To all CTH fans, after an almost nine-month hiatus, I am back to bring you guys articles. Without further ado, here we go.
Sticking with a common theme throughout the site and throughout the minds of Astros’ fans alike; a big name starter heading to Houston before the deadline. While the Houston Astros have been linked more closely to the likes of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, another name floating in rumors recently is one Andrew Cashner of the San Diego Padres. Cashner’s numbers don’t stack up to Cueto, they do compare almost exactly to Samardzija. Both of them are in the midst of a down year, and yet the casual fan still would still rather the Shark in an Astros jersey. However, reports are surfacing that the Astros have already held preliminary talks with the Padres regarding one of their available starters.
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Diving deeper into the comparison between Samardzija and Cashner, let us start with their respective pasts. In 2012, the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres completed a trade sending Cashner to the Padres in exchange forAnthony Rizzo
. Two years later, the Cubs and the Oakland Athletics completed a trade centered around sending Samardzija to Oakland in exchange forAddison Russell
. At the time of each respective trade, a top line starter was sent for a package centered on a prospect at the top of their game. However, the similarities don’t stop there.
Looking just at stats this year will paint a better picture of the two.
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Aside from the innings pitched, there is no discernible difference between the two pitchers. In fact, the only big difference between the two pitchers is that pitcher number one has one more year of arbitration left (i.e. another year left of team control), while pitcher number two is a pure two month rental. The only problem with that is the Astros are rumored to be strictly looking for a pure two-month rental, which would favor pitcher number two. For those of you that have not pieced the puzzle together here, pitcher one is Cashner and pitcher two is Samardzija.
The expectation of Houston landing a rental as opposed to a pitcher with team control left stems from Houston looking to keep most of their impact talent in our system, which is an understandable stance to take. In most situations landing a pitcher of Cashner’s pedigree with a year and a half of team, control would cost a pretty penny to the team looking to buy. However, dealing with the Padres presents two unique situations that could blow that truth out of the water. The first being that in the frenzy that was the Padres’ winter, the team almost completely stripped their farm system of any impact talent. The second being that with the farm system they do have, the first pitching prospect does not appear until their seventh prospect.
Given the previous information, it would not be out of the realm of possibility for the Astros to be able to land Cashner’s services for the same ransom that would land them a top rental on the market. To build off my earlier point, it would seem that a trade for Cashner would likely revolve around Mark Appel. Appel, who recently published an interesting blog post about his struggles in the minors, at this point seems to need a change of scenery to get back on track to living up to his once sky-high potential. However, with his stock currently trending downward Appel alone would not be enough to get a deal done.
Padres Receive: Mark Appel and Collin Moran
Astros Receive: Andrew Cashner
On the surface it would seem that the Astros are the loser of this faux trade, due to sending two players that have enough talent to be top-20 prospects in all of baseball, yet are disappointing based on their stats. If this trade were miraculously consummated, it would represent a win-win scenario for our beloved Blue and Orange in that, we would receive a top talent pitcher for half the price of another top name available.
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