8:05pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that clubs eyeing Cashner wanted to see him pitch one more time before deciding whether to meet the Padres’ asking price. Cashner got off to a rocky start when he walked Jose Bautista and gave up a two-run homer to Josh Donaldson, but he recovered extremely well, finishing the afternoon with three runs allowed on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts in six innings.
6:16pm: The Blue Jays/Padres game is underway with Cashner on the mound, so there’s clearly nothing imminent at this time.
3:54pm: Morosi adds that the Padres are still discussing Cashner with multiple clubs, but there’s been enough progress in talks that he could be scratched from tonight’s start vs. the Blue Jays (Twitter link).
3:39pm: The Padres are making progress on a trade involving Andrew Cashner, reports MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). Cashner, widely expected to be on the move prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline, could even be moved before tonight’s scheduled start against the Blue Jays, Morosi adds. Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller, however, heard otherwise earlier today, tweeting that the Padres are expecting Cashner to start in tonight’s game. However, Miller did add that trade talks surrounding Cashner continue, with the Blue Jays and Marlins “heavily” involved and the Rangers involved to a lesser extent.
Last week, Morosi reported that the Padres were trying to move Cashner before his Thursday start in St. Louis, though obviously those efforts came up short. Cashner threw well against the Cardinals, however, limiting them to a run on three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts across 5 2/3 strong innings, so if anything the delay in finding a trade partner may have caused an ever-so-mild uptick in his value.
Cashner, 29, is currently sporting a 4.79 ERA on the season with 7.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 47.3 percent ground-ball rate in 73 1/3 innings. A neck strain and a hamstring strain have resulted in a pair of DL stints and limited his innings this season, further compounding the Padres’ efforts to extract strong value in a potential trade. That said, Cashner’s heater is averaging 93.6 mph this season and has trended upward of late, and he’s still displaying an ability to rack up grounders at a rate that is slightly above the league average. His status as a former high draft pick and top prospect that looked to be delivering on that hype as recently as 2013-14 (2.87 ERA in 298 1/3 innings) creates somewhat of a sense of upside as well, even if the 2015-16 seasons have yielded decidedly underwhelming results (4.47 ERA in 258 innings).
A number of teams have been connected to Cashner in recent weeks, with the Orioles, Marlins, Blue Jays, Rangers and Giants among the supposedly interested parties. Cashner is earning $7.15MM in his final season before hitting the free agent market, and about $2.67MM of that sum remains on his contract through the end of the year. Cashner’s name has been in trade rumors for months, and the right-hander has accepted the fact that his days in San Diego are nearing an end. “I know I’m going to be traded,” Cashner told Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune following his start last week. “It’s just part of the game, part of where the season’s at.”