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Padres considering trading starting pitchers; Could Pirates be a fit?

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres are considering trading a catcher (Yasmani Grandal or Rene Rivera) or starting pitcher (Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross or Ian Kennedy), Jon Heyman reports.

This rumor would have been juicier for us if it had come out before the Pirates traded for Francisco Cervelli, but it's still worth noting, since the Bucs need starting pitching help. The Padres want hitters, and the Pirates need pitching. In particular, the Padres don't really have a good first baseman -- they got decent value out of the position last year, but that was partly because Grandal played there. Their main lefty first baseman was Yonder Alonso, who is a non-tender candidate. One wonders if the Padres might have interest in Pedro Alvarez or Ike Davis. Alvarez or Davis alone wouldn't return Cashner, Ross, or Kennedy, obviously, but Alvarez in particular has value. So perhaps discussions could begin there, with the Pirates adding prospects (it'll take good ones, especially for Cashner or Ross) as well as one of their first basemen.

Ross has three years remaining before free agency, Cashner two and Kennedy one. Any of them would represent nice upgrades for an uncertain Pirates rotation. Cashner and Ross, especially, represent a player type that's becoming increasingly rare -- young players in their prime who aren't signed to long-term deals. Ross is also a ground ball pitcher and might be a good fit for the Ray Searage pitching school, not that he isn't a very good player already.