It is no secret that the Astros need a starting pitcher for a potential playoffs run, and they are sending scouts out to many different teams to scout potential trade options. On Saturday, I jokingly wrote that there is already an Astros trade in place with the Reds in A Conspiracy Theorist Guide to Johnny Cueto and the Astros. The Astros are struggling right now offensively, and the pitchers think they need to be perfect on the mound. The offense will pick up, but the Astros can’t survive a turnstile type rotation. The San Diego Padres might have some cheap pitchers available if the Astros can give the Padres something that they want.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports News, the Astros and Chicago Cubs, are among many teams scouting Padres starting pitchers. Rosenthal hinted that the Cubs might be more likely to matchup with the Padres needs with the extra infielders, but A.J. Hinch used to work in the Padres front office so he might have some contacts. He mentioned that the Padres would not trade all of their starters, and the one with the most trade value is Tyson Ross under team control until after 2017 season, just in time to pitch in the World Series. You can find the rest of the video here.
The three pitchers who could be available are Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner, and Ian Kennedy. Kennedy has already been mentioned before as a possible trade option, but the other two are new additions to the trading block. Remember when everyone was drinking the San Diego Kool-Aid after they had one of the best offseason, giving their roster a total rehaul.
While, I think Brett Strom could do wonders with a guy like Andrew Cashner’s stuff, I believe the best target would be to trade for Tyson Ross. Think of Ross as being a younger right-handed Cole Hamels, who would be under team control for the same amount of time. Ross has a 27-47 career record with a 3.68 ERA and 528 strikeouts in 573 innings. Don’t be fooled by his losses, the Padres have a hard time scoring runs at a consistent rate even with an upgraded lineup from offseason moves.
In 2015, Ross has a 5-7 record with a 3.56 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings. Ross has a similar strikeout rate to Lance McCullers Jr. In the table below, I compare the numbers of Ross to McCullers to see who would be the second pitcher in the rotation. One issue with Ross is that he tends to struggle with his command as evident by his numbers below. One extreme positive is that Ross has a Dallas Keuchel like ground-ball rate with 62.3%. Based on the information below and his experience, I think Ross would become the second pitcher in the rotation.
Cashner is similar to the 2014 version of Brett Oberholtzer, with a 3-10 record with a 4.10 ERA. He has more of the potential ace stuff but has had problems in his career staying healthy and consistent. However, the Astros would be wanting to trade for a veteran ace pitcher, does either one of these two fit the bill? Neither have playoff experience.
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Still, with Ross’ age and stuff, I think he could be more valuable in the long run. I would be more willing to willing to give us the prospects it would take to get him because he is under control longer. Because he is not a true ace, he could be cheaper than Cole Hamels but more expensive than a Johnny Cueto or Scott Kazmir. The Padres seem to have needs in the infield and outfield, as well as a starting pitcher to replace Ross. I think Ross has a high upside but would make the rotation very right-handed.
The rotation would look like this.
While there have been no official trade rumors per se, I wanted to offer my trade idea below, tell me if it is good or not in the Google Form attached to the post.
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