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.

Phillies COVID testing reports no new positives

Phillies COVID testing
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Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.

It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.

All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.

All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.

UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: