The San Diego Padres are presently in the need of some middle infield help, and there has been a lot of speculation that the Chicago Cubs could be a great match for them. That really is no secret as the Padres have been linked to both Starlin Castro and Javier Baez in the past few months. Could a potential deal happen and would the Cubs really deal both middle infielders?
John Heyman reported last week that he believed the two teams could reach agreement on a deal in the near future. His trade offer indicated the Cubs would be interested in reuniting themselves with right handed pitcher Andrew Cashner. His article states a deal of Cashner for Baez and Castro could be done, but It’s hard to believe the Cubs would move both young middle infielders.
Andrew Cashner has always had a very high ceiling and he certainly would command a decent haul in return. Cashner is not due to become a free agent until after the 2016 season, so he would not be a rental for the Cubs. For the first time in recent memory he has thrown fairly decently and has had no health issues. The Padres would probably be wise to move him while his value is high. Cashner has always seemed one start away from a D.L. stint. He gives it 100 percent on the mound and sometimes those gritty performances take their toll on a pitcher.
This season for Cashner has mirrored that of the Padres in many aspects. He has thrown well at times, but the defense has let him down. Cashner has also been hit really hard too. He had a stretch in four starts (In June) where he allowed 23 runs (17 earned) while walking 14 batters. Those type of performances cannot be tolerated from a pitcher with the arsenal of pitches Cashner possesses. The Padres clearly expect more from the big Texan.
The Cubs would certainly have interest in Cashner. They are very familiar with who he is, as Cashner was drafted by the Cubs in the first round of the 2008 draft out of TCU. He was later dealt to the Padres straight up for Anthony Rizzo. That particular deal hasn’t worked out well for the Padres so far. Perhaps packaging Cashner back to the Cubs will result in the Padres finally winning the Rizzo trade.
Starlin Castro could very well be the shortstop the Padres have been looking for. Despite having six years of major league experience, Castro is still only 25 years old. He has shown an above average major league bat and has proved very durable during his Major League career. With a .282 career average in 818 career games including a streak of 269 games straight.
The glove of Starlin Castro has been below average since he was introduced to the league in 2010. This particular season has been his worst, as Castro has already committed 15 errors on the season in 77 games. Last season Castro committed 15 in 133 games for the Cubs. His fielding percentage is at .959 right now, where the league average is at about .972. Not very desirable at all.
Also take into consideration that the Cubs are on the hook for over $41 million dollars for Castro for the next four plus seasons. Not a horrible contract, but if Castro continues to regress the contract could get to be a problem very quickly. The Cubs are reportedly very eager to move Castro so if the Padres really want him, he could probably be attained. Most Padres fans would agree Castro is not the best fit for the Padres. The team’s defense is already below average, the Padres would most definitely want a shortstop who can stabilize the team, not hurt it further.
Javier Baez would be an interesting option. He has ridiculous power from a middle infielder but with that power comes a lot of swings and misses. I wrote an article previously on Baez and you may check it out here. At the age of 22, Baez has tremendous appeal and could be a special player in the Major Leagues. With Addison Russell already playing everyday with the Cubs, Baez is certainly expendable. The team values Russell very highly and he is looked at as the shortstop of the future for the Cubs. The Cubs are surely waiting for an appropriate package of player and the Padres just might have the package of players to get a deal done.
It is no secret that the Cubs are close to becoming a very relevant team in the National League. They are presently 44-36 and in control for the second wild card spot in the 2015 playoffs. The Cubs have a 3.5 game lead on the New York Mets for that last wild card spot. The team is said to be looking for a left-hand hitting outfielder and starting pitching. Will Venable has been mentioned by Heyman as a possible trade target for the Cubs. Put Will Venable with Andrew Cashner and the Padres have two big needs for the Chicago Cubs.
In fact one could argue that Justin Upton would be a huge upgrade for the Cubs as well. The Padres are at a crossroads in which they must decide if taking the high draft pick for Upton is worth the price of letting him stay in a Padres uniform all year? Or they could perhaps deal him for a player who is more Major League ready? The Cubs would surely be suitors if Justin Upton were made available. I’m just saying.
Could the two teams pull off a multiple player deal in which both teams gain what they are looking for? Only time will tell if the two teams can agree to a deal. The Padres make a great partner for the Cubs, but A.J. Preller is the one who is surely asking a lot for his talent. With the recent play of the team, fans would like the team to remain active in fixing their issues. As long as the Padres organization attempts to improve the product on the field, the fans will support them.