The Boston Red Sox acquired starting pitcher Andrew Cashner from the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday in exchange for minor leaguers Noelberth Romero and Elio Prado. Cash considerations also went Boston's way in the deal.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic noted Baltimore included money in the deal to help cover some of the right-hander's remaining contract. Cashner has an $8 million base salary in 2019 and has incentives for both games started and innings pitched, per Spotrac.
The veteran's $10 million option for 2020 will vest if he throws 187 innings this season. He's tossed 96.1.
Cashner is 9-3 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 17 starts this season.
Boston is 50-41, putting it 8.5 games back of the New York Yankees in the American League East and one game back in the Wild Card race. And that's with baseball's top-scoring offense.
The rotation has played a role in the defending champs' relatively disappointing performance. Red Sox starters entered Saturday's action ranked 18th in the majors with a 4.65 ERA. David Price (7-2, 3.24 ERA) has been solid, but Chris Sale (4.04 ERA), Eduardo Rodriguez (4.43 ERA) and Rick Porcello (5.33) have not lived up to expectations. On top of that, 2018 postseason star Nathan Eovaldi has been limited to four starts.
Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski recently told the Boston Globe's Alex Speier that the pitching staff had "been what we expected or hoped." Meanwhile, manager Alex Cora revealed to The Athletic's Jen McCaffrey that the team was willing to explore all options for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Having played for the Orioles since 2018, Cashner has experience pitching both at Fenway Park and in the AL East. He is 1-1 in two career starts in Boston, having allowed eight runs in 10 innings. Of course, he will not have to face the Red Sox's high-powered offense anymore.
He has a 3.96 ERA in 10 career starts against the Yankees and a 4.03 ERA in five starts against the Rays. Both New York and Tampa are ahead of Boston in the AL East.
Of note, Cashner has never played for a contending team.
Although his contract does not include a no-trade clause, there were questions as to whether the Orioles would be able to move him. The 32-year-old told The Athletic's Dan Connolly in May that he was "comfortable" in Baltimore and would consider retiring if the team traded him.
"I'm not going to say that I wouldn't (go to a contender)," Cashner told Connolly. "But I'm just going to say, 'We'll see where it goes.'"
Now, he will be thrown into the middle of a pennant race as he makes his way to Boston.