Padres not ignoring rumors as Deadline nears

Cashner scenario most pressing, but Green says expectation is for righty to pitch Tuesday

Padres not ignoring rumors as Deadline nears

TORONTO -- With various big names being reported as potential trade chips, the Padres aren't ignoring the pre-Deadline rumors.

With MLB Network contributor Ken Rosenthal reporting that San Diego agreed on a deal to send outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. to Toronto in exchange for a Class A prospect on Tuesday, right-hander Andrew Cashner and catcher Derek Norris have also reportedly been discussed in trade talks. And with six days remaining until the non-waiver Aug. 1 Trade Deadline, manager Andy Green has had conversations with both players, simply to address the possibility.

"You see D-No's name thrown around; we've had a casual conversation, nothing in depth," Green said on Monday. "I fully expect him to continue to catch for us.

"As rumors pop up and the noise gets louder, then it becomes, in my mind, necessary to deal with, rather than ignore and act like it's not happening."

The most pressing trade scenario is the one involving Cashner, who is slated to pitch Tuesday night in Toronto. Since the All-Star break, Cashner's trade value has gotten a serious boost, and many feel it would behoove the Padres to pursue a trade before his next outing.

In two second-half starts, Cashner has held the Giants and Cardinals to one run apiece. He also fanned at least eight in back-to-back starts for the first time in his career.

Green said that if anything were to happen on the Cashner trade front, righty releiver Paul Clemens would start in his place. (The Padres have held Clemens out of the bullpen since his start in Game 2 of Wednesday's doubleheader, largely as a contingency for Cashner.) But as of now, Green plans to hand the ball to the hulking righty from Texas on Tuesday night.

"It's been talked about for over a week now that something's imminent," Green said. "But obviously, the days keep passing by, and nothing's happened. It's my expectation, and I've told him to expect to pitch here tomorrow."

Hessler returns to 'pen
In need of help for their beleaguered bullpen, the Padres recalled left-hander Keith Hessler from Triple-A on Monday and optioned righty Kevin Quackenbush to El Paso.

Hessler hasn't appeared for the Padres since a two-game stint in May, when he allowed seven earned runs over three innings. He owns a 3.29 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings for El Paso this season.

"It came down to really needing some fresh arms," Green said. "We've gone through our bullpen guys a lot lately. ... At some point in time, start getting fresh arms up here. We don't have a ton of optionable pieces at the Major League level right now."

Green said he expects to see Quackenbush back with the big league club shortly, once he's been given a bit of a breather. In 42 appearances, Quackenbush owns a 3.89 ERA and a .239 batting-average against.

The north remembers
The series starting Monday may be the Padres' first trip to Toronto, but it isn't Green's. He made his Major League debut here in 2004 as a member of the D-backs. He pinch-ran and went 0-for-1.

"It was still whirlwind phase for me" Green said. "I was just getting called up. I went to Baltimore for a day, and then I came in here in a blowout game and I popped up foul. ... Not very newsworthy."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.