Phillies rumors: Five low-cost starting pitching options still available

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CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 25: Starting pitcher Jason Vargas #51 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 25, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 25: Starting pitcher Jason Vargas #51 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 25, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Andrew Cashner

Andrew Cashner is coming off a season of mixed results. He posted a 3.40 ERA and racked up 4.6 wins above replacement according to Baseball Reference, but he also continued to deal with injuries and had the second-lowest strikeout rate of qualified starting pitchers.

That ERA and WAR total points towards a breakout, especially for a guy who was below-replacement for the last two years. On the other hand, the other numbers leave room for skepticism and injuries continue to bother Cashner.

MLB Trade Rumors predicts Cashner will sign a two-year, $20 million contract this offseason. However, with how slow the free-agent market is developing, Cashner and other starters may be forced to sign a cheaper or shorter contract than they would like. This would be ideal for the Phils as they are hesitant to drop lots of money on a starter, especially on one with as much uncertainty as Cashner.

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