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Red Sox acquire Andrew Cashner from Orioles

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The veteran right-hander should give Boston some extra insurance in the rotation.

Cleveland Indians v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Red Sox have acquired right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner from the Orioles in exchange for minor-leaguers Noelberth Romero and Elio Prado, per a club announcement on Saturday afternoon:

While it’s not like Cashner has had a stellar track record over his prior nine seasons in the majors, it’s safe to say the return heading to the Orioles is underwhelming for a guy who has numbers as solid as Cashner’s are this season. Over 17 starts and 96.1 innings, he has a 3.83 ERA (good for a 121 ERA+) with 66 strikeouts and 29 walks. Still, though, the Orioles will only get two prospects who didn’t even rank within the top 30 (per MLB Pipeline) of a weak Red Sox system. BostonSportsJournal.com’s Sean McAdam and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday night, the Orioles will be on the hook for at least $1.78 million of what is still owed to Cashner, and possibly more if he reaches incentives:

For what it’s worth, the Orioles do avoid the potential of having to pay Cashner a $10 million vesting or player option for 2020 that will vest with 90.2 more innings this season or convert to a player option with 110.2 more frames — both possibilities that seem rather unlikely at this point in the season.

Cashner figures to slot immediately into the Red Sox’s fifth starter slot, replacing Hector Velázquez — he’ll start Tuesday, as president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told media members on Saturday. With Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez still being relatively productive members of Boston’s rotation, this move likely takes the Red Sox out of the running for more hyped (but less productive than Cashner this season) trade candidates such as Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler.

It’s safe to say both of the prospects the Orioles acquired for Cashner in this deal are very much “lottery tickets.” Prado, a 17-year-old outfielder, is having a relatively good season in the Dominican Summer League, posting a .303/.400/.418 slash line with three homers and nine steals. The 17-year-old Romero is even more raw, as he’s hitting .264/.336/.364 with two homers over 29 games in the DSL.