Padres target Ensberg, Maddux

Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg remains the Padres' primary trade target, but Cubs right-hander Greg Maddux could represent Plan B, has learned.

To obtain Maddux, the Padres likely would need to outbid the Dodgers, who are increasing their efforts to land the future Hall of Famer and possess a greater number of trade chips.
The Padres' plans hinge on two unrelated scenarios the prognosis for right-hander Chan Ho Park, who went on the disabled list Sunday, and the Astros' pursuit of Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Ensberg, currently on the DL with a bruised right shoulder, is part of the Astros' offer for Tejada, according to major-league sources.

The Astros, however, are unlikely to trade Ensberg in a lesser deal. They were not enthused by the Padres' initial offer of right-handed reliever Scott Linebrink and either infielder Mark Bellhorn or Geoff Blum and probably would want a more substantial regular, such as Padres shortstop Khalil Greene, in return.

Ensberg, 30, hit a home run and two doubles in his first rehabilitation start Saturday at Class AAA. He is a potent offensive force when healthy, and is not eligible for free agency until after the 2008 season.

Park, suffering from abdominal pain, went on the DL retroactive to July 26. The Padres could intensify their efforts to acquire Maddux if they believe Park's injury is serious, but their primary goal is to add a third baseman, not a starting pitcher.

Ken Rosenthal is's senior baseball writer.