Seattle Mariners Free Agency Profile: Andrew Cashner
The Seattle Mariners quest for low budget innings eaters will lead down a road of mediocre starting pitchers this season. Today, we look at one such option, 9-year MLB veteran Andrew Cashner.
Yes, the Mariners are going to add starting pitching this winter. No, it won’t be Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, or Hyun Jin-Ryu. Instead, GM Jerry Dipoto will head down the clearance aisle of starting pitching arms and select one or two that may make sense for 2020.
These pitchers will be veterans looking for 1-year deals to re-establish free-agent value in 2020. Basically, Dipoto is looking for a table to slap some paint on to try and flip at the garage sale called the trade deadline, and the pitchers are the table hoping to use their time in Dipoto’s garage to find a nicer home. What a long-winded analogy.
But unless there is a bargain to be found on the trade block, the Mariners may very well just dust off some reprints and take their chances while they wait for their custom artwork to arrive (no more analogies, I swear).
One possible bargain bin option is 33-year-old RHP Andrew Cashner. Cashner spent his 2019 with the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox. He appeared in 42 games, including 23 starts, and posted a 4.66 FIP and 1.8 fWAR in 150 innings pitched.
Pretty pedestrian numbers, especially when you factor in his 6.48 K/9 and 3.48 BB/9 numbers. Cashner is a pedestrian pitcher, who goes out every 5th day, pitches to contact, and gives you 6 innings of 4-run ball on a consistent basis. Not flashy, but useable.
Cashner did have a knack for generating groundballs in 2019, posting a 48.5% groundball rate, which has been a repeatable skill for him in his career.
Offering a 4-pitch mix, Cashner throws reasonably hard, averaging 93.9 MPH on the four-seam fastball. The changeup and slider were both quality offerings for him in 2019, but his fastball and curveball were destroyed.
Cashner could benefit from throwing his slider more, a strategy that worked well for Austin Adams and Connor Sadzeck. But even with a few small tweaks, Cashner is just a stop-gap option until Justin Dunn and/or Logan Gilbert are deemed ready for big league action.
Any Cashner signing would be of a 1-year contract variety with a small guaranteed salary with the potential for some performance incentives being possible. Some teams may have an interest in Cashner as a reliever and he was quite successful when he was moved to the Red Sox bullpen.
But if the veteran wants another season in a big-league rotation, the Mariners could be one of his only shots.