10:27pm: FOX’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Padres are still expecting Cashner to make his start for the team tomorrow night. One source tells Rosenthal there’s a 99 percent chance that nothing will be completed prior to tomorrow night’s outing.
7:34pm: The Padres are widely expected to move right-hander Andrew Cashner before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, and according to a pair of reports from Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB.com (Twitter link) and Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Cashner may have already made his final start with San Diego. Cashner is slated to pitch for the Friars tomorrow night, but both reporters indicate that there’s a possibility that the righty could be moved before that outing takes place. Morosi cites rival executives that believe San Diego GM A.J. Preller may want to move Cashner before he takes the hill.
Morosi lists the Orioles and Marlins as two teams that have spoken to the Padres about Cashner. The Rangers, too, have been linked to Cashner, and SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets that the talks between the two sides are ongoing but Texas wouldn’t be considered a favorite for him if a deal does indeed come together before tomorrow. The Royals have also been linked to Cashner this summer, though not in the past couple of weeks.
Cashner is coming off his strongest start of the season, which Lin notes may be a factor in the Padres’ urgency to deal him. The 29-year-old Cashner rattled off six innings of one-run ball and held the visiting Giants to four hits and no walks while striking out nine. That strong outing notwithstanding, Cashner is currently toting a disappointing 5.05 ERA. He’s seen his K/9 rate (7.1) and BB/9 rate (3.6) trend in the wrong direction this season and also been significantly more prone to the long ball, as his 1.5 HR/9 rate and 15.7 percent homer-to-flyball ratio are among the worst rates of his career. He’s also been limited to just 67 2/3 innings due to a hamstring strain and a neck strain.
In spite of those red flags, there’s plenty to like about Cashner. He’s a former high draft pick and top prospect that pitched to a combined 3.43 ERA in 483 innings from 2013-15 and is earning a reasonable $7.15MM this year in his final season before free agency. He’s still owed about $2.89MM of that salary through season’s end. Cashner’s velocity is down a bit in 2016, but his average fastball is still sitting at 93.6 mph, and his 47.1 percent ground-ball rate is largely unchanged from the past two seasons.