Red Sox

Why Red Sox have extra motivation to limit Andrew Cashner's innings

Why Red Sox have extra motivation to limit Andrew Cashner's innings

Andrew Cashner's pitching stats through six starts with the Red Sox suggest the less Boston uses him, the better.

But it appears the Sox have another justification for not using Cashner heavily down the stretch, and it involves the right-hander's contract.

Cashner currently is on a two-year deal that has a $10 million option for 2020. If he amasses 340 innings pitched between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, the Red Sox will be on the hook for that $10 million. If he falls short of 340 innings, that $10 million becomes a team option which the Red Sox can decline.

After his brief outing Sunday, Cashner is 63.1 innings away from that 340-inning threshold (153 innings in 2018, 126.2 innings in 2019 to date).

Fortunately for the Red Sox' bottom line, Cashner hitting 340 innings seems unrealistic. Assuming he makes eight starts over Boston's final 42 games, the 32-year-old would need to average over seven innings per outing to reach the 340-inning range.

Cashner has pitched into the seventh inning just once since joining the Red Sox via trade from the Baltimore Orioles, and four of his six appearances have lasted 5.2 innings or fewer.

So, if the Sox want to keep Cashner in the rotation with that hope that he improves on his disastrous 8.01 ERA with Boston, they shouldn't have an issue. But if Cashner starts creeping toward that 340-inning mark, you might see Alex Cora moving up a few mound visits.

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MLB trade rumors: These 5 teams are 'in play' for Red Sox's David Price

MLB trade rumors: These 5 teams are 'in play' for Red Sox's David Price

The Boston Red Sox appear to have several potential suitors if they really want to trade starting pitcher David Price this offseason.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Thursday an update on Price's situation, noting a few specific teams that have talked to the Red Sox about a potential trade for the veteran left-hander.

According to a source, the Red Sox have held trade talks with at least five clubs about David Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner who helped lead Boston to the 2018 World Series title.

Among the teams in play for Price are the Padres, Cardinals, White Sox and Reds, while the Angels have also been in contact with the Red Sox, according to sources.

One team Feinsand doesn't mention is the Toronto Blue Jays. Sportsnet reported Wednesday night that the Blue Jays have "explored taking on David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr.," but that "the cost in both dollars and prospect capital remains too high."

Acquiring Price does not come without genuine risks for these interested teams.

He is 34 years and still has three more seasons left on his contract with an annual salary of $32 million, which, before Gerrit Cole agreed to sign with the New York Yankees, was the fifth-highest yearly base salary in baseball.

Price also wasn't very durable or effective in 2019. He posted a 7-5 record with a 4.28 ERA, 128 strikeouts and 32 walks over 107 1/3 innings. Price made 22 starts this past season, eight fewer than he did in 2018.

The Red Sox reportedly are "actively" trying to trade outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who is entering his final year of arbitration.

Boston lost a starting pitcher Thursday morning when news broke that Rick Porcello had agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with the New York Mets. Losing both Price and Porcello in one offseason would be a real blow to a Red Sox rotation that battled injury and inconsistency throughout 2019.

Tomase: Price trade would put 2020 in jeopardy>>>

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MLB trade rumors: Blue Jays have 'explored taking on David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr.'

MLB trade rumors: Blue Jays have 'explored taking on David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr.'

The Boston Red Sox are a team to watch in the MLB trade market with a few high-priced veterans that could be moved to shed payroll.

Starting pitcher David Price, who makes $32 million annually and is signed through 2022, is an option. Another one is outfielder Jackie Bradley, who could make more than $10 million in 2020 before being eligible for unrestricted free agency entering the 2021 season.

Which teams would be willing to acquire one (or perhaps both) of these players? One potential destination is the Toronto Blue Jays, per Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi.

"On the trade front, they’ve explored taking on David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr., from the Boston Red Sox and J.A. Happ from the New York Yankees, but the cost in both dollars and prospect capital remains too high."

Multiple teams reportedly have shown interest in trading for Price, and one team that talked to the Red Sox about the veteran left-hander is the San Diego Padres.

Price does have a history with the Blue Jays, so it's not too surprising they would at least explore a reunion. He was traded from the Detroit Tigers to Toronto before the 2015 trade deadline. Price helped the Blue Jays reach the American League Championship Series that season, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals. He left the Jays that winter to sign with the Red Sox in free agency.

The Red Sox reportedly are "actively" trying to trade Bradley. The 29-year-old batted .225 with 21 home runs and 65 RBI in 2019. He's one of the best defensive players in all of baseball.

The Blue Jays need upgrades at several positions up-and-down their roster after three consecutive fourth-place finishes in the American League East. Toronto has not made the postseason since 2016 when it lost to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS.

Five potential trade destinations for David Price>>>

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