The San Diego Padres continue to win but there are still rumors swirling around the team about a potential trade. The latest rumors have the Texas Rangers talking to the Padres about starting pitchers Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner. The Rangers are also rumored to be pursuing Cole Hamels from the Philadelphia Phillies. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com who follows the Rangers broke this news Sunday afternoon.
Andrew Cashner being a native Texan would be a great fit for the Rangers. They always are in the need of starting pitchers and being closer to home might just be the best thing for the flame throwing right handed pitcher. It was reported that Andrew Cashner even jokingly said goodbye to members of the San Diego media after Sunday’s game. He is clearly aware of the rumors.
The Rangers have a pretty deep farm system that A.J. Preller is very well aware of. Preller was an assistant general manager for the team prior to being hired by the Padres in August of 2014. The most prized prospect in the Rangers farm system is Joey Gallo. The 21-year-old third baseman and outfielder has ridiculous power.
Joey Gallo easily grades as the best power prospect in the game of baseball. The left-handed Gallo was called up earlier this year when Adrian Beltre hurt his thumb. Gallo had 71 at bats slugging five home runs but only managed to hit.183 and struck out 29 times. Gallo would be nearly untouchable though. The Padres would have to really pay a hefty price tag if they wanted to acquire him.
Texas is currently in the same position as the Padres. They have a long road ahead of them if they plan on making a playoff run. The team is close to throwing in the towel similar to the Padres and are said to be looking for pieces for next season. They have been linked to Hamels only because he has numerous years left on his contract. Same goes for their connection to Cashner or Ross. The Rangers are currently looking for starting pitchers that they can control beyond this year.
With Yovani Gallardo due for free agency and already reports the Dodgers are coveting him, the Rangers are in the same boat as the Padres. They will be a rare team both buying and selling at the deadline. They too will be looking to move potential free agents in order to put themselves in a better position to win next year. It will be an interesting July 31st deadline for both teams.
The report by Sullivan indicates the Padres are in search of a shortstop. One would have to wonder if the Padres are really willing to take on the huge contract of Elvis Andrus. The Rangers are clearly displeased with their young shortstop. Most recently throwing his glove at a ball in play. He has shown great ability, but some question his work ethic and motivation. Not a great combination for a player who are you committed long-term to financially.
Andrus signed an 8 year-$118 million dollar contract that just kicked in this season. At the age of 26, Andrus is owed money until the 2022 season and he has a $15 million dollar vesting option for the 2023 season. His play has diminished in the last two season, leaving the Rangers afraid the contract will be a bust. The Padres need at shortstop is quite evident, but taking on Andrus and his salary would be extremely risky.
Elvis Andrus has decent numbers, but you would not consider him an offensive shortstop by any means. He has great speed and usually puts the ball in play, however Andrus has no power what so ever. With 23 home runs in over 3,850 Major League at bats, Andrus will never be a power threat. A lifetime .270 hitter with a .332 career on base percentage, Andrus has decent numbers at a normally weak offensive position. Andrus has 202 career stolen bases in his seven-year Major League career, so he does provide some speed on the base paths.
A deal for Andrus seems highly unlikely unless the Padres could free themselves of the salary of Melvin Upton Jr. The team has committed more money this season, but Padres fans cannot expect the team to go too crazy in their spending. The Rangers have other prospects not named Joey Gallo, who might be a decent fit for the Padres.
Jake Thompson is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher who is currently throwing at Double-A Frisco. He was a second round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2012 and has a Major League ready slider. His fastball and change-up are a work in progress but the young man has a bright future. In 16 starts this season for the RoughRiders he is 6-5 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. In 81 innings he has struck out 73 batters. Thompson has an exceptional slider and his fastball sits at about 90-93 MPH. It has decent sink to it, and Thompson is projected as a solid mid rotation type pitcher eventually.
Nomar Mazara could provide the Padres a decent left-handed outfield prospect. The 20-year-old is currently hitting .284 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI’s in Double-A Frisco. He has a solid arm in the outfield but lacks the foot speed to play center. Mazara has legit power potential and has made a quick rise through the Rangers minor league system. Nick Williams is another left-handed hitting outfielder who might interest the Padres. He too is at Double-A Frisco where he is hitting .302 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI’s in 94 games. The 21-year-old outfielder has decent speed, but has played mostly left field in his professional career.
Alec Asher and Brett Martin are two young pitchers that could also interest A.J. Preller and the Padres management. Martin is a 20-year-old left-handed starting pitcher. He is currently in A-ball pitching for the Hickory Crawdads where he is 4-4 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. The left-handed pitcher has an excellent curve ball but needs to refine his other pitches. Asher is a 23-year-old right handed pitcher currently in Triple-A Round Rock. Asher is 3-5 with a 4.91 ERA and 50 K’s in 58 innings pitched. He does not have any exceptional pitches, but has good command and a very smooth delivery. He projects as a mid rotation innings eater in the Major Leagues eventually.
A most intriguing name in a potential deal is Jurickson Profar. The often injured shortstop is mostly forgotten but is still only 22 years old. He had right shoulder surgery this spring and is going to miss the entire 2015 season. He is however expected to be fully recovered come spring 2016 and could be a steal if the Padres were able to obtain him. The switch hitting infielder might not be able to handle the shortstop position in the Major Leagues however. He has had trouble defending in the minor leagues but projects to have a rare power and speed bat from a middle infielder. Profar might settle eventually at second base but he should be a valuable Major League player eventually.
The two teams match up fairly well in a trade. Preller’s knowledge of the Rangers farm system could benefit the Padres greatly in a potential trade. The Padres are sure to be a very active team in the next few days. All of San Diego and all of the baseball community has their eyes on you.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.