16 February 2018

Is Andrew Cashner The O's New Yovani Gallardo?

Before Andrew Casher signed with the Orioles, he already reminded some people of Yovani Gallardo. It probably had something to do with this:

Gallardo in 2015: 184.1 IP, 3.42 ERA, 4.00 FIP, 5.91 K/9, 3.32 BB/9
Cashner in 2017: 166.2 IP, 3.40 ERA, 4.61 FIP, 4.64 K/9, 3.46 BB/9

That was Gallardo's season with the Rangers before signing with the O's and Cashner's pitching line from last season. Cashner's numbers aren't as good (just looking at ERA only can be misleading), but they're a little closer if you instead look at each pitcher's last three seasons before joining the O's:

Cashner previous 3 years: 483.1 IP, 4.26 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 6.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9
Gallardo previous 3 years: 557.1 IP, 3.70 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 6.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9

Simply scouting the stat line performance alone, Gallardo is still the winner. He threw more innings and has slightly better peripheral stats. You can see why the O's wanted Gallardo. And considering the state of the team's starting rotation, you can see why the O's want Cashner.

That doesn't mean the signing is a sure-fire win. It's not because there are, of course, red flags. Bringing in a pitcher with a K/9 under 5 is not reassuring. Cashner has never thrown more than 185 innings in any season. And in his only season in the American League, he posted a 3.40 ERA that was rather fluky and that he's unlikely to replicate. As Jon discussed on Thursday, Cashner as a No. 5 starter sounds a whole lot better than a No. 3.

Still, while it's not hard to paint a picture of Cashner going off the rails in Baltimore like Gallardo did, the O's at least did not pay Gallardo prices. Comparing the career workloads for both when they signed with the O's, Gallardo had thrown about 580 more innings than Cashner. Gallardo deserves credit for being a workhouse, but that larger workload was a concern.

Gallardo's original deal with the O's for three years and $35 million dropped down to two years and $22 million (with a $13 million club option) after the O's oft-criticized (usually unfairly) physical process revealed a shoulder issue of some kind. (Gallardo hasn't been the same pitcher since.) The bargain improved the deal somewhat, but there were still injury worries. On top of that, the O's had to sacrifice the No. 14 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft because Gallardo had been offered the qualifying offer by the Rangers. The O's also tried to add Dexter Fowler in order to sign two QO free agents, like they had done with Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz in 2014 to double-up and decrease the loss of the draft picks, but that plan fell through.

Gallardo had the better track record when he signed with the Orioles, but he signed a larger contract and had an apparent shoulder concern to worry about. Cashner, meanwhile, hasn't performed as well, but he hasn't thrown as many innings (both a good and bad thing) and signed for less money two years later. While some of that can be credited to the painfully slow offseason and perhaps some kind of referendum on the pursuit of free agents, waiting around and hoping for smaller deals is far from new to the Orioles under Dan Duquette.

It would not be surprising at all to see Cashner post an ERA over 5 in 2018. In his first year in Baltimore, Gallardo put up a 5.42 ERA in just 118 innings. Considering that performance and the options around him not named Bundy and Gausman, Cashner doesn't have to pitch that well to be useful. Still, hopefully the O's have another signing to make, preferably bringing in a pitcher who's better than Cashner.


Anonymous said...

Now that Vargas is gone, there aren't many lefties left on the market. I have a feeling that Nestor is our new lefty starter. Maybe someone can dig up the old "Tommy John Predictors" spreadsheet. The big thing about Gallardo is that he was at the top of that list and, of course, the first thing that happened after the O's doctors put up red flags after his physical is that he spent his first time on the DL with shoulder issues. Depending upon where Cashner falls on that TJ predictor chart, that is the main thing that makes him like or not like Gallardo. If Cashner stays healthier than Gallardo did in his time with the O's then he will pitch better.

vilnius b. said...

Is there a reason the O's didn't pursue Lance Lynn? He's still available, isn't he?
Was it because DD didn't like the QO he got from the Cardinals or because they thought he'd be too expensive? Or both?
If they actually think they'll be competitive for a WC spot, it seems he was the guy to go after. And if it appears they'll fail, they could've shipped him off for prospects at the trade deadline. Cashner---barring a miraculous change---wouldn't bring back anything.

Pip said...

Now that Vargas has signed for 2/16, it's fair to ask who's 2/16 contract is better. Cashner or Vargas?
I personally wanted neither but with a 48% GB rate, Cashner should be ok.

Pip said...

"Whose 2/16 contract..."


Matt Kremnitzer said...

Yes, Lynn is still available and was offered a QO. He seems possible for the Orioles, but who knows. Under the new compensation rules, I believe the O's would have to forfeit their second-round pick if they sign him.

If Cashner is performing well enough for a No. 3 or 4 starter, considering his reasonable contract, he's movable. The return might not be great, but they could get something decent for him.

I'd favor the Vargas deal over Cashner's, but I don't think it's that big of a difference.

Jan Frel said...

good piece

Matt Kremnitzer said...

Thank you

Matt Kremnitzer said...

To clarify my earlier comment, since the O's are a revenue sharing team, I believe they'd lose their third-round pick.

Anonymous said...

Cobb would be worth it. Can't believe they passed on Garcia. Still hoping for Dyson.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

I can believe they passed on Garcia considering his injury history. Still, interesting that he signed for 1 year.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with the O's? Looks like they could have had both Odorizzi and Dickerson for a low level prospect and a promise to pay their salaries. That's like a SP and a LH OF. I could swear that's exactly what the O's need. Further Odorizzi and Dickerson are so cheap that they could still afford to bring in Cobb or Lynn and be a real team.... Maybe they can still get Dickerson....

Getting kinda tired of the injury fear crap. I guess Machado has no value because he's busted up a couple of knees. And Bundy needs to be released because he's only had one injury free season. I really thought these guys were more intelligent about reasonable risk/reward analysis. Garcia has had two injury free years - it should have been old news.

And Garcia signed for two years except the second year has an option attached. With a $2M buyout, he gets either 1/10 or 2/16. He wins either way. Higher AAV and another shot at FA or two guaranteed years at the rate he was projected to make. That is a deal that should have been perfect for the O's. They try to win this year and if they tank the next, they could just drop him. Just stupid on the part of the O's. I think Garcia judged that being #5 on a winner is better than being #3 on a loser.

Jon Shepherd said...

Odorizzi's market collapsed...so...we all should recognize that.

Unknown said...

You wrote about their 2/16 contracts on 2/16.


Pip said...

Jon, odirizzi has a 38% GB rate.
That probably figured into the equation as well, correct?

Pip said...

Roger, I think Odirizzi would've been pretty dreadful in Baltimore, especially with our atrocious outfield defense.
Collin McHugh would be a far better target, although I don't know if Dan sees any value in trying to pick him up. But I don't think it was a bad idea to pass on Odorizzi, I wish him all the best in Minnesota, but I think he's going to be home run Harry up there.
Dickerson though....hmmm

Anonymous said...

PT, I guess so. Looked up his career performance at OPACY - 5.44 ERA..... Dickerson on the other hand - .500 SLG and .809 OPS at OPACY.... and he was not good at the Trop so that may explain a few things. But he was even better at Fenway (.850+ OPS), Yankee Stad (.930+), and Rogers (.950+). Seems like a no-brainer for me on Dickerson.

Pip said...

Roger you're forgetting defense. Dickerson's defense is not good although it might be marginally better than a couple guys who will play every day regardless.
And his OBP isn't good.
Dyson has excellent defense and we need defense. We don't need another lumbering slugger.
Dyson would be better and if Dickerson is acquired via trade before hitting waivers, we'd have to pay his salary so the cost difference beteeen the two would be nil.
Dyson has more of what we need.

Anonymous said...

However, I still agree with my original blueprint and Camden Chat that Dyson is "the man". I also think bringing in Dickerson with a Trumbo trade would be really nice (I know, really not likely).