Photo Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

The Jays Are Looking at Andrew Cashner, Per Morosi, and That’s Maybe Not Even a Bad Thing

Andrew Cashner was worth 1.9 fWAR and 4.6 rWAR over 28 starts for the Texas Rangers in 2018. How the hell he did this, despite striking out just 86 batters in 166.2 innings, and producing a groundball rate (48.6%) that was good-but-not-quite-great (among 58 qualified pitchers that rate ranked 15th, but expand the pool to include 134 pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched and his ranking drops to 36th — Marcus Stroman ranks first among the first group, at 62.1%, and trails only Dallas Keruchel among the second), isn’t an easy question to answer.

Yet the Blue Jays may think they have the answer, and that it’s something Cashner can continue to do going forward — at least based on the latest rumour from Jon Morosi:

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There’s no such thing as a bad one-year deal, even for a team that could stand to add a better pitcher for longer term, to help offset the potential losses of J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada next winter. If the club doesn’t feel great about the longer-term options that are out there — and based on some of the stuff in an MLBTR piece last night on Lance Lynn’s market (which points to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that suggests Jordan Zimmerman’s five year, $110 million deal with Washington as a comp; MLBTR thinks something like 4/60 is more likely) maybe it’s understandable if they do — there’s a good argument for opting instead for flexibility as far as 2019 goes, and looking to make an upside play on a one-year deal for a fifth starter right now.

But should Cashner be the one that they’re looking at? Is he actually not complete and utter trash?

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A few years ago we’d have looked at his .266 BABIP, concluded that he probably had a lucky year, and figure that based the ugly strikeout totals there wasn’t a whole lot to like there. The Jays, however, have now twice extended Marco Estrada, suggesting that they can be convinced to buy in on a pitcher’s ability to limit quality contact, despite some other less-than-stellar peripherals. Cashner and Estrada are far from the same type of pitcher, but thinking that along the way he’s acquired that same kind of skill would seem to me to be the only reason to pay him any mind. So maybe that’s it.?

Back in October, Al Melchior of Fangraphs’ fantasy sub-site, Rotographs, wrote about Cashner’s 2017 season, and his “strange path to fantasy relevance.” I think he hits on some pretty important points in this regard.

“Even with the low BABIP, Cashner was only able to hold opponents to a slightly-lower-than-average .250 batting average, but the .365 slugging percentage he allowed was 61 points below the major league norm,” he explains. “As the rate of extra-base hits has increased steadily over the last three seasons, no pitcher has gotten more mileage out of limiting opponents to singles than Cashner did in 2017. In 16 of his 28 starts, Cashner allowed no more than one extra-base hit.”

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He adds:

With a 48.6 percent ground ball rate, Cashner was hardly a standout in that regard this season, but he was unmatched in his ability to limit hard contact on flyballs. Among pitchers who accumulated at least 40 innings on flyballs, Cashner’s 22.4 percent hard contact rate on flies was the lowest. The only other pitchers to register a rate under 30 percent were Marco Estrada (24.2 percent), Mike Foltynewicz (27.2 percent) and Chris Sale (29.1 percent). Estrada, Foltynewicz and Sale were all able to limit average flyball distances below the median of 320 feet (minimum 100 flyballs, per Baseball Savant), but none were close to Cashner’s average of 306 feet. Only Blach’s average distance of 305 feet was lower, but the lefty still allowed hard contact on flyballs at a 34.8 percent rate. That — and a 66.3 percent strand rate — prevented Blach from replicating Cashner’s run-prevention magic, as he was saddled with a 4.78 ERA.

Melchior points to a possible reason for this success, too. “Cashner relied on his sinker much more this season, increasing his usage from 25.3 percent in 2016 to 40.4 percent in 2017, while decreasing his four-seamer usage from 40.1 to 25.6 percent,” and notes that he “got more horizontal movement on both pitches and lower ISOs.”

On the other hand, he later rightly points out that “having this degree of success with such a high contact rate is rare.” Cashner is long way from a sure thing.

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But do the Blue Jays need him to be one? It would be nice, but they have the luxury here of having four really good starters already locked into rotation jobs, plus Biagini, plus a handful of good starters slated for Buffalo (don’t sleep on Deck McGuire, even!) among whom one genuine big leaguer may be ready to emerge (if not now, soon). At worst, Cashner is a placeholder — if the Jays were to actually sign him, that is — and probably a brief one at that. It probably won’t take too long to determine whether his “run-prevention magic” was repeatable. At best? He was even better later in the season than early on — whatever was working not only kept working, but seemed to work better. From July 1st onward, following a rough June, he limited opponents to a .228/.305/.347 slash line over 92.1 innings. That amounted to a 3.02 ERA over that span, with just 79 hits (10 doubles and 10 home runs). His BABIP was .240, and he struck out just 50 batters (13.0%), so the fundamental questions about his performance and peripherals still remain, but if he can continue to be that guy? That could certainly be a hell of a thing.

I mean, I wouldn’t bet my life on it. I don’t think that I’d even bet money on it. But I’m at least willing to consider that it’s possible, and that all the things we’ve learned to believe are extreme red flags over the years are at least worth thinking about in another way. The brilliance of Marco Estrada over the last three seasons (save for that ugly stretch in the middle of 2017) has been a hell of a drug, hasn’t it?

  • do it.

    i wonder how much the weak contact on FBs is known/considered by the FO in piquing their interest (if there is such interest); i mean, it would seem to play into the type of pitchers they think would be effective playing in hr-hitter friendly parks of the ALE.

  • Flash McLennan

    “How the hell he did this, despite striking out just 86 batters in 166.2 innings, and producing a groundball rate (48.6%) that was good-but-not-quite-great (among 58 qualified pitchers that rate ranked 15th, but expand the pool to include 134 pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched and his ranking drops to 36th — Marcus Stroman ranks first among the first group, at 62.1%, and trails only Dallas Keruchel among the second), isn’t an easy question to answer.” Especially since it’s hard to remember that this one (!) sentence started with a question several parenthetical digressions ago. That aside, you do a good job of answering it. If it means max payroll flexibility for 2019 and beyond, sign me up, how bad can it be?

  • Jays of Thunder

    Would Henderson Alvarez before he got hurt be a good Comp for how Cashner piched last year? I’m recalling Alvarez hardly striking anyone out, but throwing hard sinkers and getting good results.

  • BackinBlue

    Ive never understood this There’s no such thing as a bad on 1 year deal. I always thought that was just something Wilner said to placate the fan base and sell whomever the Jays were acquiring at the time as a good add.

    I understand it in context, ie. A 1 year deal that goes bad is better than a 5 year deal that goes bad. But wasn’t the Jose Bautista 2017 contract a bad 1 yr deal, in that the team had finite resources for that 1 year, and squandered over 10% of their payroll on a below replacement level player. Again, if the team has finite resources, and theyre squander it on another player who is signed for only 1 year, isn’t that squander, nonetheless?

  • Twitchy

    It’s most definitely a bad thing. His pitch mix with the Rangers isn’t why he struggled. He was just as bad in 2016 with more Ks and more HR allowed. FIP-/xFIP- say he was a terrible option the last 2 years.

    The hard hit ball data isn’t predictive of anything going forward. It tells us what happens, not that it’s likely to continue. The fact that he has had FIP- of 120/103 the past 2 years along with xFIP- of 112/121 tells us he is not a remotely good option.

    The ERA was a fluke, and he’s simply not a good option. In fact, he’s actually one of the worst options out there. I’m actually surprised you’d suggest anything to the contrary. The Jays would be better off with Biagini, who as a SP had a 4.36 FIP/4.23 xFIP as a starter, which is superior to what Cashner has done the past 2 years.

    I’m not saying you start the season with Biagini penciled in to the #5 role, but he wouldn’t be the train wreck that Cashner would be.

    • Steve-O

      There are players that are considered FIP-busters, and as Stoeten points out Estrada one of them, while Biagini isn’t considered that type.

      So if we concede that Cashner might be an Estrada-type when it comes to FIP, comparing Cashner to Biagini is a bit unfair under those circumstances.

      But how did Cashner stack up to Estrada the past 2 seasons?

      2016, 2017 FIP/xFIP:
      Cashner: 4.84/4.63, 4.61/5.30
      Estrada: 4.15/4.64, 4.61/5.09

      Sabermetrics are great and all, but context matters a lot with some of these metrics. Which isn’t to suggest that he’s going to be good, but as a fifth starter on an affordable 1-year deal, he might be… fine. And if he isn’t, Biagini gets the call. I don’t really see much downside to adding some depth.

      • Twitchy

        It’s not correct to assume Cashner is a guy who can beat his FIP, though. Estrada is able to induce significant weak contact, as seen in his insane IFFB rate. Cashner’s is 7.2% for his career, which is extremely low.

        One of the reasons you may think Cashner is a “FIP beater” is because his ERA is lower than his FIP. However, given he has missed so much time with injuries, you’re dealing with a lot of small samples which is useless. He didn’t get significant innings until 2013. From 2013-2017 he has these numbers:

        3.73 ERA/3.95 FIP/4.18 xFIP

        I wouldn’t call that significantly beating a player’s FIP. It’s pretty reasonable to be within that range. By comparison, over that same time, the gap between Estrada’s ERA-FIP is 0.41.

        It’s wishful thinking to suggest he’s a FIP beater. And it’s not factually true, and it shouldn’t be repeated as such.

        The downside to adding Cashner, is that he has the 23rd worst FIP- and 14th worst xFIP of the past 2 years. Pitchers with similar numbers include Koehler (as a starter), Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley, Jordan Zimmermann, Chris Tilman….

        Are you noticing a theme here? The majority of the names I’m listing here with numbers comparable to Cashner are terrible pitchers. This is not a list of pitchers you want to add to your team, unless your goal is to lose as many games as possible because you’re rebuilding and need an inning’s eater and don’t care about the quality of those innings.

        So yes, it is a very bad idea to add Cashner, unless you want the Jays to miss the playoffs next year. I thought this was a pro Blue Jays blog, and I want to see them in the playoffs, which means that Cashner is not someone I want on the Jays 25 man roster.

        • Steve-O

          You seem determined to miss the point. I didn’t say he’s definitely a FIP-buster, I said he might be. And therefore, if we think he might be, FIP is a useless stat in this context.

          And we’re also talking about a team’s 5th starter (and on a cheap one-year contract, too). I’m not sure how to break this to you, but guys at the back of a rotation tend to not be very good, relatively-speaking.

          As I pointed out in a different comment, we would all prefer a better player get added, and no one is disputing that. The point is that, given the circumstances and the level of risk, and the other options available in AAA, it might not be a terrible gamble to see if he might be okay as a back-of-the-rotation guy. That’s all.

    • This is an excellent example of the argument from a few years ago that does not account for the possibility that some pitchers can actually have control over quality of contact. I find that I don’t use FIP much at all anymore, to be honest, largely because the Jays have had FIP-busters for the past several years. Yes, obviously FIP is going to hate a guy with Cashner’s numbers, but you’re making the assumption that that’s a Cashner problem and not a FIP problem. I agree that it’s likely smarter to believe it’s a Cashner problem, as I think I made clear in the post, but it’s not like there aren’t pitchers FIP does not handle well, and it’s not impossible that the pitcher Cashner has evolved into has become one of those guys. Kinda the whole point of the post.

      • Twitchy

        How many FIP busters have the Jays had? One? You can’t dismiss it because it doesn’t fit your argument.

        The bottom line is you haven’t actually proven that Cashner is a FIP beater. If you look at Cashner over his past 700-800 innings (the bulk of his healthy innings as a SP), you’ll see the gap between his ERA and FIP is .020. That’s within the expected range of outcomes, meaning he’s not a guy who can be expected to beat his FIP.

        He had a career year and isn’t going to be expected to repeat it. Projecting him for a 4.50 ERA would be pretty favourable at this point.

        The problem is you’ve swung too far in the other direction. The stats you’re using aren’t proof of talent, or what we should expect going forward. I read through the post, but what it showed is that, with all due respect, you’re reading too much into the newer stats, and not using them in the proper way, and thus drawing an incorrect conclusion.

        • There have been at least two (Dickey, Estrada), and there are others out there as well. And you’re right that I haven’t proven he’s a FIP-buster, but my point was never to prove that he was one, but to suggest that there’s evidence he might be, and that such evidence might make signing him look a whole lot better than someone slavishly relying on FIP alone would believe.

          I’d advise you to maybe open your mind a little before you go insisting other people are doing it wrong. You’re behaving like the worst sort of pro-stat dogmatist of five or ten years ago (which, incidentally, seems to be where your numbers are coming from). Believe me that I recognize this, because I did that sort of thing way too much myself.

          I am trying to help you, son.

          • Wildrose

            More help for Twitchy can be found in this solid article.

            ” As we’re now conditioned to look at poor strikeout-walk ratios and predict imminent demise, the natural reaction all year has been to dismiss this as sheer luck. There’s a good chance this is almost entirely luck. However, while lots of strikeouts and few walks is a pretty solid foundation for a successful starting pitcher, there are other components. As increasingly detailed quality of contact data emerges, it’s becoming clear that contact management is much more of a skill than ERA estimators like FIP suggest. As Cashner isn’t getting the job done by getting hitters to swing and miss, let’s be fair to him and figure out if we should be giving him more credit when it comes to balls in play.”

            Maybe sample size fluke? Maybe FIP buster? Given how much they’d pay him over a year and the role he’d have ,he may be worth a look.

          • Twitchy

            I guess a simpler way of explaining it is this.

            2015: -1 RA/9 WAR
            2016: -0.4 RA/9 WAR
            2017: 3.7 RA/9 WAR

            We can argue back and forth whether someone is a “FIP beater”, but Cashner hasn’t been very good in 2 of the past 3 years. That’s really what it comes down to. It doesn’t matter if he beats his FIP or not, he hasn’t actually been very good at preventing runs, is the bottom line.

            He had a career year in 2017, but 2 of the past 3 years he’s been below replacement level when it comes to preventing runs. So it doesn’t matter if his ERA is better than his FIP, his ERA has been significantly below average for recent years.

            If we go by ERA-:

            2015: 116
            2016: 131
            2017: 74

            So 2 of the past 3 years, he’s been 16% or worse than the league average pitcher at preventing runs. This is the player you’re ok with the Jays signing.

            Let that sink in before you waste your time trying to argue that he’s a “FIP beater”.

            I’m trying to help you become a better analyst, Andrew. There’s little to suggest Cashner will be a good pitcher in 2018, and he’s been a disaster when it comes to run prevention in 2 of the past 3 years.

      • Twitchy

        For the record, the majority of guys who beat their FIP do so by inducing weak contact via IFFB. Estrada’s IFFB is accounted for in fWAR but not FIP, which is why he consistently beats his FIP. As I said earlier, Cashner does not do that. In fact, he doesn’t do anything to suggest he can consistently induce weak contact. His BABIP is right around 300, his IFFB is incredibly low, so there really aren’t any signs he induces weak contact (or contact) consistently.

        Compare that with Estrada – a career 263 BABIP, a 14.2 %IFFB. It’s night and day between him and Cashner.

        That’s a pattern you’ll notice with the majority of SP who can beat their FIP – they have high IFFB rates (10% or higher), and much lower BABIP.

        For the record, Cashner’s total difference between his ERA and FIP as a SP is 0.17. It’s not that significant, and it’s far closer to average than you think.

        • His BABIP was .266 in 2017, and .240 from July 1st on, as mentioned in the piece. That is the relevant year, as we’re looking at what he might have changed as he’s evolved as a pitcher to produce this kind of effect (which, yes, is unproven). We’re not looking at his whole body of work, we’re working from the premise that he’s changed — as should be clear from the quote about his pitch usage and their movement.

          If you can’t on your own figure out these basics about the argument you think you’re having, why in the world would anybody think you’ve got any of this other stuff figured out?

          • One other thing, Twitchy: You know what maybe suggests that he’s someone who can now outperform his FIP? The fact that he made some changes and then dramatically outperformed his FIP.

            You see the gulf between FIP and ERA and are certain it’s luck and he’s bad and it’s not worth looking into beyond that. I see that gulf and say that it’s probably luck and he’s probably bad but it’s certainly worth looking into what other possibilities there might be to explain it, because if there’s a repeatable skill there, that’s something very valuable about this pitcher you were insisting on writing off.

            Do you see why you’re never going to win here? Because if you don’t yet see it, whatever expertise you think you have on this subject (or any other) is honestly never going to be useful to anybody.

          • Twitchy

            You’re reading into far too small a sample size. Yes, he changed his pitch mix, but that doesn’t mean going forward we can expect a similar BABIP (or even similar prevention of ISO on flyballs). Even if the sinker is good at reducing XBH on flyballs, that doesn’t mean he’ll keep a low BABIP going forwards. Flyball pitchers tend to have lower BABIP with the trade off of XBH, whereas groundball pitchers tend to allow more hits. So I would still expect significant regression on his BABIP.

            And this is assuming the best case scenario that he can maintain the ISO prevention on his sinker, which isn’t remotely a guarantee.

            In short, there are much better pitchers available with better upside and track records. Cashner’s run prevention over the past 3 years ranks in the bottom tier with a 106 ERA-. Even accounting for a different pitch mix, this looks much more like a career year rather than a legitimate change. And when you throw in the significant concerns regarding the lack of K rate, there are a lot more red flags than you’re willing to admit.

          • You’re a dull boy, Billy.

            Which is to say, you’re very good at regurgitating stats, but seem to have a real blind spot when it comes to their limitations and having to think of concepts that can’t be easily answered by the numbers you want to regurgitate. We all know Cashner has been bad in two of three years (and three of three, by the usual peripherals), yet you’re acting like this is in dispute. No, we are simply trying to look at it in a way that your numbers and sample sizes cannot capture. The stuff that you’re regurgitating is so well understood that we’ve moved past just accepting it and moving on; we’re talking now about what those numbers might be missing. Please, come join us on this higher plane of thinking about such things. I think your input would be valuable if you weren’t being so rigid or were actually willing to listen.

    • Nice Guy Eddie

      The same arguments were trotted out against Estrada. Exactly the same. You do not know that Cashner would be a “train wreck” as you put it, anymore than anyone knew Estrada would be. Russell Martin gave an excellent breakdown of how Estrada pitches, where the ball ends up and what type of contact is likely. FIP doesn’t measure that at all. I simply assumes that anything that’s not a home run, walk or infield foul out is an uncounted event. Here’s the article. http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-notebook-secret-behind-estradas-dominance/

  • Steve-O

    If the Cashner-type route (lower-tier guy on a one-year deal) is how they decide proceed, I’m perfectly ok with it. #itsfine

    I (and probably everyone else here) would obviously prefer they take a big swing at the usual suspects – Lynn, Cobb or (I know, I know) Darvish, or explore trade options for guys like Odorizzi or McHugh. One more known commodity in the rotation beyond what they currently have for 2019 would be nice. But… #itsfine

    • The Humungus

      When there are at least 4 AL teams that are either actively trying to be bad (Detroit, Kansas City, Tampa, Chicago), and 3 more are not doing anything to make themselves good (Baltimore, Texas, Oakland), mediocre could mean a wild card if the balls bounce the right way.

      Which is kind of the point.

      • AD

        Things is, you want to build your team to be as good as possible. If you set your sights to be juusttt good enough for the 2nd WC, things will prob not work out. Things never go as planned, always surprises, injuries etc. If jays want to be good, they should be making more of an effort to compete with the yankees and red sux. Or trade JD and rebuild. This was the jays motto in the mid 90s to mid to 2015. “Just be good enough and pray for no injuries/underperformance!”

        • The Humungus

          Trade JD and rebuild?

          Why would you trade him when you probably still have the best starting rotation in your division and the offense *SHOULD* be better than last year?

          If you have a shot at the playoffs, you take it. With the starting pitching they have, you never know if you can steal a series.

          Why does someone who seems to have so little faith in the front office want them to pull off a move as big as a JD trade?

          • Voidhelix

            The Yankees have the best rotation in our division. And our offense should be better? Two might be’s doesn’t add up to a contender, buddy. In 2015 we had three 100 RBI machines in the middle of our lineup. Now we have one. Where exactly are our runs coming from? Unless John Gibbons is suddenly going to become a nuanced manager, and we’re playing small ball in 2018?

          • The Humungus

            The Yankees? Really?

            Let’s see here:

            Stroman > Tanaka
            Sanchez = Severino
            Estrada = Gray
            Happ > Sabathia
            5th starters are a wash, because Montgomery doesn’t have much of a track record yet and we don’t know who the 5th starter for the Jays is. 1-4, though, the Jays are better than or equal to the Yankees.

            And yes, the offense should be better, because neither Ryan Goins or Darwin Barney are getting 400 ABs this year, as even if Tulo/Travis aren’t healthy, they have been replaced by better hitters. As has Jose Bautista.

            You high?

          • The Humungus

            Gray hasn’t been healthy since 2015, so he’s a bigger question mark than Estrada.

            Sanchez 2016 was better than Severino 2017 and they’re both still young and figuring things out.

            I’d call it a wash right now. Even if it’s not, the whole rotation is a wash then, because Stroman/Happ are certainly better than Tanaka/Sabathia

        • Steve-O

          “If jays want to be good, they should be making more of an effort to compete with the yankees and red sux. Or trade JD and rebuild.”

          What a remarkably binary perspective.

          Gee, I dunno, what if they try doing what they actually doing, which is field as competitive a team as they can given the constraints they find themselves in (I won’t list them for you, you can figure it out) while maintaining flexibility moving forward to make a big push from 2019 and beyond …because, pssst, I think some exciting stuff is coming on the horizon. Try to guess what that might be. Or use your imagination.

          I cannot say this enough: if you want to cheer for a team that blows it’s brains out on payroll, maybe the Blue Jays aren’t for you. We can all have our moments of wishing they were more like the Dodgers, Red Sox or Yankees, but they aren’t, and the constant bitching and moaning about Cheap-Ass Rogers becomes really tiresome after a while.

          And while I’m at it, getting mad at the FO for operating within a budget they have no control over is simply a case being willfully ignorant.

          • And the thing is, fielding “as competitive team as they can given the constraints they find themselves in” is pretty much what every team does. Sure, you have the Marlins or whoever is going all-in on a rebuild, but the Yankees and Dodgers both have a budgets, and now have the CBT to worry about. The Red Sox or Cubs could trade a bunch of prospects and really push all in on 2018, but they don’t. There’s always a balance of present and future, and the Jays — I think rightly — right now think that they can only go so far with it. They’re finding value where they can while keeping the assets that they really want to keep and trying to stay within striking distance — within a couple good stories (a return to health from Sanchez and Tulo or Travis, a breakout from Alford or Borucki, or something else) — of genuine contention. Given that I think I know what it means if they went all the way in, one way or the other, I think we should be pretty OK with that.

          • Oakville Jays

            I do think Shapiro is “playing with fire ” by not fielding a team with a “wow factor” for 2018. I doubt anyone is buying Grichuk or Solarte jerseys. The team has to get off to a hot staet if they want to fill up the stadium. It will be a interesting start to the season with the Leafs & Raptors likely to be in the playoffs this spring. The TFC will also be playing at home in April.
            Can the Jays get over 20K for weekday games in April & May?

        • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

          Seriously…dumb comment. So you are privy to insider information for each and every year from the world series years until 2015? And I suppose in 2015, management said something like “…lets fuck around but get serious around the all star break. We will make some amazing trades and by fucking around first, it will make us look brilliant”. I bet after hearing the message left on his phone Paul Beeston summoned AA into his office and said
          “…Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar,
          You’re gonna go far,
          You’re gonna fly high,
          You’re never gonna die,
          You’re gonna make it if you try,
          They’re gonna love you….
          Oh and let ✌ Ad ✌ know so he is in the loop…”

          Pffffffffffffffft……or you know…I could be wrong and you really do know what is happening on the inside…..now about thise lotto numbers ?

    • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

      Do you have the lotto numbers for this weeks draws? I mean you have nailed the 2018 Jays before a pitch is thrown. Surely you have the 649 winning numbers. Surely….as Herb Tarlek used to say..surely big guy!

  • Matty

    On a one year deal, giddy up. If he has success you can always extend him by a year or two. My guess is he and his agent would be scared shitless about entering free agency again.

    If he sucks, no long term ramifications.

    The main idea of pitching is to try and not the them hit the ball hard. Cashner does this and he’s healthy so why not. Pretty decent 5th guy.

    I still want Cobb but can’t see that happening

  • Voidhelix

    I don’t hate Cashner on a 1 year deal as a 5th starter. But I do think this team needs a rock somewhere in it’s rotation. A veteran starter on a long-term deal, to provide a genuine leader and an ever-present. With Estrada, Happ and possibly Cashner, I think that’s sorely missing. Forcing Stroman and Sanchez into being the focal point of our pitching staff, is a mistake IMO.

  • Knuckleballs

    Just saw Darvish signed for 6 years and 126M. To me that seems not a bad deal for the Cubs and Darvish is 31 years so how does this impact the other FA pitchers like Cobb or Arietia? To me if you can get this guys for 4 years and option year for 75 M may not be a bad thing. This may cover the FA (Estrada and Happ) leaving next year??? But the Jays may not have enough cash left. Also how does this reflect on signing JD to a contract? Does this signing bring JDs expectations in line to what the Jays have a figure to sign him (fair market value) – because next year JD will be 33 years versa Darvish 31 – I know it is apples and oranges because of the different positions.