Cashner solid in final audition for possible suitors

Padres' right-hander fans 6 over 6 innings Tuesday as Deadline approaches

Cashner solid in final audition for possible suitors

TORONTO -- Before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner made one final audition for potential suitors Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

In a 12-inning, 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays, the longest-tenured Padre showcased the full range of what he has to offer.

There was the good -- six strikeouts, largely a result of the devastating power slider that has returned to his arsenal over his past three outings. He coupled that with his high-octane fastball and finished with three runs on four hits in six innings.

On the flip side, Cashner also surrendered two home runs, both on fastballs that badly missed their spots. But for the most part, he pieced together a third consecutive sharp outing against a postseason contender.

Now, all he can do is wait.

"You never know when your final game is," Cashner said. "That's out of my control. I just go out there and pitch and give my team the best chance to win."

Still, after the game, Cashner took some time to reflect on his tenure in San Diego, following his 130th -- and possibly final -- appearance for the Padres.

"I've definitely learned a ton from [pitching coach] Darren Balsley," Cashner said. "I've looked at him as a dad the whole time I've been here. I haven't really thought about [life after a trade], honestly, but I think, more than anything, I'll miss the coaches and teammates and the friendships that I've made here."

A Cashner deal -- like Tuesday's trade which sent Melvin Upton Jr. to the Blue Jays -- seems imminent. His contract expires after the season, and with the Padres out of contention, they are wont to move him.

In three starts since the All-Star break, Cashner has allowed only five runs while striking out 23 -- facing the Giants, Cardinals and Blue Jays, no less. The dearth of options on the pitching market, coupled with Cashner's second-half success, should make him an attractive option as Monday's 1 p.m. PT Deadline approaches.

"There, I'm sure, was a lot swirling in his head with all the talk that's going on," Padres manager Andy Green said. "But he put it all aside, stepped up and pitched a good game. That's what he's going to be doing for the rest of the season. If it ends up being for another team, he's going to pitch big game after big game after big game."

Cashner said he got goosebumps Tuesday night listening to the ovation Blue Jays fans gave Upton during his first at-bat.

Maybe next week, Cashner will hear something like that for himself.

"It's going to be interesting to see what happens," Cashner said before addressing the rumors with his trademarked practicality:

"At the end of the day," he said, "nobody really knows anything."

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