At one point in his career, Andrew Cashner was traded for top first base power prospect Anthony Rizzo. Unfortunately for Padres fans and Cashner, he will simply always be compared and tied with that trade. Could another trade for Cashner be in the making that would take him away from the Padres a year before he is eligible for free agency for the first time in his career?
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Jeff Sanders of the SDUT notes that Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports the Orioles are highly interested in pursuing a trade for Cashner instead of going after one of the remaining pitching free agents on the market that might make them forfeit a first round pick like Yovani Gallardo. The added trade value of Cashner on the flip side is that if teams trade for him before the season starts and he rejects a qualifying offer next off-season, that team would receive a first round pick if he goes somewhere else.
Andrew Cashner is still just 29 years old, and in 2015 he pitched more innings than he had before in his career. It was been documented how he allowed more unearned runs than anyone else last year, but his numbers overall still left much to be desired.
He has now been a full time major league starter for three seasons, who also set a career high in strikeouts last season…and earned runs and home runs allowed. Many watching him felt he was throwing harder but pitching less. If he is able to continue maturing on the mound and limiting contact, he could have a true breakout season we have all been expecting of him for several seasons now.
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He will only be paid about $7M this year, and it does not appear the Padres are “all in” this year therefore wanting to keep him. If he does have a good season, he might fetch an actual return at the trade deadline. If he doesn’t have a good season and rejects the qualifying offer, then just as they did with Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy this year, the Padres would net another first round draft pick for 2017. A.J. Preller certainly likes having his draft picks.
With pitchers and catchers reporting in two weeks and the season starting in less than two months, if a deal is to happen for Cashner it should happen soon. The Padres rotation doesn’t seem to be dripping with extra options, but with a good return for Cashner and perhaps one of their new prospects for say, Kevin Gausman, it just might be a move that gets San Diego ready to win in 2017.