MLB Rumor Central: Padres eyeing Pablo Sandoval?

The Padres have been taking a look at Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval in recent days. Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres were one of the teams that offered Pablo Sandoval a contract two winters ago before he signed with the Boston Red Sox. Is there still interest from the Padres in bringing Sandoval back to the West Coast?

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports a Padres scout is in Fort Myers, Florida, "taking a close look" at Sandoval, adding “it’s anyone guess” if the story goes beyond that. The Padres are prepared to open the season with Yangervis Solarte at third base, and could be looking for an upgrade.

General manager A.J. Preller presumably would look for the Red Sox to absorb a large chunk of the $77.4 million left on Sandoval's $95 million deal. Cafardo notes the Padres have been open to trading veteran starter James Shields, who has about $65 million remaining on his deal. The Red Sox and Orioles have both been linked to Shields, who went 13-7 with a 3.91 ERA last season and allowed a major league-high 33 homers.

A key question here is how serious the Red Sox are about moving Sandoval, who was a two-time All-Star with the Giants before posting a .245/.292/.366 slashline in his first season in Boston. Sandoval also appeared to carrying more than a few extra pounds when he showed up at spring training last month.