Andrew Cashner
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Red Sox acquire Andrew Cashner from Orioles

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The Red Sox swung an interesting deal with the Orioles on Saturday, acquiring right-hander Andrew Cashner for outfield prospect Elio Prado and infield prospect Noelberth Romero. Per comments from Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, Cashner is expected to report to the Red Sox on Sunday and will make his debut with the team during their series against the Blue Jays on Tuesday.

The impetus for the trade appears to be the Red Sox’ recent rotation woes, most recently in the form of Nathan Eovaldi‘s right elbow injury and apparent reassignment to the bullpen. Without a reliable fifth starter behind ace Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodríguez, and Rick Porcello, their rotation has maintained an eighth-best ranking in the majors with a collective 4.65 ERA and 8.3 fWAR in 2019. With Cashner’s help, they might not only improve that ranking, but remain competitive for a wild card berth down the stretch, too.

So far in 2019, the 32-year-old righty appears to be closing in on some career-high numbers. He’ll end his two-year run with the Orioles sporting a 9-3 record in 17 starts, with a 3.83 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 6.2 SO/9, and 1.8 fWAR across 96 1/3 innings this season. It helps, too, that he’s been fairly healthy, only missing a few starts after developing a blister on his right middle finger last month.

The Orioles, meanwhile, will add the talents of Prado and Romero to their farm system. Both 17-year-old minor leaguers got their start in the Dominican Summer League in 2019: Prado slashed .303/.400/.418 with eight extra-base hits and 26 RBI in 147 plate appearances, while Romero contributed a .264/.336/.364 line with six extra bases and 13 RBI in 123 PA. According to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, Prado will be assigned to the DSL Orioles 1 and Romero will be sent to the DSL Orioles 2.

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Orioles are also expected to shoulder half of the $3.36 million left on Cashner’s salary in 2019, as well as the cumulative $3 million he’s owed in signing bonuses for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.