Baltimore Orioles: Is Andrew Cashner a good signing?

The Baltimore Orioles wowed their fans with their most exciting day of the off season yesterday when they announced they had signed Andrew Cashner. Okay, perhaps there was a hint of sarcasm there. However the fact is that Cashner will be on the Orioles for at least the next two years, possibly three. The two years guarantee him $16 million.

So…what does or should the fan base think of this? I’ve heard mixed reviews, although nobody’s out there saying this is the greatest or worst ever signing. I think that the best way to classify it is as just “a signing.”

Cashner posted a 3.40 ERA last year with Texas, which was down from 5.25 the year before with San Diego and Miami combined. He also only gave up 15 homers last year, playing his home games in Texas where the ball flies – similar to at Camden Yards. In fact, some of his career’s lower ERA’s have come with hitter’s park’s being his home field.

Detractors of course would point out that throughout his seven years in the majors, Cashner’s only had one winning season. He was 10-9 in 2013 with San Diego. This is far from a marquee signing, however consider the alternative. Ubaldo Jimenez posted a 6.81 ERA for the Orioles last year, and 5.44 the year before. So if Cashner lives up to last season’s numbers, that should be a good thing for the Orioles.

Financially, $16 million over two years isn’t that much. The contract could pay him up to $41 million with bonuses and if he ends up staying a third year. Many fans will say that the Orioles will be forever betrothed to contracts like these to players as such. However keep in mind that they took a risk with Jimenez – and were burned big time. The same is true with others as well.

So again, this is “a signing.” I don’t see Cashner winning a Cy Young, but I think he’ll at least be solid. Time will tell. As I’ve said before, the upcoming Florida Grapefruit League season is going to be a big one for the Orioles this year.

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