San Diego appears prepared to sell as the non-waiver trade deadline quickly approaches. The Padres struggled throughout the first half, and according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the club is "pushing hard" to try and trade several of its big name players in an attempt to trim its $107 million payroll.
Even after taking three of four from the Marlins over the weekend, the Padres are sitting at 47-52, eight and a half games back in the National League West. While San Diego could be poised for a big second half, the organization is still hoping to lower its payroll and future financial commitments with 2016 likely being taken into consideration. The Padres had an active winter however have had difficulty remaining consistent over the last few months.
Heyman adds James Shields, Craig Kimbrel, and Andrew Cashner are costly names being mentioned in trade rumors as clubs are seeking top starting arms and help in the back of the bullpen.
Shields, 33, has posted a 3.77 RA and 4.12 FIP over 126.2 innings and 21 starts this season. He was one of the most coveted arms throughout the offseason after posting a 3.21 ERA over 227.0 innings with the Royals in 2014. The Padres signed Shields to a four-year, $75 million deal that includes an option year and might have to include cash in a deal involving him. The market for starting pitching is expected to pick up with Scott Kazmir and Johnny Cueto both being dealt, however opposing clubs might view Shields as an unaffordable option.
While Shields was signed to an extensive contract, Cashner is making $4 million in 2015. He has posted a 3.93 ERA and 3.77 FIP over 116.2 innings and made 19 starts for the Padres last season. The Rangers are among the teams known to be interested in Cashner, and since Cashner is under club control through 2016, he will likely be viewed as an attractive top of the rotation arm.
Although several starters have already been dealt, the market for closers has yet to take shape. Kimbrel joins Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Papelbon, and Francisco Rodriguez as available closing options but might be too expensive to draw a notable amount of interest. Though he has saved 28 contests and posted a 2.82 ERA over 38.1 innings, Kimbrel is in the second year of a four-year, $42 million deal that includes a club option for 2018.
Tyson Ross is also drawing interest, Heyman notes, and Justin Upton, Will Venable, and Ian Kennedy are all impending free agents that could be traded before the end of next week.
San Diego was hoping to be competitive in 2015 after a busy offseason. But following a slow first half, they will likely be active leading up to the deadline.