Breaking news! The free agent market has been a slow drag. Now we are in mid-February and some dominos are starting to fall. The Baltimore Orioles, a franchise in desperate need of some pitching just picked up a key arm to help bolster their rotation. Andrew Cashner will sign a two-year deal worth $16 million to sign with the O’s.
Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports was the first to report the news:
Source: #orioles are signing RHP Andrew Cashner to a 2-year deal with $16 million guaranteed
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) February 15, 2018
Cashner, 31, is a really underrated starter who tossed a 3.40 ERA this past year for Texas. Cashner was worth 3.4 Wins above replacement this year. Over 28 starts, Cashner threw over 166 innings and struck out 86 batters. For Baltimore, adding a starter who can provide double-digit wins is a huge bonus for a team that already has a stable bullpen.
The Orioles needed a starter in the worst way possible. Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman were the only reliable options they have going into this season. Chris Tillman remains on the free agent market as well. Literally, anything is an upgrade over Ubaldo Jimenez who lost just about every single time he took the ball for the Orioles.
Cashner has pitched for the Cubs, Padres, Marlins, and Rangers in his eight-year career. He has been inconsistent over the years and even threw a 5.25 ERA in 2016. However, for just $16 million, this seems to be a pretty great value deal for the Orioles. When you consider Yu Darvish just received a deal worth $126 million and Cashner frankly had better numbers than Darvish a year ago, the Orioles did well here. Now Baltimore has to worry about filling out the rest of their rotation. Oh, by the way, there’s this guy Manny Machado who is on a one-year deal. If things get ugly, the Orioles may have to move him before he leaves for nothing.