The Orioles are “trying hard” to get right-hander Andrew Cashner from the Padres in trade talks, per FOX’s Ken Rosenthal (links to Twitter), though Baltimore isn’t necessarily considered the favorite. The Marlins and Rangers are both still in on Cashner, he notes, and others recently linked to the free-agent-to-be include the Blue Jays and Giants. While MLB.com’s Jon Morosi recently reported that San Diego was making progress on a Cashner trade, Rosenthal feels that Cashner talks could stretch into Monday.
As Rosenthal points out, the Orioles and Padres had extensive talks regarding Melvin Upton Jr., so the O’s are likely already familiar with the players from their minor league ranks that are most coveted by the Padres. Likewise, San Diego is familiar with the players that the Orioles would be reluctant to surrender, though given the meager return on Upton and the fairly significant demand for Cashner, it’s safe to assume that Cashner talks would feature more highly regarded names than Upton talks. (Reportedly, the Padres sought lefty Garrett Cleavinger and righty Jhon Peluffo in Upton negotiations.)
Baltimore looked perilously thin in the rotation entering the season, and the need to augment the rotation has become even clearer as the season has worn on. Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman are the only two regular members of the Orioles’ rotation that have managed an ERA south of 5.00. Yovani Gallardo’s 5.37 ERA ranks third among Orioles that have made five or more starts. Aside from the work turned in by Tillman and Gausman, Baltimore has received a collective 5.93 ERA in the starts made by Gallardo, Ubaldo Jimenez, Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Vance Worley and Dylan Bundy. The final member of that group has at least looked solid over his past two starts, but Bundy pitched a combined 67 professional innings from 2012-15 due to injuries and is already at 52 innings pitched in 2016, making it virtually impossible for the Orioles to entrust him with a starter’s workload down the stretch.
Generally speaking, Cashner has been unimpressive for the bulk of the season, posting a 4.76 ERA in 79 1/3 innings while missing time due to a hamstring strain and a neck strain. He’s rattled off three consecutive nice starts against contending teams, however, yielding five runs with a 23-to-3 K/BB ratio over his past 17 2/3 innings.