The San Diego Padres reportedly are getting a lot of inquiries about third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, perhaps because he would be the most inexpensive option for a team needing a decent third baseman.
The rationale is logical. The money that Chone Figgins and Placido Polanco have commanded may be driving up the price of the other free agent third basemen on the market, including Pedro Feliz, who is high on the Orioles shopping list. Kouzmanoff is eligible for arbitration after three solid run-production years, but still doesn't figure to cost much more than $4 million next year.
Andy MacPhail disputed the notion that the market for third basemen has changed significantly in the past week or two.
"To this point, there hasn't been anything that has evolved that has taken us by surprise,'' he said.
The Padres are believed to have heard from up to eight teams, including the Orioles, Giants and Twins.