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The San Diego Padres continue to be aggressive in front of the August 31 trade deadline. The are in serious talks to acquire utility man Austin Nola from the Seattle Mariners for a “highly-regarded prospect,” according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.com. Generally speaking, reports using the wording Passan did almost always see the deal come to fruition. 

Nola, 30, finally made his MLB debut last season after a lengthy stay in the minors, so he’s a bit a late bloomer. He has played first base, second base, third base, left field and right field so far in his big league career. Oh, and he catches. Yes, Nola is the rare utility man who is also a catcher. 

So far this season, Nola is hitting .306/.373/.531 (150 OPS+) with five homers and 19 RBI in 29 games. The Mariners held him out of action Sunday in anticipation of dealing him. 

After acquiring Jason Castro, it would appear Padres general manager A.J. Preller was looking to upgrade behind the plate over the combo of Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia (currently on the injured list), who have been ineffective offensively. Bare in mind, obviously, that Nola plays lots of other positions, too, so it wouldn’t be a strict catching tandem. 

The Padres haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, but currently sit at 21-15 which is good to hold down the four seed in the National League at present, so the aggression from the front office isn’t surprising. 

As for the highly-touted prospect that might be going back, well, the Padres have a bunch of them. They have six of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects (Baseball Prospectus has them with seven of their top 100) and they are deep with mid-tier prospects as well. 

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