It’s unlikely starter Andrew Cashner will make as big of an impact as Darvish or Gomez. That doesn’t mean he has earned a contract extension. Free agent pitching can be expensive, and Cashner could be a steal this off-season.
The Rangers signed Cashner to a one-year $10 million deal over the off-season. The 30-year-old was coming off his career worst season, and has bounced back nicely. He’s not an ace, but has value on the Rangers roster.
This season Cashner is 4-7 with a 3.54 ERA in 14 starts. He’s allowed just six home runs in over 80 innings pitched. The biggest problem for Cashner has been his lack of command as he’s walked 36 batters this season.
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The eight-year veteran was once a highly valued prospect and was sent to the Padres in a deal that brought Anthony Rizzo the to Cubs. The hard-throwing righty was converted from reliever to starter, but hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations.
The last four seasons Cashner has been full-time starter, but has bullpen experience if needed. It’s unlikely Cashner moves back to the bullpen, but with the current Texas pen you never know. His hopes of scoring a big pay-day could be crushed by the amount of competition.
Many big name All-Star starting pitchers are expected to hit the open market this off-season. A deal around three years $40 million is fair for Cashner. Hard to imagine him getting more than that and $13.3 million a year is a steal compared to the huge contracts given out to free agent starters.
It’s unlikely Cashner ever turns into an “ace” starter, but he could be useful in the middle of the rotation. He’s pitched well enough to earn an extension and the Rangers should consider it with their lack of depth in the rotation.
Right now Cashner has a 1.8 WAR and Cole Hamels has a 1.1 WAR. He’s earned a contract extension and the Rangers could get the steal of the off-season if they take advantage of it.
Jon Daniels will have to decide who he wants to re-sign this off-season, but signing Darvish, Gomez, and Cashner is a good start.