Phillies: Top 5 free agents still available during the break
#4. Andrew Cashner
Amongst all remaining free agents, starter/reliever Andrew Cashner had the highest level of production during the 2019 season. Posting a WAR of 2.69, Cashner had an extremely productive first half of the season.
Cashner started the 2019 season with the Baltimore Orioles, acting exclusively as a starting pitcher. Across 17 starts he went 9-3 with a 3.83 ERA. Pretty impressive numbers considering he was being supported by some of the worst defense and offense in the league.
The Boston Red Sox took notice of his surprising production, and pulled off a trade for the veteran at the 2019 deadline. Unfortunately, this move didn’t really work out too well for Cashner. In six starts and 25 appearances as a Red Sox, Cashner went 3-5 and recorded an ERA in the low sixes.
Obviously the Red Sox envisioned Cashner evolving into more of a reliever role with the team, a role which Cashner didn’t appear too comfortable with. Due to this lack of fit, the Sox let Cashner hit the free agent market and no teams have necessarily come calling.
It’s hard to tell who the “real” Cashner was in 2019. Was it the dominant starter in Baltimore? Or was it the flimsy reliever up in Boston? Regardless, Cashner posts a repertoire which few on the Phillies current pitching staff can match. Unlike Nick Pivetta or Vince Velasquez, Cashner has actually had success before as a major league starter.
Whether it’s in the starting rotation or in the bullpen, bringing in Cashner as just another option would make a lot of sense. It’s hard to trust the current guys at the back of rotation and Jake Arrieta struggled mightily with injuries last year. The Phillies don’t want to be stuck signing the Drew Smyly’s of the world come the trade deadline.