Back in May, right-hander Andrew Cashner suggested to Dan Connolly of The Athletic that he’d consider sitting out the rest of the season if the Orioles sent him to an undesirable destination by the July 31 trade deadline. Cashner, whom Baltimore traded to Boston last weekend, confirmed to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com that he indeed would have held out through year’s end had the Orioles dealt him somewhere he didn’t want to go.
“I mean what I said,” he told Cotillo. “This is one of the places I would come. It wasn’t a place that I would ever not come to. We’re talking about the World Series champions. Why would you not come here?”
Philadelphia was the only other team that showed reported interest in Cashner before his trade to the Red Sox, but the Phillies stopped their pursuit because of concerns over his makeup. The well-traveled Cashner then fell flat in his Red Sox debut in a loss Tuesday to the Blue Jays, who roughed him up for six runs (five earned) on eight hits and a pair of homers in five innings. Cashner had been much more productive than that toward the tail end of his Orioles tenure, though, and has managed a playable 4.09 ERA/4.53 FIP with 6.04 K/9, 2.75 BB/9 and a 48.9 percent groundball rate in 101 1/3 innings this season.
As of now, Cashner’s output looks as if it’ll earn him another guaranteed contract in the offseason – if he reaches free agency. The soon-to-be 33-year-old’s current deal includes a $10MM vesting option if he throws 340 innings from 2018-19 or a player option should he amass 360. But Cashner is well short of either figure, having accrued 254 1/3 dating back to last season, so another trip to the open market appears inevitable. Obviously, though, Cashner isn’t willing to simply play anywhere going forward. The hirsute Cashner also isn’t going to shave his beard at a team’s request, which – as funny as it sounds – could have an effect on where he pitches after this season.