Red Sox

MLB trade rumors: This NL team had interest in Andrew Cashner before Red Sox deal

MLB trade rumors: This NL team had interest in Andrew Cashner before Red Sox deal

The Boston Red Sox were able to add depth to their rotation with the acquisition of starting pitcher Andrew Cashner, but before completing a trade with the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, at least one National League team was interested in his services.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday the Philadelphia Phillies were interested in Cashner, but ultimately decided to pass with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching. Here's why:

*The Phillies had interest in right-hander Andrew Cashner before the Orioles traded him to the Red Sox, but backed off in part due to concerns about the pitcher’s makeup.

Several of the Phillies’ acquisitions last season did not mix well in their clubhouse. 

The Phillies might have lucked out in this situation.

Cashner's debut with the Red Sox came Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, and it was a lackluster performance. The veteran right-hander gave up eight hits, six runs (five earned) with two walks and two strikeouts over five innings. It would be foolish and unfair to call the Cashner trade a failure after just one outing, but he had allowed five earned runs in his previous five starts combined before Tuesday's loss.

The Red Sox lost 10-4 as their disappointing post-All Star break stretch continued.

Boston is three games behind the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics for the second wild-card playoff spot in the American League entering Wednesday's games. It's not an insurmountable gap, but for the defending World Series champions to return to the postseason, the starting pitching must improve quite a bit. Cashner will need to be part of that.

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Christian Vazquez hits first career grand slam, 20th home run of 2019

Christian Vazquez hits first career grand slam, 20th home run of 2019

Christian Vazquez's career year at the plate continued Sunday, hitting his first career grand slam against the Phillies. 

It was also the 20th home run of the year for the fifth-year catcher, blowing away his former career-high in home runs (five in 2017).

Vazquez holds career highs in virtually every offensive category, which has earned him the regular starting job behind the plate as opposed to sharing time with Sandy Leon. 

His resurgence has also helped the Red Sox maintain an elite level of production offensively from last year's dominant World Series run.  Unfortunately subpar pitching will keep the team from returning to the playoffs, but if Vazquez can build off this season there's no reason to believe this lineup can't continue into 2020.

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Alex Cora: Eduardo Rodriguez has been "throwing like an ace" all season

Alex Cora: Eduardo Rodriguez has been "throwing like an ace" all season

After another superb outing against the Phillies Saturday night, Eduardo Rodriguez earned high praise from his manager Alex Cora. 

"He’s throwing like an ace," Cora said on NESN postgame. "We’re very happy with the progress. The fact that it’s Sept. 14, 15, and he’s as strong as early in the season. That’s good to see.”

Rodriguez didn't secure his 18th win of the year thanks to a seventh-inning walk with the bases loaded, but that doesn't take away from a 12-strikeout performance.

Rodriguez now has a 3.64 ERA in over 185 innings pitched. The Sox need Rodriguez to come into his own if they hope to stay in contention long term, and he continues to show progress toward reaching his potential. 

Rodriguez still has a chance to get to 20 wins, but he'll have to win each of the three starts he has left in 2019. 

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