For those unaware, the Red Sox traded for Orioles starting pitcher, Andrew Cashner, in exchange for prospects Noelberth Romero and Elio Prado. Cashner is 32 years old and signed through 2019, with a $10 million team option in 2020. This year, he has a 3.83 ERA through 96.1 innings pitched, and his career ERA is 4.00. He is not the most polarizing player the team could trade for, but I think the Red Sox really hit a home run with this trade. Between filling a positional need, the package the Red Sox gave up, and how the money is being handled, I think there is only benefit to be had for the Red Sox in this trade.
Andrew Cashner Is The Producer The Red Sox Rotation Needs
Andrew Cashner is no ace, but that is not what is necessary. The Red Sox offense is so good that they do not need an ace every fifth day. They just need someone to keep them in the game. Ever since middle-of-the-rotation starter, Nathan Eovaldi, went down with an injury, there have been a cast of characters that have failed to come close to replacing his production. Since April 18th, Hector Velazquez, Ryan Weber, Brian Johnson, Josh Smith, and Darwinzon Hernandez have combined for a 7.49 starters ERA through 45.2 innings. If you take Brian Johnson out of that mix, the ERA is 8.84 through 37.2 innings. I believe Cashner will have better than a 7.49 ERA for the rest of the season, so this should already be an upgrade.
Never mind that, but among the regular starters, Cashner is a better innings eater and producer than the four of them on average. This year, he has had a quality start (6 or more innings, 3 or less earned runs) in 59% of his starts. David Price, Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Rick Porcello have a combined 44% quality start rate this year. Cashner also has 5.7 innings per start, while the average between the four regular Red Sox starters is 5.6. Cashner also beats all of them individually in bWAR, as he is also 8th in the American League in bWAR. In fWAR, only Chris Sale beats Andrew Cashner from the Red Sox rotation.
To add to all of that, Cashner goes from a team who is 28th in the Majors in defensive runs saved (-63) to a team that is 19th in defensive runs saved (-10). He is a lot better off with the Red Sox defense behind him than the Orioles defense.
The Red Sox Gave Up Nothing
The Red Sox gave up Noelberth Romero and Elio Prado in this trade. If you don’t know who they are, you are not alone. They are both 17 years old, and were both signed in 2018 during the International Signing period. There is not much to judge them off of, so I can only look at the size of their contracts. Romero was signed for $275,000, and Prado was signed for $85,000. For reference, 26 players were signed for at least $1 million during the 2018 signing period. In Leyman’s terms, the Red Sox did not give up a prized possession to get Andrew Cashner.
The Orioles Are Giving the Red Sox Money
Cashner is due about $3.5 million for the rest of 2019. According to an industry source, the Red Sox will get approximately $1.8 million from BAL to cover more than half of his remaining base. Also, Orioles have agreed to cover "most'' of any performance bonuses Cashner earns.
— Sean McAdam (@Sean_McAdam) July 13, 2019
Not only are the Red Sox not trading any of their better prospects, but more than half of Cashner’s due salary moving forward will be paid by Baltimore. The Red Sox can add a reliever without hitting the luxury tax threshold this way. There is nothing to complain about with this trade.
The deal is less than 24 hours old, and I think it is safe to say the Red Sox won this trade. They got a guy that can be their No. 3 starter for two guys that may never see a Major League field. He is a lot better than Boston’s replacement options, and is also better than some of the Red Sox’s regular starters.