Sign Andrew Cashner
Cashner, a 31-year-old right-hander who had a solid season for the Texas Rangers last year, wasn’t my first choice as the Orioles’ primary pitching acquisition when this offseason began. He still isn’t. I’d much rather have Alex Cobb, for instance. But, in my estimation, Cashner is the best starting pitching option available that will not require a contract beyond three years. Because, again, we’re working in reality here and the Orioles aren’t doling out a four-year-plus deal (see Jimenez, Ubaldo). Cashner has some serious warts. He has thrown more than 180 innings just once in his career and he has a tremendously shrinking strikeout rate, which dropped to a grimace-inducing 4.6 per nine innings in 2017. But he’s a sinkerball pitcher and he’s coming off a good season (3.40 ERA) in a hitter’s home venue. The website Mlbtraderumors.com predicted he would get two years and $20 million. It’s gonna take more than that in this market, but I’d go three years on Cashner and hope for the best (and a shave). Also know this: The Orioles are interested in Cashner; a club official has spoken to him face-to-face at least once this offseason.