TORONTO, ONTARIO – JULY 6: Andrew Cashner #54 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches the the Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 6, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Trade candidate Andrew Cashner is the perfect piece for a team like the Baltimore Orioles. The Baltimore Orioles trade candidate has an expiring contract that has a vesting option for 2020. The 32-year-old is the perfect candidate for a team that might need some pitching help but is not necessarily looking for a front line starter. Cashner has never really been an ace level pitcher. He is serviceable and could slot in for a team that really needs help at the back end of the rotation.

The Trade Candidate Contract

Cashner is making $8 million toward the luxury tax on the Baltimore Orioles this year. His contract runs out at the end of this season, but there is a vesting option that can turn into a player option for 2020. If he reaches 340 innings between 2018 and this season, the $10 million option will become guaranteed. Cashner would need to reach 360 innings between the same two seasons for it to become a player option.

The 32-year-old has never really been an innings eater and 2018 was no different. He threw 153 innings in 2018 and his career high is 184.2 innings during the 2015 season. Cashner is currently at 96.1 innings this year and would need to top his career high for this option to vest. It is doubtful that happens, and he likely would be a pure rental for a team.

The Numbers

The right-hander is having a decent year by his own standards. Across his 96.1 innings, he has an ERA of 3.83 and a FIP of 4.25 which are improvements over the past couple of years. Cashner has done well at limiting the base runners this year with an 8.0 H/9 and a 2.7 BB/9. These are his lowest marks since 2014. His strikeouts, however, are down to 6.2 per nine innings, which can be a concern in a baseball world where hitters are striking out at an alarming rate. He does not get burnt by the long ball too often with an HR/9 of 1.0. All told, he keeps his team in the ball game and is a serviceable mid to back end starter that could help a team in need.

The Return for Andrew Cashner

Cashner is not going to net the Orioles a huge haul of prospects. If one is looking for a good comparison, it could be a deal like the Orioles had last season when they sent Kevin Gausman to the Atlanta Braves. They attached Darren O’Day in that deal, but it can be argued that Cashner is a little better than Gausman and the return could likely be the same. They received a catcher in Brett Cumberland, a third baseman in Jean Carlos Encarnación, and pitchers in Evan Phillips and Bruce Zimmerman.

Evan Phillips was the only prospect above A-Ball, but it helped a bleak farm system get a little better. The Orioles also received $2.5 million in international bonus money. The return for Cashner will likely be comparable, if not a little less, unless they are packaging a reliever with him. This still makes Andrew Cashner a trade candidate, as something is better than nothing.

The Trade Partners for Andrew Cashner

There are a few contending teams that could use Andrew Cashner, but some are more likely than others. The Boston Red Sox notably need help at the back end of their rotation. Boston has been bumping against the luxury tax number for the past two years and it is hard to see them taking on the contract of Cashner. This will likely throw them over the threshold for the second year. Still, with a hole at the back end and the team in a contending window, it could be a destination for Cashner.

The Milwaukee Brewers are another contending team that really need more out of their starters. Brewers fans have been saying it for over a year now, and the team is still in need of a starter. It could be said that the Brewers are more likely looking for a front line pitcher, but they could really use a couple of arms in their rotation, as a guy like Jhoulys Chacin has not replicated his 2018 performance. Chase Anderson has also not lived up to his numbers of the past few years and Cashner could provide a boost for a team in need of quality innings.

The Oakland Athletics could also conceivably jump in the mix for Andrew Cashner. The A’s are currently 1.5 back of the wild card and notably do not have much of a rotation. With injuries to guys like Sean Manaea, the team has turned to using bullpen games to help get them through. Adding a low-cost starter can prove beneficial to resting a bullpen that is 5th in the MLB in appearances. If the Athletics want to contend, it will be necessary to add to the starting pitching. Cashner is one of the lower cost options that could still provide quality innings.

The Conclusion

It is like that trade candidate Andrew Cashner will land with another team. The Orioles need to take advantage of expiring contracts to help out their rebuild. The team’s farm system has not been the best and should really look to offload a guy like Andrew Cashner. He will not net them a huge prospect haul but could help them with a few lottery tickets and maybe some international spending money. It would be a waste for the Baltimore Orioles to allow Andrew Cashner’s contract to expire while on the team.

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