Chicago Cubs: Five noteworthy free agents who remain unsigned

Andrew Cashner, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Andrew Cashner, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: Andrew Cashner

Diehard Cubs fans might remember Andrew Cashner from when he was with the team back in 2010 and 2011. He was the Cubs’ first-round draft pick (19th overall) in 2008 and posted a 4.80 ERA in 54 1/3 relief appearances for the team in 2010. Then in 2011, he won a spot in the starting rotation, but he only made one start before going down with a shoulder injury.

Cashner came back and pitched several games out of the bullpen at the end of the year. Then, before the 2012 season, Cashner was the key piece in the deal in which the Cubs acquired Anthony Rizzo from the San Diego Padres. Since then, the 33-year-old right-hander has also made stops in Miami, Baltimore, and Boston.

Cashner hasn’t had a bad career – he’s made 300 appearances, including 188 starts, and posted a 4.10 ERA. Yet he’s had an up-and-down career, and 2019 in itself was a tale of two seasons. He made 17 starts for the Orioles and posted a 3.83 ERA before the Red Sox acquired him, and he struggled in Boston, mostly in relief, posting a 6.20 ERA. A big part of the problem was control, as his walk rate went up dramatically in Boston.

The Cubs already have a few candidates for the fifth starter’s job, yet Cashner could be thrown into that mix if the Cubs were interested in bringing him back. If nothing else, he’d add some veteran depth.