That is a possibility, reports the Union-Tribune, as the Baltimore Orioles have expressed interest. Even though Cashner had a mediocre season in 2015, he has some things going for him, as reported by Jeff Sanders:
- from 2013-14, he posted a 2.87 ERA with a sparkling 1.13 WHIP;
- he will be a free agent after 2016, so if the Padres trade him, that team can either re-sign him, or gain a first-round draft pick.
For these reasons, the Padres do have a formidable trading chip on their hands.
I believe, though, that it is in general manager A.J. Preller’s best interest to wait; Cashner likely just had a bad year in ’15, and like the rest of the pitching corps, he suffered from an atrocious outfield defense that will be much better this year (read, the Wil Myers in center field experiment is long over).
So assuming that (a) the Padres have another mediocre season, as is very likely, (b) Cashner bounces back to his 2013-14 success, and (c) several teams are looking for pitching help, Preller will then be in the driver’s seat in terms of getting back top talent.
As Kenny Rogers once sang, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” I say, hold Cashner for now as he rebuilds his value.