The Orioles and the Padres have had their names come up a lot together in the last couple of days. There seems to be a lot to talk about. Along with the late Friday night crazy rumor of a possible Melvin Upton for Ubaldo Jimenez (and a prospect) trade, the O’s are talking about a separate deal for Padres starter Andrew Cashner.
That’s according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who adds that the Padres want two prospects in return for Cashner. As Cashner has pitched himself to a 4.79 ERA in the NL West this season, you would be hard-pressed to get me to trade two of anything in order to get Cashner. One can hope Dan Duquette has the same feeling.
From what Rosenthal also says, the Orioles are not the only team that’s talked to the Padres about these two players. He says that the O’s division rival, the Blue Jays, have also checked in with the Padres about both Upton and Cashner. It appears the Jays don’t want Cashner at San Diego’s asking price. This is the only rational response to that demand.
Before the Orioles and Blue Jays names were brought into this, another one of the Upton trade rumors from Friday involved the Padres telling other teams they were close to dealing Upton. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, who reported that rumor, speculated that could be a negotiating posture, trying to shake out a better bid from a team who’d expressed interest previously.
What’s less clear is whether the Orioles are the team with the current high bid or whether the Orioles are the team being pressured to bid higher than they already have.
The idea of Duquette in a bidding war against a competitor might make you nervous. Back in 2014, for instance, the Tigers were also said to have been interested in Andrew Miller, which is what made the Orioles more willing to part with then-prospect Eduardo Rodriguez in that trade.
Imagine the 2014 ALDS with Miller in the Tigers bullpen instead. That series surely doesn’t end in an Orioles sweep and maybe not in an Orioles win at all. Does that mean it was worthwhile? Two years later, that is still a complicated question to try to answer.
Many more teams have been linked to Cashner over the last week than Upton, so Upton to the O’s seems a bit more likely than Cashner, if only because there’s less competition. A lot of teams need a pitcher. The Marlins and Rangers are two other teams who’ve been put in the Cashner discussion in the last few days. There may be more.
The Orioles have reclaimed first place for now. They could stand to improve a couple of areas of the club in order to stay there. Maybe that means Upton or Cashner or maybe they will turn to some other selling team’s players. There’s more than week to go until the August 1 deadline. That’s a lot of time for something to come together. Strap in. It could be a wild ride.