The San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs have been connected in recent days and while a James Shields-for-Starlin Castro makes some sense, that swap is highly unlikely. The Padres, however, are showing interest in another Cubs shortstop.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Cubs and Padres have talked about Javier Baez in trade talks.

Baez, 22, is a very talented player, but he tends to strikeout a lot (95 times in only 213 at-bats last season in the big leagues, or 44% of the time). This season in Triple-A, Baez has cut down the strikeout numbers (41 times in 157, or 26%), but that number is still too high.

In 42 games in the minor-leagues this season, he has hit .325 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI. He recently just came off of the disabled list after suffering a hand injury and in his first game back, he went 2-5 with two home runs.

If the Cubs and Padres complete a deal, a potential return to Chicago could be Andrew Cashner, as Heyman said.

Cashner, 28, is a former Cub and was dealt to San Diego in exchange for current Cubs star Anthony Rizzo.

Cashner is a player that the Padres “really want to move,” according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Even though Cashner has had his fair share of struggles this season, the Padres should be able to get good value in a deal involving him, given that he is under contract cheaply through 2016. In 19 games pitched this season, Cashner is 4-10 with a 3.93 ERA and 102/35 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

It’s unclear how far talks have gotten, but the fit between the two teams makes a lot of sense. This is definitely a situation to keep an eye on.

Follow Robert Murray on Twitter @RobertMurrayBBE

About The Author

Robert Murray

Robert is a 20-year-old baseball writer and reporter for BaseballEssential.com. You can follow Robert on Twitter @RobertMurrayBBE and email him at [email protected]

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