The Padres have discussed a Justin Upton trade with the Orioles, sources tell Jayson Stark of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Stark, the two sides could try to expand talks to include some of the Padres’ controllable pitchers. He lists Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross as two possibilities. San Diego is reportedly “pushing hard” to trade some its expensive, big-name talent.
Stark’s latest report adds to the deluge of mixed signals regarding the Orioles’ trade deadline direction. Just last week, general manager Dan Duquette told the media that he planned on being a buyer regardless of how his club performed in the days leading up to the deadline. However, multiple reports have surfaced since that time to indicate that the Orioles may yet consider selling veteran pieces. Stark himself heard earlier today that the Orioles have at least gauged interest in impending free agents like Matt Wieters, Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter, adding that if the Orioles did pick up a bat, it may only be a bench piece.
Clearly, Upton is considerably more than a bench piece. Although he isn’t hitting like he did in his best years with the D-Backs and Braves, he’s still been a very sound producer in his first (and perhaps only) four months with the Padres. The 27-year-old Upton is batting .251/.330/.429 with 16 homers on the season. The temptation of many would be to blame his offensive woes on the Padres pitcher-friendly home environment, but Upton’s OPS at home is more than 300 points higher than his road mark. He’s batted an enormous .297/.354/.558 at home compared to a putrid .208/.308/.306 on the road.
Upton is controlled only through the end of the year and is earning $14.5MM this year — of which a not-insignificant $5.55MM remains. A trade for him could be good news, as it’d prevent him from receiving a qualifying offer at the end of the year, which would serve to boost his free agent stock a bit.
The Orioles, though, aren’t in a great spot to pay for only a rental. Their farm system already ranks among the worst in baseball, and as previously mentioned, they’re set to lose a number of key players to free agency (Wieters, Davis, Chen, Hunter). In my eyes, that makes the addition of Cashner or Ross — particularly Ross — a logical path to explore.
Both Cashner and Ross are controlled beyond 2015, though Cashner is a free agent after the 2016 campaign. Ross is controllable through 2017. Either would serve as an upgrade and could reasonably stake a claim to being Baltimore’s best pitcher based on their track records, though each is also having somewhat of a down season. Cashner’s strikeout, walk and ground-ball rates are all about even with his 2014 marks, causing xFIP and SIERA to give him similar grades, but his ERA has ballooned a bit due to difficulty in terms of stranding runners and serving up home runs. Ross has never been known as a pitcher with pinpoint control, and his previously diminished control issues have now resurfaced in 2015. He is, however, whiffing more hitters than ever before and racking up grounders at a career-best rate, so there’s some reason for optimism.
The question for Baltimore would be what it could offer to entice the Padres to part with what is unequivocally a significant amount of win-now talent. Some reports have indicated that the Orioles are willing to listen to offers on former No. 4 overall pick Kevin Gausman — a big-league ready power arm that, at present, hasn’t grabbed hold of a long-term spot in the Baltimore rotation.
In terms of upper-level talent in the minors, the Orioles have some big-league ready pieces in the form of outfielder Dariel Alvarez and pitchers Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson, but none of that trio has a particularly high ceiling, per most scouting reports. Right-handers Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey certainly do, but each has also suffered a lost season due to injuries (the second such season, in Bundy’s case). Turning to the big league roster, the Orioles have young pieces such as Jonathan Schoop, who missed much of the season with a knee injury but has hit reasonably well and played sound defense in limited action.
All of the names mentioned as possible pieces of interest for the Padres are, of course, pure speculation on my part, but it stands to reason that the Orioles would need to put together a creative offer — perhaps even one involving MLB-ready talent or talent from the current big league roster — in order to land the likes of Upton and Cashner and/or Ross. One potential alternative would be to bail the Padres out of the Melvin Upton Jr. contract, though that seems exceptionally unlikely considering we saw the team essentially sell a Competitive Balance draft pick to the Dodgers by packaging it with in order to free themselves of Ryan Webb’s roughly $2.75MM salary.
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I have to say I’m really enjoying the dumpster fire that is the Padres. They appear to be willing (and equipped) to arm every contender for the post-season. The big question is, how much $$$ will they have to eat to get someone to take Shields, and who will that be?
We haven’t traded anything yet, we have been open to discussion but even then, we have been pretty reluctant to trade. If we wanted to get Upton out of the team, we would not have asked for a lot of the Mets rotation. Overall, I would say we are just marketing our players to see what we could possibly get, but we have high asking prices.
That is an awful lot of “we’s”..
So they’ve won 8 of their last 11 but they still want to blow the team up? This is why it sucks being a San Diego sports fan
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A decent 19 game stretch does not change the flawed structure of the Padres’ roster. Every team has hot and cold runs over the course of a season.
The roster may be flawed, but deciding whether to be a buyer/seller can often come down to the results of two or three games in July. You’d be surprised at how many teams make that decision on such a short amount of time.
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True, and I’m sure the Padres won’t move anybody until we get closer to the deadline. But the fact is, even after the recent hot streak, they’re still 5 games under .500 and 8.5 out in the division and 7.5 out of the WC, with 2 teams to jump over. There’s no way they’re buyers, so that should make them sellers, as the payroll can’t be justified.
Do the fans come out and support the team? Genuinely asking, I don’t get to watch many Padres games.
Um yeah, they do. We’re like Top 15 in attendance, and weekend games are almost always sold out
There is a loyal contingent, but the volatility and inconsistency in ownership and management (3 owners and 4 GMs over the past six years) which has unsurprisingly resulted in poor on-field performance has definitely angered many.
This is so typical of a san diegan sports fan.. they have won 8/11.. wow!!!! lets break this down.. they won 2/3 in TEXAS.. TX sucks at home; then they win 3/4 against Miami at Home.. Miami sucks on the road (.333) won two at home against Colorado (Colorado sucks on the road) lost 3 straight in Pittsburg (winning record and lost 2/3 at home against the Giants (winning record) that is why they won 8/11.. Now look at their record against SF and L.A. So really not impressive at all. and those Miami wins? 3-1 3-1 3-2… they got killed by SF 7-1 and 9-1.. This is just like the Chargers.. they can’t beat good teams and they beat the bad teams and fans get all excited.
The Orioles are in a very similar place as the Tigers. Averageish major league team on the cusp of competing, with a lot of expiring contracts and a very weak farm. Honestly, if I were them, I would sell everything with a pulse that isn’t Manny Machado or Kevin Gausman and build for 2017. Because if they lose all those impending FA and get nothing but comp picks for them, with their weak farm system, they won’t be good for a while.
I agree. But if the O’s sell all of the guys on 1 year deals they could still be competitive this year and next. Machado, Adam Jones, Schoop, and JJ Hardy are a solid core. The O’s will also have quite a bit of cash next off season to spend without many arb cases.
Exactly! Orioles & Tigers should be sellers. Price will net back a nice return, Cespedes probably brings back a lot as well. Wouldn’t make the farm as good as the Cubs or Rangers, but it would be better on August 1 then it would be today, that’s for sure.
Orioles won’t get as much back for Weiters, Davis, Chen, etc as the Tigers will for Price & Cespedes, but they have more to sell, so could potentially package players and get a better return.
Trading Gausman for a rental looks like a terrible mistake.
Big difference between the Tigers and Orioles.. Baltimore doesn’t have $100m tied up in 5 players.. They will offer 2-3 QO to some of their free agents so they will have 3-4 decent to good draft picks plus a 2nd round plus a competitive balance round B pick.. That is 5-6 picks in the first 100 selections.. They should be able to nab at least 1-3 solid MLB players with that (I know some people think that all first round picks become superstars but in truth 60% fail).. With Bundy and Harvey hopefully healthy next year and is able to use 2016 to develop at the mlb level and Gausman getting a year of experience as well.. They will have one heck of a rotation in 2017.. Especially, if they concentrate on pitchers in the draft.. They could have a rotation similar to this years Mets.. With Jones being 31 and Machado being Manny they could be even better contenders in 2017 than they have been the last couple of years..
If a deal goes through, Orioles better hope Upton has another one of his good streaky months
Do it O’s, Padres are desperate !
I wonder if the O’s could offer a very modest return to the Padres if they take the James Shields contract off of their hands along with Upton.
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Are the Orioles willing to spend money that way, though? They haven’t struck me as the kind of team in recent years to take on a questionable contract, even if it fills a need. But who know…I’m sure we’ll see some weird stuff in the next 4 days.
Yeah spending is something that hasn’t been their strong suit in the past. But the O’s will free up over 50 mil with all of their expiring contracts this year. Maybe they take on Shields and send Norris to the Padres this year to even out the cash for the current year. Obviously more prospects going from the O’s to the Padres as well.
If the Padres get a Norris from the Orioles and a Norris from the Blue Jays for Kimbrel to go with the Norris they already have they would just be a Chuck Norris away from contending next year..
O’s may not have enough pieces to get Upton let alone Shields. Why would anyone with half a brain think that the Padres have to pay to trade Shields? Cubs and Giants are already talking to Padres about him and neither trade mentions anything about Padres including a single dime in the trade or take on any bad contracts.
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Because no one was lining up to pay Shields what the Padres did when he was a free agent. So 6 months later, why would anyone want to pay all of that that money now, even pro-rated, AND give up prospects, too? Especially when he’s not as good as was last year, and even this year’s depressed numbers aren’t supported by his peripherals.
Don’t forgot the fact that his contract is backloaded
The Cubs offered him pretty much the same contract.. The Padres landed him because he CHOSE to play there..
No he didn’t! The Cubs refused to give him a guaranteed fourth year! That was the factor that tipped the balance in favor of the Padres!
You have some delusional idea about Shields’ value. No one is interested in paying him $21m a year through his age 36 season.
I don’t buy this. I don’t believe the O’s would trade for a Justin Upton rental right now.
I just don’t see anything there. Schoop is…ok? But there’s not a whole lot else there for the O’s to send back, and I don’t think either team is looking for a salary dump deal.
Unless they are giving us Upton, Cashner, and Ross for just Bundy, I want nothing to do with it.
Because of Bundy’s contract he has almost no value.. He is out of options after this year..
Besides Gausman, who do the Orioles have to trade??
Could be a modest prospect haul if the O’s take on some of the Padres contracts: BJ Upton and Shields
Wilson/Wright who could turn out as 4’s/5’s in a rotation in a few years or bullpen help, Dariel Alvarez who is raking in AAA and won the HR Derby, Christian Walker who can kill minor league pitching but can’t hit a beachball in the Majors, veteran minor league pitchers in Terry Doyle and Eddie Gamboa, or some players with fair potential in Jay Gonzalez and Chance Sisco up the middle. Not to mention the always injured Dylan Bundy and unlucky Hunter Harvey.
Or Mychal Givens who is nothing more than a converted infielder but is a killer SU man or Closer with the devastating 97 MPH fastball submarine style.
I agree with everything except your evaluation of Walker. Sample size is way to small to say that he can’t hit in the big leagues.
This is the Padres and this is what they do. They have some true fans, however historically they have shown the fans, that they do not care. No matter who they get, what they get, how many they get, when they get them, the results are the same, year in and year out. The perception is that, they do not really want to win. The organization is not happy, unless they are near the bottom of the pack. They don’t really care about their fans. This has been proven year in and year out since 1969.
I have been a padres season ticket holder for the past 7 years and although we have had 1 good year, management doesn’t want to throw themselves out there and win. This year, AJ Preller went all out and made an attempt at going for it all and that went bust, now instead of committing to their plan, they have once again backed out. I am very disappointed in managing and how through rough times, the Padres give up!
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It was a flawed plan. Preller played fantasy baseball with an MLB team, and with the choices he made, it was a failure. He assembled some great talent, but a one-dimensional team that’s too right-handed, defensively inept and horrible at getting on base, all at the expense of the farm system.
This team isn’t in need of a couple of pieces to compete, it needs to be blown up and retooled.
I see your point but I feel as if only a few players need to be replaced in order for the padres to become dominant, a Chris Davis for Kennedy and Venable and a Starlin Castro for Ross or Shields. Just those two could add a left handed third baseman and an above average shortstop. These are the Padres biggest issues and if those problems were solved, the padres could be a playoff team. The padres have Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow to fill in pitching and the two could put up numbers better than kennedy and potentially as good as Ross.
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You mean, the dreadful outfield defense is no problem to you?
No, the padres have better outfield defense than the Cardinals (.978fpct%) and the Pirates (.981), the Padres have a consistently strong outfield defense (.982), and do not have any horrible fielders, Matt Kemp even has an average fielding percent.
Their fielding percentage is strong because 1. Myers has been injured all year.. He is a decent LF but a joke for center and 2. they have horrible range.. Its easy to have a good fielding percentage when you can’t get to a fly ball or line drive to catch them..
I did not use Myers as part of the calculation and the padres actually have a 0.5 Rdrs (Defensive runs saved above average) in their outfield (only active players) which again is above average! Myers hasn’t played for over a month and it would be stupid if I included him.