Vizquel: Padres would be a 'great fit'
Club talking with veteran shortstop, eyes a decision this week
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are seeking depth at shortstop. Omar Vizquel is looking for a job, preferably, he says, in the National League West Division.
Could the two be a match?
San Diego general manager Kevin Towers said Tuesday that he hoped to have a deal in place for a shortstop by the end of the week. He has said previously that Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner, was being considered.
On Wednesday, the 41-year-old Vizquel confirmed conversations with the Padres, but would not say if negotiations were to the point where a deal was imminent.
"They've showed some interested," Vizquel said from his Seattle-area home. "It could be a great fit for me. I've played in the division and I know a lot of people."
Vizquel, who turns 42 in April, did not have his option picked up by the Giants at the end of last season, his fourth in San Francisco. He hit .222 in 266 at-bats, slow to recover from the arthroscopic surgery he had on his left knee last February.
"I do want to play again. It's really important to me," he said. "I think the injury slowed me down last year. I want to show I'm a better player than that."
If the Padres do sign Vizquel, he will be reunited with his first Major League manager, Jim Lefebvre, who is now the hitting coach for the Padres.
Offensively, Vizquel has 2,657 hits and needs 21 more to pass Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio for the most while playing shortstop.
"I'm not playing for record-breaking or anything like that," Vizquel said last month. "I am just playing because I feel good. I know I'm close to Luis Aparicio for hits and that would be good, but it's not the reason why I want to keep playing.
"The reasons I want to keep playing are because I feel I can still play and I enjoy it."
The Padres don't have a true shortstop on their 40-man roster -- Luis Rodriguez is about the closet thing to it. Rodriguez, a natural second baseman, played well offensively and defensively over the final two months of the season when stepping in for injured shortstop Khalil Greene.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.