UPDATE (10:25 PM EST): The focus in the talks between the Cubs and Padres appears to be starter Tyson Ross, although he has been the focal point for many trade discussions throughout the league, according to Ken Rosenthal.
ORIGINAL: The Chicago Cubs are in the market for starting pitching and the San Diego Padres are in the market for a shortstop. The two teams seem destined to make a move and it appears that they are at least talking, with them discussing Starlin Castro, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
To wit: A trade of Starlin Castro for James Shields would balance rather fairly, financially speaking. @FOXSports— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 27, 2015
James Shields for Starlin Castro makes sense. #Padres save money (if no cash in deal). Castro would be better w/ change in scenery.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 27, 2015
Now that doesn't mean a Castro for Shields swap is on the table, but they both obviously match up in terms of needs so there is a framework to get something done. The Padres also have Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy all available in trades.
Shortstop has been a pretty awful position offensively for the Padres, with a .236/.298/.342 line coming in 390 plate appearances from Clint Barmes and Alexi Amarista.
Castro is having a down year, hitting .233 with a .268 on-base percentage in 2015. His career average is a .278/.319/.398 line, which would be a welcome upgrade.
On the flip side, the Cubs have been looking for starting pitching since they signed Jon Lester. They have been in on the Cole Hamels sweepstakes, and have been linked to a number of other pitchers. Normally, when the needs of two teams match up, a deal can get done. The Padres and Cubs could theoretically match up for a deal, and they have until Friday to get something done.