While San Diego’s starters haven’t received as much attention surrounding the trade deadline as their bullpen, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that one or more of them could be moved.
Some theorize that the four starters the Padres signed to one-year deals this offseason including Clayton Richard, Jhoulys Chacin, Jered Weaver, and Trevor Cahill were signed with the trade deadline in mind. Yes, they are veterans who can help the young San Diego rotation develop, and serve as a bridge to the gap between potential long term starters. But also, it is feasible that the front office figured that if one or more of these veterans could have strong first halves, they could be on the trade market.
With the increasing importance of relief pitching, starting pitching isn’t as significant of a commodity at this year’s deadline. Of course, it is still important, but inconsistent starters with ERAs exceeding 4.00 aren’t the most coveted.
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There are benefits to San Diego starters in the eyes of contenders, mainly their contract statuses. Each is signed to a one-year deal, and are very affordable. Weaver is signed for $3 million, while the other three are under contract for $1.75 million. As a result of short term inexpensive contracts, contending organizations can decide whether or not to re-sign the starters during the offseason, but by no means need to make a long term commitment.
Plus, these players themselves know they are in their contract season, which will bring the best out of them when a contender needs them most.
Talent and consistency are without a doubt in question, but the convenience of a deal involving a San Diego starter makes one or more possible. Likely not Weaver due to his more expensive contract, struggling pitching, and injury issues. But Cahill, Richard, and Chacin are all trade bait. Hopefully, if the Padres choose to pull the trigger, they will net some promising prospects in return.
This concludes our trade deadline analysis on the starting pitching. Stay tuned this week as we share our thoughts on position players.