Padres Editorial: Trade Cashner or Try to Collect Compensation Pick?

Credit: USA Today Sports
Credit: USA Today Sports

The San Diego Padres have a big decision to make in the next few months. Right handed pitcher Andrew Cashner is in the last year of his  contract and due for free agency after the 2016 season. Will the Padres keep the big Texan and try to collect a compensation pick for him or will they trade him come the August first trade deadline?

Cashner does not seem likely to re-sign with the Padres after the year, that is for certain. The franchise and Cashner have never really had serious talks about an extensions and it really doesn’t seem possible.  A change of scenery would probably do him well too, as Cashner just has never lived up to the hype in San Diego. Padres fans are still extremely bitter about the fact the club dealt Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs for Cashner. That trade will always leave a bad taste in Padres’ fans mouth.

The fact that Ian Kennedy earned the Padres a compensation pick last season bodes well for Cashner’s chances. You would have to figure that the Padres are well aware of that fact. It’s a really tough call though. The team cannot afford to lose the hard-throwing right handed pitcher at this point without getting something of substance in return. So do you take the chance he will earn the pick or do you try to move him for prospects now? There is also the chance he takes the compensation offer from the Padres and they are forced to pay him somewhere around $16 million dollars next season. A lot can happen.

Andrew Cashner has been an enigma his whole career. The man can look absolutely dominant one day and the next look helpless on the mound. With that kind of showing on a weekly basis, it is really difficult to make a commitment to him financially. You cannot blame the San Diego Padres for being hesitant to extend him long-term.

Another huge issue with Cashner is his health. He is currently on the D.L. for the second time this season after a recent neck injury suffered in the first inning Friday against the Rockies. In the past Cashner has had injury woes so the frustration is real among Padres fans and the front office. With two D.L. trips so far this 2016 season, his value is once again plummeting.

Now let’s discuss his value. If the Padres were to trade Cashner at this point they would probably get a fringe prospect or two. His numbers and recent injury issues dictate his trade return from a contending team would be minimal at best. Some team in the thick of it would benefit from Cashner in the back-end of their rotation. A potential team would be intrigued by his upside. However is getting one or two fringe prospects worth more than a first round selection? Perhaps the Padres can package Cashner with another player to increase the return. A.J. Preller is sure to explore all options.

Is Andrew Cashner really worthy of a compensation pick? If the Padres put that tag on him, the chances are very decent that Cashner would find a deal on the open market. It is a gamble though. A lot depends on the rest of his 2016 season. Unfortunately for the Padres he will miss his next three starts and a decision must be made on his future before the trade deadline. That should give the Padres roughly three or four starts to judge Cashner before making up their minds. The San Diego Padres future will be decided in the next few months. The draft was only phase one. Stay tuned, there will be plenty of action in PadreLand despite the team being out of contention. Tons of decisions must be made.

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