Spring Training Primer: Cashner discusses signing with O's; Buck on improving rotation - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Spring Training Primer: Cashner discusses signing with O’s; Buck on improving rotation

Photo credit: The Baltimore Orioles

What’s happening – The Orioles filled a significant hole in their starting rotation by signing right-hander Andrew Cashner to a two-year $16 million contract with a 2020 vesting option.

The way the contract is structured with deferments, a signing bonus and incentives, the Orioles’ payroll only increases $5 million in 2018 with the move. Cashner’s contract could be worth $41 million total, if all incentives are met and a $10 million option for 2020 is triggered.

The 31-year-old has a 42-64 record with a 3.80 ERA in eight seasons with the Cubs, Padres, Marlins and Rangers.

Cashner is the third bona fide starter in the Orioles rotation, joining Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.

“I do know that they need some starting pitching, and here it is, show up every day and whoever I can help out, help out,” Cashner said. “And my job is to come here and pitch and win.”

Cashner was at the Orioles’ spring training facility in Sarasota on Thursday, but he’ll head back to his home in Texas for a few days before returning Sunday when the team’s full squad is scheduled to report.

“He’s a veteran starter. That’s a good deal for both us and him,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Obviously, it’s a need that we had. We think we have some people here that can do a job, and also we want to have depth as a starting pitcher.”

Cashner said he and Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson began talking in November. It’s been a long process for many free agents.

“I don’t think it’s been difficult. It’s been interesting. It’s been different,” Cashner said. “I met with Brady back in November and we’ve had dialogue ever since. He’s reached out to me, and I reached out to him, and I think the communication’s been great throughout the whole process.”

Showalter is pleased to have added an experienced arm to his starting staff.

“He’s a guy that’s pitched well in the American League,” Showalter said. “That’s something that I think played in his favor. And doing a lot of the homework on the other part of it, I think we just think it’s a good, all-around fit for us.”

To make room on the 40-man roster for Cashner, the Orioles placed closer Zach Britton on the 60-day disabled list. Britton is recovering from surgery to repair a torn right Achilles tendon.

The Orioles now have 36 pitchers in camp, including Britton.

Something to think about – A day before the news about Cashner came out, Showalter listed eight possible starters for spring training games. It’s possible he’ll pare down that list.

Besides Bundy and Gausman, Showalter listed right-handers Miguel Castro, Hunter Harvey, Mike Wright and Gabriel Ynoa as well as Rule 5 draft choices, Nestor Cortes, a left-hander, and right-hander Jose Mesa.

The Orioles will still want to see Harvey, and without an established left-handed starter for the time being, Cortes will probably remain in the mix.

However, Wright and Ynoa, who are both out of options, may not get as many starting opportunities this spring.

A name to consider – Eddie Gamboa. The 33-year-old knuckleballer has returned for a second iteration with the Orioles.

Gamboa signed a minor league contract with the Orioles after spending the first eight seasons of his professional career in the organization, but he never pitched for the big league team. He pitched in seven games for Tampa Bay in 2016 with an 0-2 record and 1.35 ERA.

Showalter has implored him to throw more knuckleballs and fewer fastballs. Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, whom the Orioles had work with Gamboa, told him he has to accept some of the risks of throwing the knuckler.

“It’s a lot of stress that comes with it, a lot of wild pitches, a lot of passed balls, a lot of walks,” Gamboa said. “You can walk the bases loaded, and you can get out of it, all in one inning.”

What they are saying – “It’s a lineup you can’t really make a lot of mistakes against. It’s a lot of power in there, and I got to pitch [for] San Diego one year in Baltimore. Really cool stadium, really neat, a lot of history. It’s one of my favorite places to pitch, so I’m looking forward to making that my home [stadium] every night.” — Andrew Cashner on joining the Orioles.

Rich Dubroff covers the Orioles for PressBoxOnline.com. You can read his stories here.



  1. Creatively_19

    February 16, 2018 at 8:45 am

    He’s not an ace, but I’m happy to have him (and the O’s weren’t going to go get one). Sounds like a good deal for the Orioles, too.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 16, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Agreed. Not an ace. Probably best they could get based on money willing to spend.

  2. BunkerFan

    February 16, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Gamboa was an effective fastball pitcher when he began his career in the minors with the O’s. With good control. One season he went 10-0…so I can see where it might have been difficult for him to adjust to throwing the knuckler 100% of the time. But now it’s fish or cut bait for him. Who knows? Maybe he will learn to control it consistently the more he throws it everyday. Could be a sleeper…
    I like the Cashner signing. Feels like the cavalry is starting to arrive…but are they done yet? Any chance for a McHugh trade or another signing like Lynn or Cobb?

    • Dan Connolly

      February 16, 2018 at 10:18 am

      No on Cobb. Almost no on Lynn. Doubt they have what it takes for McHugh.

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        February 17, 2018 at 10:24 pm

        I like the 3 rule 5 DD got. Mesa has good stuff as does Cortes. They are building quite a nice young staff.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 16, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Where is mention of Dan Duquette in any of these Cashner articles at BB.com?

    Is Mr. Duquette going to get a little bit of love from all the haters today? Or are we going to say that this is all Brady Anderson’s doing?

    • Creatively_19

      February 16, 2018 at 9:33 am

      It’s certainly portrayed as Anderson had a larger role in it than DD. It should get interesting around these parts when the Duqe and Buck’s contracts expire at the end of the season as to what happens with them. At least we know Manny won’t be back, but what happens to them is still up in the air. My money is on Brady to GM or some other BS corporate made up title the O’s could use, and Buck back for another couple seasons as manager with DD going away.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 16, 2018 at 10:23 am

      This was primarily a Brady production from what I’ve gleaned. If Duq is gone after 2018, I’d expect what you suggest. However, I would think they’d add a third head again to do some of the daily GM type work.

  4. Orial

    February 16, 2018 at 9:08 am

    What’s interesting is that the O’s(Brady) have been in somewhat constant contact since November. This is telling being that everyone seems to think that the O’s were not proactive. Refreshing to hear. Good number 2-3 starter. Wondering if Vargas is next. Like the “List of 8” but another veteran would be preferred.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 16, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Actually, Orial I reported several times that an Orioles official had met with Cashner before the winter meetings. So it’s not they were dormant. It’s whether they were going to get the deal done.

  5. Birdman

    February 16, 2018 at 9:25 am

    The Orioles are certainly better off with Cashner than they were 24 hours ago, so it is a step in the right direction … but let’s not get carried away, this isn’t a dynamic move – signing a guy like Cashner is about the minimum you can do when your team only has two starting pitchers.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      February 16, 2018 at 10:14 am

      I agree with your assesment. Remember the excitement when we traded for Miley? How’d that work out?

    • Dan Connolly

      February 16, 2018 at 10:24 am

      I would say the Miley addition was somewhat similar. Optimism but an understanding of red flags too. Could go either way. That one went the wrong way.

  6. bickel57

    February 16, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I like the signing. He fits a number 3 slot. He is a veteran presence for some of the younger guys. With Vargas really the only lefty out there you need to think of the future for this slot put Cortes out there and see what he can do. I would slot him at the number 5. Let Wright and Castro or Ynoa battle it out for number 4. I think they should use that contract strategy and try to sign Britton. He says he wants to stay that way you can groom Tanner Scott to take his place.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 16, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Again, I still think another vet starter is imperative. Let the others duke it out for 5th starter and longman.

  7. Eldersburg Enigma

    February 16, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    If he’s decent, he’ll fetch some decent prospects at the trade deadline. I’d like to see them add another starter or two plus a veteran outfielder to help land even more prospects at the deadline.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm

      If you sign a couple vets to reasonable one year deals and they pan out, you are either in contention on July or have another solid trade chip.

  8. thebookdoc

    February 18, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    “Cashner said he and Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson began talking in November. It’s been a long process for many free agents.”

    Guess Brady is already the GM.

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