The Orioles are going to be scouting just about every starting pitcher who’s got potential to be dealt before the trade deadline. You don’t need me to tell you the rotation needs help. So it’s never a surprise to hear that the Orioles scouted a particular player - in this case, San Diego’s Andrew Cashner, according to Jon Heyman. Cashner started on Thursday.
As with nearly every other starter on the market, the Orioles are hardly going to prove to be the only team interested. The Blue Jays were also watching Cashner yesterday, Heyman said. The Marlins and Rangers are also reportedly checking him out.
Cashner absolutely falls in the category of a pitcher who’s bad enough that the Orioles both might be able to acquire him and bad enough that you likely have no interest in seeing the Orioles trade for him. A 4.79 ERA in the NL West speaks for itself.
A recent Fangraphs article tries to make Cashner sound a bit more appealing due to increased effectiveness for his slider following a recent DL stint. It’s true that Cashner’s last two starts were both very good, but before that was a 2.2 inning, eight earned run stink bomb. Cashner has a 4.87 ERA since the disabled list trip. I’m not buying it.
The pending free agent, who is 29, has only started 30+ games in his career one time. Even if we take out the abbreviated start he made before going to the disabled list, he’s averaging less than 5.1 innings per game started this season. He is two years removed from being any good. About that DL trip, it was for a strained neck. He missed about three weeks with that injury.
Just about the only thing that might recommend Cashner is if you have a belief that he is better than his 4.79 ERA has shown and that he’s “due” (so to speak) to perform at a higher level than that for the remainder of the season. It’s plausible. This is essentially the opposite of what happened to the Orioles when they traded for Gerardo Parra, having the best four months of his career, last year.
Not that it would be a very exciting trade for the O’s to make. We all know how the Orioles do when it comes to resurrecting pitchers, or doing anything resembling developing pitchers. And the O’s would have to give up someone with some promise in their already-thin system to get Cashner for two months. No thanks.