July 31, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) The trade deadline was a dud for the San Diego Padres.

While many in baseball expected general manager A.J. Preller to perhaps be as frenzied of a trader as he was in December, he made only a minor deal.

When the deadline passed Friday afternoon, left fielder Justin Upton, right-hander Tyson Ross, closer Craig Kimbrel and everybody else who had been named in various rumors remained with the Padres.

Upton seemed the likeliest to be moved, since he'll be eligible for free agency after the season. Ross and Kimbrel were attracting interest, too.

''We've got a lot of players that are attractive to clubs and we were working through all different scenarios to add to the club and other scenarios. Teams were asking about our guys, but ultimately we didn't feel like we got to the value that we needed to get to,'' Preller said in Miami before the Padres played the Marlins.

''If we got to those values I think we probably would have made other trades, but I think the fact that the team has played better, that made it a little easier to kind of stay pat and add a guy and go from there.''

The Padres went into Friday's game at Miami at 49-53, eight games back in the NL West and 7 1/2 out of the second wild-card spot.

San Diego has been a disappointment since adding Upton, Matt Kemp, James Shields, Wil Myers and Derek Norris in a flurry of winter deals that cost it plenty of prospects. The Padres added Kimbrel the day before opening day, also taking on Melvin Upton Jr.'s large contract.

''It's a relief and I think just the sense around the clubhouse is the front office wants this group, so we're going to do everything in our power to make sure they didn't make the wrong decision,'' Justin Upton said.

He said the hours leading up to the deadline weren't stressful.

''I've been having fun. I've got friends in town and we've just been hanging out and I'm enjoying my time with them so I haven't been too worried.''

The Padres are 8-4 since the All-Star break.

''Playing well the last few weeks I guess showed them that this team is confident in themselves,'' Upton said. ''We're enjoying the fact that we're going to keep this group here.''

Said Preller: ''I know the last couple of weeks we've played better baseball. At the trade deadline we had the chance to land a left-handed reliever in Mark Rzepczynski and we'll see. I think what we've seen here in the last few weeks we're hoping that continues on in the second half.''

The Padres obtained Rzepczynski from Cleveland for outfielder Abraham Almonte.

Rzepczynski appeared in 45 games out of the bullpen this season for the Indians, going 2-3 record with a 4.43 ERA. He's also been with Toronto and St. Louis. He made four appearances in the 2011 World Series with St. Louis.

''He's pitched in World Series games, he's pitched in big spots,'' Preller said. ''He's been one of the toughest lefty relievers on left-handed hitters over the last few years.''

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Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson

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AP freelancer Christopher Stock in Miami contributed.

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