Report: Padres, Astros have discussed starting pitching

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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.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.