Blue Jays showing interest in veteran Andrew Cashner

BOSTON, MA - MAY 23: Andrew Cashner
BOSTON, MA - MAY 23: Andrew Cashner /

According to MLB Network reporter Jon Morosi the Blue Jays have shown continued interest in free agent veteran starter Andrew Cashner. Morosi also added the Blue Jays hope to land a veteran starter on a one-year deal. Is Andrew Cashner a good fit for the 5th starter role? Would he solidify the rotation?

Andrew Cashner had a fine season in 2017 with the Texas Rangers. He managed to post a 3.40 ERA (9th best in the AL) in 28 starts and 166.2 innings pitched . His record was at .500 with 11 wins and 11 losses, and a WAR of 4.6. However, the alarming numbers are his strikeouts. His SO/9 was at a very low 4.6.

In 2016, Cashner finished the season with a 5.25 ERA between the San Diego Padres and the Miami Marlins. By looking at the numbers, his 2017 season could be considered a ‘comeback’ season, especially considering he did pitch in Texas, a hitter friendly park in which he actually had a 2.82 ERA in 82.2 innings.

The Texas native has eight years of experience in the bigs. He started with the Cubs after being drafted in the 1st round of the 2008 draft. He then played for the Padres for four and a half seasons before being traded to the Marlins at the 2016 deadline, and then signing a one-year $10 million deal in the offseason with the Texas Rangers. Should Toronto be his next team?

Does Cashner make sense for Toronto?

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The first thing that has to be considered when answering this type of question is, what would his role be? His role with the Blue Jays is going to be in the rotation, as the 5th starter, which is what really matters. Therefore, average numbers, for example an ERA surrounding the 4.00 mark and more than 150 innings pitched is more or less what you can expect. Can Cashner give you that? Perfectly so. If he manages to put up the same numbers in 2018 as this past season, he can be excellent signing for Toronto.

A rotation consisting of Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada and Cashner, could very well be considered one of the best. Also, by having Cashner as the 5th starter, Joe Biagini can be put back in the bullpen where he has consistently been stellar in his two seasons with the Blue Jays. Taking this factor into account, although there is a chance he starts at Triple-A Buffalo, not only would it mean the rotation missing piece would be covered with a fine pitcher, but the bullpen would be reinforced with Biagini back in it.

Would Cashner solidify the rotation?

The 31 year old has been irregular over his last three season. 2015 was a very mediocre year for him, 2016 was a terrible one, and 2017, as mentioned, was a fine season. There is no doubt a pitcher like Alex Cobb, would be a more ‘premium’ signing. On the other hand, Cashner wouldn’t be a bad one at all, and considering how the rotation is right now, or how it finished last season, Cashner would solidify this rotation. Like Sportsnet’s Mike Wilner wrote on Twitter in regard to Jon Morosi’s report, Cashner is not as good as Alex Cobb, better than Chris Tillman and would be a terrific 5th starter.

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