SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A.J. Preller emerged from a white Chevy Malibu in front of the Omni Resort & Spa at Montelucia, with its sprawling grounds and vine-strewn courtyards, late Monday afternoon.
The Padres general manager arrived via Uber and with a purpose.
Even if he isn't projecting it publicly.
His stock speech about the offseason has been delivered a few times already this young offseason.
"Every offseason is crucial" and that sort of thing.
But over the next three days at this five-star resort in the shadow of Camelback Mountain, things could be/should be different. Here and at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings in San Diego early next month, even Preller acknowledges a shift in the dynamic.
"There will be different conversations this offseason," he said.
There is an air of anticipation both within and from the outside, as multiple people with knowledge of the Padres' machinations say Preller is poised to execute moves this week. So close are the Padres to being ready to deal that whether they do could entirely depend on the willingness of other teams to actually consummate.
Whenever moves happen, there seems little doubt they will.
It was conjectured recently inside the Padres offices that Preller could pull some "surprises" this offseason. With a quizzical look, one member of the front office said, "The surprise will be if he doesn't."