Roch Kubatko reports that the Baltimore Orioles are signing starter Andrew Cashner to a two-year deal worth a guaranteed $16 million. No word if there are incentives to the deal to make it richer.
UPDATE: Yes, there are incentives. The deal includes a $10 million vesting option for a third season if Cashner pitches 340 innings over the next two years. If he reaches 360 innings it becomes a player option. In addition, Cashner can earn $5 million in incentives in each guaranteed season and another $5 million in the third season, likely based on innings as well. In total, Cashner can earn $41 million over three seasons if all options and incentives are activated.
Cashner enjoyed a superficially fine year overall in 2017, going 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA (128 ERA+). His June was an absolute disaster, but he was solid most of the rest of the year. One has to wonder, though, if he can maintain his success given that his strikeout rate plummeted to a career low 4.6/9IP, which is not what you want from a starter in this era. He rated pretty poorly in most advanced metrics as well, suggesting that he’s due for a regression.
Still, given the state of the Orioles’ rotation, Cashner likely represents an upgrade.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.