Chicago Cubs: Is an Andrew Cashner reunion possible?

(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

Andrew Cashner is a former top Cubs prospect. Could he be an answer in 2021?

The trade of Andrew Cashner was one of the first moves that Theo Epstein made as Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations. That deal sent Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na to the Padres for first baseman Anthony Rizzo and pitcher Zach Cates.

Cashner has bounced around during his career. From the Padres, he went to the Marlins, Rangers, Orioles and Red Sox. He has spent most of his career as a starting pitcher, making 188 starts over a 10-year career. He did not play in the shortened 2020 season.

He made his debut with the Cubs back in 2010, pitching in 53 games out of the bullpen. He did become a starting pitcher prior to heading to San Diego. His time with the Cubs totaled 60 games, with one start and a 4.29 ERA. His career ERA is 4.10, which is about right for this day and age of baseball.

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Chicago doesn’t have a lot of starting pitchers for 2021, with Yu Darvish being traded and Jon Lester being a free agent. Kyle Hendricks, Alec Mills and Zach Davies make up the 2021 rotation, with two spots left to fill.

Cashner is an innings-eater, which the Cubs need, and he can throw his fastball faster than 89 MPH, so that would be a nice change of pace. We know that Hendricks can give the team innings and go deep in games, as he’s done it for years. Davies can go deep into games, and Cubs fans saw it during his years with the Brewers. Chicago needs more. They need innings, and Cashner has always given that.

It makes sense for the Cubs to bring Cashner back on a one-year deal, or a one-year deal with an option. A short deal like this makes sense from another aspect that the club can trade him if he does well for them in the first half of the season, but the team isn’t competitive.

The NL Central is not going to be the best division, so there is no guarantee the team sells during the season. They may sell more before the season however, with Willson Contreras reportedly on the trade block, and the Angels are showing interest.

Cashner has not pitched in two seasons, so there is risk with his signing. Is he in shape? Can he still go multiple innings and start? He is also 34 years old, and it may not be as easier for him to get in shape as it was in his younger days.

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Chicago crying poor for the third offseason in a row, and they will look at cheap ways to add to the roster. Cashner should fall into that category given he hasn’t played in awhile. There is a need, and he can give the team innings. Will they make the reunion happen?