Padres Rumors: Is There A Possibility of An Andrew Cashner-for-Cole Hamels Trade Still?

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Now that the San Diego Padres have landed James Shields, does that foreshadow a possible deal on the horizon for Philadelphia Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels? The Padres are going for it all.

It’s no secret that A.J. Preller works in waves and it’s hard to imagine that he is done with this team. Padres chief owner Ron Fowler hinted that the payroll could top $110 million this year, but can the San Diego Padres take on Cole Hamels and his $94-million dollar contract for four years?

As of right now, the payroll is at about $115 million. It’s kind of hard to calculate the whole 25-man roster, but that $115 million is with Shields and with all six (Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Carlos Quentin, Will Venable and Cameron Maybin) of the outfielders making the team.

Looking for a home for Maybin and Quentin will be no easy task. Quentin has health issues that I  have already covered. Maybin has his own health concerns but is also owed $16 million for the next two years (including $1 million dollar buy out for the 2017 season). To get their potential $24 million dollars off the books, would be absolutely key to getting Cole Hamels and taking on more salary.

Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Cole Hamels is not a Padre, and there are serious road blocks after the signing of James Shields. The team’s current rotation of Shields, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy, Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson is solid. That rotation ranks as one of the best in the National League. 

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So do the Padres really need Hamels? It’s no secret that I am a big admirer of him. The rotation is right-handed heavy like the lineup (Preller must have something against southpaws). Putting an ace like Hamels at top of that rotation would instantly make the Padres contenders.

I am sorry to all those Andrew Cashner fans, but he is the logical choice to be moved. With the Phillies GM’s recent declaration that he covets Andrew Cashner, it just throws more fuel on the fire.

Cashner is no spring chicken, and at 28-years old, he is not an up-and coming prospect. He does have two years of control on his contract, but is always a danger to be injured. In my honest opinion, Cashner’s value will never be any higher.

If the Phillies would take Cashner, Austin Hedges and say Rymer Liriano and another prospect for Cole Hamels and $25 million dollars, the Padres would and should jump on that. To receive $25 million in salary relief would be unprecedented. It would be almost impossible.

Never put anything past A.J. Preller though. I know that the Padres are still negotiating with the Phillies, and trying to find a home for Maybin and Quentin. If they can get financial help from the Phillies in a potential Cole Hamels deal, and move both outfielders, they will surely have some flexibility for more moves.

I would keep an eye on the Milwaukee Brewers and their attempt to acquire Jonathon Papelbon from the Phillies. If you see the name Luis Sardinas go from the Brewers to the Phillies then something might be cooking in Padreland. Sardinas, a former Texas Rangers shortstop prospect is the prototypical, lead-off type shortstop, that the Padres have been coveting for awhile.

Could it really be any more exciting in San Diego, right now?

Next: Padres Set Sights On Yoan Moncada

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