The Baltimore Orioles have made their first deadline deal of 2019, sending a veteran pitcher to the Boston Red Sox.
There isn’t a lot to be excited about when it comes to on-field production for the Baltimore Orioles, outside of Trey Mancini‘s bounce-back season and the All-Star first-half performance of John Means. We also can’t overlook what Andrew Cashner was able to accomplish during his time with the Orioles in 2019.
On a team with a 28-64 overall record and a league-worst 5.70 ERA, Cashner recorded a 9-3 record with a 3.83 ERA in 17 starts, cheering on his teammates through each loss, even when he wasn’t pitching, and showcasing that beautiful mane on a nightly basis. Cashner will now look to continue his career-season with the Boston Red Sox, who hope the 32-year-old right-hander can help stabilize their pitching staff ahead of a World Series push.
In exchange for Andrew Cashner, the Baltimore Orioles have received two teenage prospects from the Red Sox, 17-year-old outfielder Elio Prado (Caracas, Venezuela) and infielder Noelberth Romero (also from Caracas). Both players are currently playing in the Dominican Summer League and will swap their Red Sox jerseys for O’s gear and remain in the DSL.
Per Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles will also absorb much of the Cashner’s remaining contract.
It’s near impossible to find scouting reports on 17-year-old players in the Dominican who aren’t part of the elite crop of international players, but we can still classify this trade as a solid move for the Baltimore Orioles. Mike Elias was able to take a 10-year veteran worth just 11.0 bWAR in his career, 2.7 of that coming just in 2019, on an expiring contract and turn him into two lottery tickets.
After avoiding the international market for years, Elias inked 27 international free agents back on July 2 and has now added two more international players in this deal. We will defer to Elias and his scouting department on what these guys bring to the organization, but just like this year’s J2 period, this trade is exciting in that it reinforces the notion that the Orioles are going all-in when it comes to infusing the organization with much-needed international talent.
No organization was going to offer a top 100 prospect for Cashner, so kudos to Elias for being able to pick up anything in this deal. Stats from the DSL mean essentially nothing, but if you’re curious, Prado is currently hitting .303 with a .404 on-base percentage, three home runs, nine stolen bases, and 20 walks, compared to just 21 strikeouts, across 33 games. Romero has appeared in 29 games, hitting .264 with a .336 OBP, two home runs, and two stolen bases.
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The Orioles are playing the long game and this Cashner trade is another sign of that, but there are immediate impacts of this trade (not that it really matters). With Dylan Bundy now on the Injured List with knee tendinitis and Cashner throwing in Boston, the Orioles are left with two massive holes in their starting rotation. If we’re being more accurate, it’s more like four.
There’s really no reason to be upset by this move if you’re an Orioles fan. I wish the best for Andrew Cashner (but not the Red Sox) and hope we can look back in four-five years and say this was a good move for Baltimore.