Scott Linebrink -- which general manager Kevin Towers thinks could help the Padres repeat as NL West champions.
The Padres acquired Walker from the Chicago Cubs to help out at third, which has been a weak link offensively. The Padres also got $350,000 in the deal and sent minor league right-hander Jose Ceda to the Cubs.
Walker won a three-way battle in spring training for the Cubs' second base job, but played first while Derrek Lee was out for two months with a broken right wrist.
Asked at Wrigley Field how his third base is, Walker said: "We'll see. You know, if I can't do it, it's not going to be from a lack of effort. I'm going to go over there and give them everything I've got. They deserve at least that. We'll see how it works out. But they've got a good team. I'm going to do the best I can."
Walker hasn't played third base since 1996-97 with Minnesota, but the Padres got him for his bat more than his defense.
The Padres have been looking for a third baseman since the All-Star break, a search that became more critical when they released slumping Vinny Castilla on July 19. Mark Bellhorn and Geoff Blum didn't provide the needed offensive spark the last two weeks.
The Padres envision a platoon with Walker, who bats left-handed, and Bellhorn, a switch-hitter. Blum likely will return to a utility role.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Walker can also spell rookie Josh Barfield at second base and come off the bench.
Towers said he'd like to have Walker in the lineup as often as possible "because he's one of the toughest outs in the major leagues. He's somebody we think will make our offense better than it currently is. We were able to acquire a bat without having to give up anybody from our big league club."
Although Castilla's defense was solid, the 39-year-old was hitting just .232 with four homers and 23 RBI.
In Walker, the Padres get a player who hits well but can be shaky in the field.
The 33-year-old Walker is batting .277 with a .352 on-base percentage, six homers, 16 doubles and 40 RBI. He led the Cubs with 38 walks this season and had 25 multi-hit games.