Though the Orioles aren’t offering up names of pitchers who are targeted in free agency, there’s definite interest in Andrew Cashner and left-hander Jason Vargas to plug holes in a rotation with only two returning starters. MLBTradeRumors.com predicted that Cashner will receive a two-year, $20 million contract from the Athletics. Past injuries and a decrease in fastball velocity are marks against him, and he’s a pitch-to-contact guy, while the Orioles could use the strikeouts. He averaged 3.5 walks and 4.6 strikeouts per nine innings this year with the Rangers. However, he registered a 3.40 ERA in 166 2/3 innings, he’s only 31, he’s affordable to the Orioles and he can be considered an upgrade. Cashner had a lousy June with a 6.14 ERA and 1.773 WHIP in four starts over 22 innings. However, he posted ERAs of 2.93 in April, 2.92 in May, 2.36 in July and 2.76 in August. The 1.696 WHIP in April tells more of the story, with 13 hits and 13 walks in 15 1/3 innings. Opponents hit .170 against Cashner with runners in scoring position this season. The Orioles have shown interest in Vargas in previous years and nothing has changed except his age. He turns 35 in February. MLBTradeRumors.com projected that the Orioles will sign Vargas to a one-year, $10 million contract. Former executive Jim Duquette, now part of the MLB Network Radio crew, said Vargas will sign with the Orioles for two years and $24 million. Can Vargas squeeze a second year out of a team despite his age and 6.38 ERA and 1.595 WHIP after the break? The Orioles will find out exactly what he’s seeking. Left-handers have batted .265 against Vargas in his career, but they posted a .311 average in 2017.
Orioles Interested In Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas
Masn | Nov 8