Chicago Cubs: Is an Andrew Cashner return possible?


Are the Cubs in the mix to bring Cashner back?

The Chicago Cubs are likely to be very active in the trade market in the coming weeks, especially with any trade rumors that might include any pitching help. A trade partner that the Cubs might be linked to is the San Diego Padres.

The Padres are eight games under .500 and they are also 10 games out of first place in a very difficult NL West; they could become sellers with a lot of buyers lining up to take away some prized players from them. One of those names that could be available and who could help the Cubs is a former member of the Chicago Cubs – Andrew Cashner.

Recently, Jon Heyman came up with a scenario involving the former Cubs’ pitcher making a return to the Cubs for Starlin Castro and Javier Baez. That seems to be a high price for the Cubs to pay for a pitcher who would presumably be the team’s fourth starter, but with Cashner he wouldn’t be a one-year rental like some other pitchers could be.

Cashner still has one year left of arbitration eligibility before he can become a free agent. His current salary this year is $4.05 million for the 2015 season.

The 6-foot-5-inch right-hander is having a bad first half on the mound for San Diego. With a 3-10 record with a 4.10 ERA after the first half, he’s not exactly adding the leverage the Padres would need to get the kind of players off the Cubs for their young pitcher.

Cashner was drafted by the Chicago Cubs back in 2008 in the first round as the 19th overall pick in the MLB Draft. His two seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he 2-6 with a 4.29 ERA in 60 games, but he only made one start with the Cubs and that was in 2011.

He was slated to be one of the future pitching stars for the Chicago Cubs, that was until Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer came aboard and traded him away for a young first base prospect named Anthony Rizzo. It is safe to say that the Cubs have gotten the better end of the deal.

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Cashner has battled his fair share of injuries over his career and even with the Padres; he’s been the victim of a lack of run support and has been a tough luck loser in a lot of quality starts. Would he fare better with the Cubs offense supporting him every five days? More than likely, but still he’d have to stay healthy to be a valuable member of the Cubs staff.

The trade scenario Heyman suggested doesn’t seem likely to me, considering how well Baez was starting to play before his injury and the value that Castro does still hold as a quality hitting infielder. If they price dropped to maybe a name like Arismendy Alcantara and a lower level prospect that the Padres could get excited about, I could see this being a trade worth looking into.

With all the names that will be available during the trade deadline, the Cubs find themselves in a great position to buy low on a quality arm. They went into the season with expectations to challenge for the division and possibly a wild card spot, but they also have the plan of contending for the World Series next year and many years after, so don’t expect the Chicago Cubs to give in to any price that some team may hold over them just to get a player to get to the postseason this year.

Next: Does Starlin Castro have much trade value anymore?