BOSTON - Headed into the All-Star break, the mission for Dave Dombrowski and the front office of the Boston Red Sox was clear: they desperately needed help in the bullpen. Blown saves and skyrocketing ERAs have been hallmarks of the 2019 Boston team, and relief pitchers, in particular, needed any help they could get.
But Dombrowski had other plans. He believes that Nathan Eovaldi will take over the closer role once he's back from injury, and wanted the Red Sox to target second baseman instead. With relievers being such an obvious hole in the Red Sox lineup, one can only assume that Dombrowski seems to know something we don’t.
New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler was thought to be on the market at the deadline, but the Red Sox stopped pursuing the trade after he landed on IR. Instead, with Steven Wright on the IR himself (toe), the Red Sox traded minor league prospects Noelberth Romero and Elio Prado to the Orioles in exchange for Andrew Cashner, who has already arrived at the clubhouse. Cashner is expected to get his first start with Boston tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays.
A relief pitcher may be at the top of the wishlist for most Boston faithful, but a more fifth starting pitcher was certainly there as well. Hopefully, the rumors are not true of Boston standing pat after acquiring Cashner and Dombrowski is not done adding pieces as the Red Sox really should be buyers at the deadline.
As for Cashner, he is a 32 year old journeyman in baseball who has pitched for the Orioles, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Miami Marlins. Over his last five starts, he boasts a 1.41 earned run average. In 2019, Cashner has been the lone bright spot of Baltimore with a 9-3 record, a 3.83 total ERA, and 66 strikeouts. He also has a great beard.
Image via Wikimedia / Keith Allison