Baltimore Orioles: Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner should be top priority

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 14: Andrew Cashner
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 14: Andrew Cashner /

It shouldn’t be news to anyone that the Baltimore Orioles starting rotation was a complete dumpster fire last season. With a starting rotation that lacked consistency, and not a single one with an ERA under 4.00, Andrew Cashner is an ideal free agent signing.

According to’s Roch Kubatko, the Baltimore Orioles have interest in the 31-year-old starting pitcher.

Cashner posted a career-high 11 wins last season, which would have been tied with Gausman for second most on the entire roster. Although the Orioles should be hesitant about Cashner having double-digit loss seasons for the past 3 years, his other stats prove he’d be a solid pickup.

The numbers on Cashner

Cashner’s 3.40 era was the best in the Rangers starting rotation. And it was significantly better than any Orioles starter. Cashner’s era this past season was also his lowest since 2013 (20+ games started). And to make his era seem even more impressive, Global Life Park in Arlington ranked 2nd overall on ESPN’s MLB Park Factors.

This basically means it was every hitter’s second favorite ballpark last season.

One major key the Orioles rotation lacked last season was consistency. Well, they were consistent in not pitching well if you want to take that route. Ubaldo Jimenez, Wade Miley, Jeremy Hellickson, and Chris Tillman were all terrible. Dylan Bundy had a terrific start to the season then tailed off after the All-Star break. Kevin Gausman was the complete opposite, terrible first half with a solid second half.

Consistency is key

Cashner can provide the consistency this rotation is dying to have.

Besides a horrible month of June, Cashner did not exceed a 4.00 era in any other month this past season. In the month of July he threw a whopping 2.36 era in 26.2 IP, with opposing bats hitting just .192. So what else is there about Cashner to like?

How would he fit with the current starters?

The Orioles are looking for a third man in the rotation. Well, Cashner’s 166.2 IP would have been third most in the Orioles rotation behind Bundy and Gausman, the ideal spot where he would be placed if signed. While giving up 156 hits isn’t great, it’s not bad either.

One stat many Orioles fans loved about Bundy and Gausman was their high number of strikeouts. That’s where Cashner struggles. His 86 strikeouts this past season is a career-low as a starting pitcher. But are O’s fan expecting their third man in the rotation to be a strikeout pitcher?

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They just hope he doesn’t walk a lead-off batter almost every inning. Or they hope the team isn’t down five runs after just entering the stadium.

Expectations are low this off-season and Orioles fans are tired of the organizations inability to produce starting pitching overall.

Cashner’s potential value

Signing Cashner would prove to Orioles fans that they aren’t aiming low this off-season.  According to Spotrac, Cashner’s market value is around $10.8 million in annual salary. That’s not bad at all for someone who won 11 games last year with a 3.40 era.

His market value is basically $8 million less than Alex Cobb’s as well, and Cobb is only a year younger than Cashner. This would give the Orioles the opportunity to spend that extra $8 million elsewhere.

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Cashner would be a fantastic signing for the Orioles at a reasonable price tag. Yet, Orioles fans should not expect anything to happen. If the Orioles do sign guys like Cashner or Cobb without us fans expecting it, then we can cheer and drink Natty Boh together. But if we do expect something and nothing happens, well, we’ll probably drink to that as well anyways.