As the 2015 Major League Baseball trade deadline nears, the San Diego Padres are likely to be very heavy players in the wheeling and dealing of players. The team could be buyers at the deadline, but seems more likely to be sellers being that the team is just too far out of contention.
Justin Upton, Will Venable, Joaquin Benoit and Ian Kennedy are all pending free agents and each has some value to a team vying for a playoff position. In particular Justin Upton could bring a hefty group of prospects. Beside that foursome, recent reports have the names Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross as possible trade targets. The Houston Astros were reportedly asking about the availability of each pitcher and a trade could easily be beneficial for each franchise.
The question as a Padres fans is which pitcher would you rather part with? Lets examine each pitcher in an attempt to determine which pitcher is likely to be moved by the Padres. Each 28-year old right handed pitcher has a lot of upside, but they also come with some risk.
Andrew Cashner has always had health issues but seems to finally be poised for a complete Major League season. Cashner has never thrown over 175 innings in a season, and with 109 innings so far he should easily eclipse that total. Cashner’s year has been up and down all season kind of like the Padres team. He started off the season really well, but was not getting any run support. He then went through a rough stretch in June where Cashner was hit around pretty hard.
He has a 3-10 record this season with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.340 WHIP. In his 109 innings, Cashner has struck out 97 batters and walked 34. The trouble for Cashner is he has been giving up far too many hits this year. A total of 113 hits in his 109 innings is not good considering the fact Cashner possesses really dominant stuff. With his arsenal of pitches, he should not be giving up more than a hit an inning. He needs to improve that if he wants to find more consistency.
Tyson Ross has been throwing really well as of late. He seems to have refined his pitching motion and has been throwing more strikes lately. The strike zone has always been an issue for Ross, who has a propensity to get wild from time to time. He has one of the best sliders in the game of baseball and he sometimes looses the feel for the dominant pitch.
In 2015 Ross has a 6-7 record with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.405 WHIP. He has totaled 110 innings pitched while striking out 118 and walking a league high 55 batters. The 55 free passes it what Ross needs to limit. He will never have Greg Maddux type control, but he should never led the league in base on balls. The tall right-hander needs to make some adjustments if he wishes to take his game into the next level.
Both pitchers are valuable to a team, but neither has put it all together either. Ross seems more likely to put it all together as he has shown glimpses of being dominant this season. Cashner throws well but his health issues has to be a constant concern for the Padres.
The Houston Astros are sniffing around the Padres team for help and they are surely the first of many teams who will ask the Padres about their players. Cashner being a native Texan would be a perfect fit for the Astros but the Padres must first fall out of the playoff race. Cashner is probably the best answer for the Astros.
Ian Kennedy will probably be dealt and there are even rumors that the Padres are shopping James Shields. Cashner and Ross appeal very much to a team because each is a relatively cheap alternative at starting pitcher. Shields is due a lot of money for the next four years and Kennedy is scheduled for free agency this winter. Teams vying for a playoff run could very easily benefit from one of the Padres starting pitchers.
So who to trade between Cashner and Ross? The answer is clearly Cashner between the two tall right-handed throwers. Cashner is due for free agency after next season while Ross has two complete seasons left before free agency after the 2017 season. With that being said the Padres will surely prefer to move Cashner and retain Ross. Anything is possible with A.J. Preller at the helm so to try to predict the Padres action is foolish. The team will surely be active this trade deadline and beyond. As Padres fans, we will just have to sit back and enjoy the ride once again.