The Baltimore Orioles have added a new piece to their rotation with the signing of Andrew Cashner.
The Baltimore Orioles will sign right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner to a two-year deal with $16 million guaranteed, according to a Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The deal also includes a vesting option for a third year and five million in incentives each season.
The O’s desperately needed to fill out their rotation with just two regular starters coming back from last year’s bunch. Outside of Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, the pitching staff was lacking Major League experience. Cashner should slot in behind the aforementioned starters.
Cashner, 31, went 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA with the Texas Rangers last season. He has a 42-64 record, but that is in large part because he has spent the bulk of his career with the San Diego Padres. His 3.80 ERA is what the Orioles are banking on, but that came in favorable circumstances. The right-hander has played much of his career in hitter-friendly ballparks so it will be interesting to see how he fares at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He’s made two starts in Baltimore and sports a 2.00 ERA, but has given up as many long balls as starts.
More concerning for the O’s is his strikeout rate dipped nearly three strikeouts per nine innings last season to 4.6 K/9, after posting a 7.9 K/9 in 2015-2016 with the Padres and Florida Marlins. The O’s have also recently seen the disappointment from a player coming from the Rangers. Yovani Gallardo posted solid numbers with Texas the year before signing with Baltimore, going 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA. The next season with the O’s, he finished 6-8 with a 5.42 ERA.
It was not the franchise-changing move that many want, but it gives Buck Showalter a veteran starter to solidify a rotation that is still missing pieces. The Orioles are taking a long look at Miguel Castro, Hunter Harvey and Alec Asher to name a few, but they are still back-of-the-rotation players at this point in their careers. It also would not come as a surprise if the O’s make one more move before the first Spring Training game next Friday.