by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
While the deal had been rumored for some time, yesterday it became official as Andrew Cashner signed with the Texas Rangers on a 1-year, $10 million contract. While he has long been a player viewed as having upside, you have someone who has called Petco Park home for the bulk of his career and has a scary home/road split to show for it:
It’s interesting, because it’s not that home runs have been a big issue (0.88 HR/9). He’s not an elite groundball pitcher by any stretch, with a career 49.2% groundball rate, so it’s certainly possible that the problem there begins to rise in Texas.
He also has never brought the expected strikeout rate, with a career 7.53 K/9. His overall SwStr% has been an uninspiring 8.5% for his career and he’s coming off a career worst 7.3% mark. He saw a big downgrade in the Whiff% on his changeup (14.67% to 6.71%), and you have to wonder if the drop in velocity on his fourseam fastball (96.11 mph to 94.88) played a role in it.
Considering that his strikeout rate wasn’t impressive to begin with, a lack of velocity and the potential loss of one of his swing and miss pitches hurts his stock even more.
So far we have the potential for home run issues and the lack of strikeouts… We haven’t even mentioned the fact that he now needs to maneuver around more difficult lineups, as he no longer will get to face the opposing starting pitcher on a regular basis now that he’s in the American League.
It’s also not like he’s been a control master in recent years. Just look at his BB/9 by half of late:
At the end of the day there appears to be nothing good about Cashner’s upside or this signing. While the name may still carry appeal, don’t make the mistake of buying into him as he currently has disaster written all over him.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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