Per Scott Miller of Bleacher Report, the Padres are ready to sell. They’ll use their four-game set against the Marlins as their last chance to cover some ground and head into the trade deadline as buyers instead.
The Padres entered play Saturday night with a 45-52 record, putting them in fourth place in the NL West. They were pundits’ sexy pick to win the division or at least win one of the two Wild Card slots following a busy offseason, but they’ve failed to live up to expectations.
Players the Padres could trade include Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, James Shields, and Craig Kimbrel.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres and Astros have discussed starting pitching, with the July 31 trade deadline looming. The 42-49 Padres still haven’t officially committed to selling, but a poor showing in the upcoming week could seal their fate. Lin notes that Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross are believed to have piqued the Astros’ interest.
Cashner, 28, has had a mediocre season, posting a 4.10 ERA with a 97/34 K/BB ratio in 109 2/3 innings. The biggest factor for him, though, is that he has been able to stay healthy. The right-hander is hoping to cross the 30-start threshold for the first time in his career. Cashner is earning $4.05 million this year and will be eligible for his third and final year of arbitration after the season.
Ross, 28, started off slow but has picked things up as of late. He owns a 3.34 ERA with a 118/55 K/BB ratio in 110 1/3 innings. The right-hander is earning $5.25 million this season and has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining.
The Astros are also believed to have significant interest in Reds starter Johnny Cueto, among others.
Justin Upton did this last night:
And he might be doing that for another team soon. And his former Braves teammate Craig Kimbrel may be doing his thing elsewhere too. Jon Morosi reports that A.J. Preller may very well have a mini-fire sale this summer, including sending Upton and Kimbrel out of town:
Upton and fellow outfielder Will Venable, starter Ian Kennedy (who has pitched well lately) and relievers Joaquin Benoit and Shawn Kelley are in the final guaranteed year of their contracts.
Kimbrel and starters Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner are valuable pieces, particularly because they’d come with multiple years of control.
It’s a speculative piece — more about what’s possible than anything he’s hearing — but it makes a lot of sense.
And it would likely anger a lot of Padres fans who got super invested in all of the big offseason moves, only to see them come to noting and then be undone.