Seattle Mariners Should Look To Former Division Foe For Starting Pitching
Hey! Did you know the Seattle Mariners need starting pitching? It’s shocking to hear, I know. But it also happens to be true. So today, we look at a former Oakland A’s starter who makes a lot of sense for the Mariners.
No, it’s not Brett Anderson. Although, he does make a decent amount of sense for the Mariners. It also isn’t Mike Fiers, who made a lot of sense in August, but GM Jerry Dipoto couldn’t be bothered to put in a claim on him. Instead, today we are going to focus on Trevor Cahill.
Admittedly, Trevor Cahill is a pretty boring name. He won’t invoke Mariners fans to magically believe that 2019 is their year. However, much like current Mariner Mike Leake, he increases the Mariners chances of winning.
In 2018, Trevor Cahill saw a level of success he hadn’t seen since 2012. He made 20 starts for the A’s, and because it was 2018, he was ridiculously good. In 110 innings, Cahill posted a 3.76 ERA, a 3.54 FIP, and a 3.80 xFIP. All numbers that are well above-average.
In addition to those great ratio numbers, he posted an impressive 1.19 WHIP, 8.18 K/9, 3.35 BB/9, and a solid 2.0 fWAR.
On top of that, Cahill continued to be the extreme groundball pitcher he has always been. The 55% groundball guy posted a nearly identical 53.4% GB rate in 2018. The return of Cahill as a legitimate starter coincides with the return of his dominant changeup. Always his best pitch, the 85 mph changeup compliments the 92-93 MPH sinker quite well.
Cahill is a true 4 pitch starter, but only the changeup is considered to be above-average. The 31-year-old right-hander will hit the open market at the right time this off-season. The free agent class for starters isn’t great, which should help the Cahill market.
However, with a history of injury concerns, and questions about whether he is best used as a starter or reliever, there is definitely a cap to his earning potential. With the Mariners in need of both bullpen and rotation help, the flexibility of Cahill could be seen as a bonus, as too will his price tag.
We never really know what the market will look like until we start seeing deals roll in, but Cahill seems like a prime candidate for a 1-year deal worth between $7-$10 million, with an option of some sort for a second year.
The Mariners probably can’t afford to dish out $15 million AAV deals to improve their pitching staff, so rolling the dice on an upside play like Trevor Cahill makes a lot of sense.