The Red Sox made a trade today with the Baltimore Orioles for right hand pitcher Andrew Cashner. Sure, Cashner is far from a perfect player. He has a 3.83 ERA this year, yet only a 4.25 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching). Essentially, he doesn’t strike out a ton of batters and walks around three per game. This means his ERA is more lucky than good. But he’s here for two reasons: He pitches well against the Rays and Yankees, and he’s cheap.

Cashner Against The Sox Direct Competition

Starting on July 22nd, the Red Sox will face off against the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees for 14 straight games. This stretch can’t win the division, but it could end the Sox season if they don’t play well. Brian Johnson has a 6.13 ERA this year. Hector Velazquez is at 5.52. Young Darwinzon Hernandez? 5.06. Lucky or not, Cashner’s 3.83 ERA is looking pretty good in comparison.

Over the past three seasons Andrew Cashner has a 3.61 ERA combined against both Tampa Bay and New York. In 62.1 innings he has 42 strikeouts and 21 walks. That’s not great, but it’s a decent sample size, and that ERA shows he knows how to pitch against those lineups. Sure, he’s only 3-4 in 10 games, but he’s been playing for the Orioles. They’re one of the worst teams in all of baseball.

The Cost

In terms of money, this fits right in to the Sox luxury tax problem. Opinions are varied, but Cashner will cost somewhere between $1.6 and $1.9 Million. The Orioles are even kicking in anywhere between $3-$5 Million in incentives that Cashner is due both now and next year.

You can’t get that kind of cash out of Peter Angelos and the Orioles unless you give something up. In this case, it’s a couple of 17 year olds:

Who know what these guys will become. Whatever it is is years away. The Red Sox season is in jeopardy of falling off a cliff. Nathan Eovaldi, a Yankee killer himself, is desperately needed in the bullpen. The options for the Red Sox in the starting rotation are not very good, and also don’t pitch deep into games. They had to do something, and per Dave Dombrowski’s M.O. they struck early.

Andrew Cashner has the ability to give the Sox just enough to make it an interesting summer.

Featured Image via the New York Post