At 15-35, the Baltimore Orioles are on pace to be ever so slightly better than last season. The 2018 Orioles lost 115 games, the fifth most in baseball history. The 2019 Orioles are on pace to lose 113 games. That's ... better? It's better. But it's still terrible.

The O's will of course sell come the trade deadline, and one of their top trade chips is right-hander Andrew Cashner. The 32-year-old has a 4.14 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings this year. His 51.8 percent ground ball rate is his highest since his first full big league season in 2013. Cashner will undoubtedly draw scouts to Baltimore in the coming weeks.

Andrew Cashner
BOS • SP • #48
View Profile

Trading Cashner at the deadline is an easy decision for the Orioles. He is essentially a rental -- Cashner's $10 million option for 2020 will vest with another 132 2/3 innings this year, a total is within reach but is also unlikely to be reached -- and there's little reason for a team on pace for 110-plus losses to keep a veteran rental. Trade him for prospects while you can.

There may be a small problem with trading Cashner, however. As he told The Athletic's Dan Connolly, Cashner is happy with the Orioles, so much so that he would consider packing up and going home if he gets traded. He would forfeit several million dollars in the process (roughly $3 million if it happens on July 31), but hey, that's his choice. From Connolly:

"I wish I had a no-trade clause," Cashner said. "But it's all part of where you're at (in your career). And, I think, once something comes (on the trade front), I'll have to sit down with my family and decide what's best for me."


But he is saying it's something he'd at least consider if he didn't like the situation he might encounter with a new team. Theoretically, he could refuse a trade, head home to Texas in July, and look for a new team of his choosing next offseason.

Cashner has been traded twice in his career. The Cubs sent him to the Padres in January 2012 in the Anthony Rizzo deal, then San Diego sent him to the Marlins at the 2016 deadline for a package that included top prospect Josh Naylor. Connolly says Cashner considered not reporting to the Marlins following the 2016 trade, so these feelings aren't new.

Clearly, Cashner's priorities are not related to baseball. He's never pitched in the postseason and normally you'd expect a veteran in his situation to welcome the opportunity to join a contender, but that is not the case. Cashner and his family are happy right where they are, enough that he may walk away from the remainder of his contract to stay happy. It's admirable.

There is a single trade deadline now, which means the Orioles would not be able to move Cashner in an August waiver trade should he change his mind at some point. It is July 31 or bust. There's a little more than nine weeks for Cashner to think things over his family, and for the O's to gauge his interest in relocating and possibly work out a trade.