Cashner's contract also includes a vesting player option on a third year that would pay Cashner $10 million if he pitches 340 innings in the first two years combined.
Cashner, who has battled his share of injuries throughout his career, has never had a two-year period in which he came close to combining for 340 innings, so that third-year option is really a "pie in the sky" offering by the Orioles.
While pitching for the San Diego Padres in 2013 and 2014, Casher combined for 289.1 innings, and in 2016 and 2017, Cashner reached his two-season high mark of 316.2 innings with San Diego and the Miami Marlins.
While this move will hardly get O's fans excited for the 2018 postseason, it does look like a fairly solid move.
In 28 starts last season for the Texas Rangers, Cashner went at least six innings 20 times. Last season, Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez and lefty Wade Miley combined for 77 starts and only lasted six innings on 19 occasions.
In 2017, Cashner recorded a 3.40 ERA, buy many statistical analyses feel his 3.40 ERA is a mirage and
could land significantly higher
in 2018. Either way, that's still a lot better than Tillman (7.84), Jimenez (6.81) and Miley (5.61).
The most frightening numbers on Cashner's 2017 stats are that he threw 166.2 innings and struck out only 86 batters. In 2015, Cashner threw 184.2 innings and struck out 165 batters. However, in an odd irony, Cashner's ERA last season was 3.40 and his WHIP was 1.32, while his ERA in 2015 -- when he struck out all those batters was -- 4.34 with a 1.44 WHIP.
Another odd part of Cashner's contract is the fact that in 2018, he will only be paid $5 million of his $8 million, with $3 million deferred. FanRag has reported that the deferred money will technically be paid as a signing bonus. It's one thing to defer money on a mammoth Chris Davis seven-year, $161 million deal, but it strikes me as odd to be deferring compensation at this level. It's unclear whether the club insisted upon this or if Cashner's representation asked for it.
If the club did ask for it, the real possibility of any other meaningful arm acquisition seems to lessen quite a bit.
However, if executive vice president of baseball Dan Duquette was just trying to craft a deal so that he might have enough left over for someone else (not including a possible Tillman signing), there would be an added bonus.
The addition of Cashner and say, two more starters, would allow the Orioles to plop right-hander Miguel Castro back in a very important bullpen role.
While Castro has started 35 minor league games, manager Buck Showalter thinks Castro could give his rotation a boost. I am not saying he can't be a solid addition to his rotation, but rather, if Castro becomes a starter, the role he filled in 38 of his 39 appearances in 2017 falls into yet another suspect category.
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