Orioles starting pitchers Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner have both reportedly cleared revocable trade waivers, per Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports. They’re now eligible to be traded to any team for the remainder of the season.
It should be noted that a trade of either pitcher doesn’t seem particularly likely. Cashner, for his part, owns a 4.84 ERA on the season, and his 4.95 FIP suggests that bad luck has taken no part in that performance. He’s owed another $8MM beyond this season, and at the age of 31 it seems more likely than not that his performance could continue to decline. In addition to his rough surface numbers, Cashner’s skill set leaves plenty to be desired. He’s only managed to strike out 6.25 batters per nine innings while walking almost four. Meanwhile, his 42.4% ground ball rate this season would be a career-low by far.
On the other hand, Cashner’s only a year removed from a performance that made him a league-average pitcher by fWAR. In 28 starts, the right-hander managed to post a 3.40 ERA. While peripheral statistics considered that output to be incredibly lucky (on the extreme end, xFIP estimated him to have performed at the quality of a 5.30 ERA hurler), it convinced the Orioles to hand him a two-year pact, and that small glimmer of promise could convince a pitching-desperate contender to bring him into the fold. The $10MM or so left on his contract isn’t cheap, but it’s not a franchise-altering sum, either.
Cobb has seemingly turned his season around after an abominable first-half showing. The right-hander has now posted six consecutive quality starts dating back to July 26th, and owns an elite 2.16 ERA since the All-Star Break. Owing in part to a resurgence in the effectiveness of his wicked change-up, Cobb has been a nightmare for opposing hitters of late, and the $46MM owed to him beyond 2018 is certainly a significant deterrent to any potential trade partner, Cobb would seemingly be an upgrade to the rotations of many contending ballclubs. For their part, the Orioles would almost certainly be happy to unload most of Cobb’s remaining contract as they enter what looks to be a lengthy rebuilding process.