Blue Jays reportedly looking to sign Cashner

February 9th, 2018

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are continuing to show interest in free-agent right-hander , according to a report from's Jon Paul Morosi.

Toronto reportedly is exploring the possibility of signing Cashner to a one-year deal. Cashner went 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA in 28 starts for the Rangers in 2017 and has a career 3.80 ERA over eight seasons.

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This is one of the first reports linking the Blue Jays and Cashner together this offseason, but Toronto is known to have been interested for quite some time. The Blue Jays had a scout watching his final starts in Texas last season as part of the club's homework for the upcoming class of free agents.

, J.A. Happ, and are locked into guaranteed jobs, but the Blue Jays remain in the market for a fifth starter. Right-hander currently is penciled into that role, but general manager Ross Atkins stated earlier this month that pitching was his top priority with Spring Training just around the corner.

In addition to Cashner, the Blue Jays also have been linked to free-agent righty Chris Tillman. Some of the other remaining options on the open market include , and . Top free agents , and Alex Cobb are expected to be out of Toronto's price range.

Cashner is coming off a strong run with the Rangers, but he may be forced to settle for a short-term deal. Cashner's 3.40 ERA last season was his best since 2014, though his strikeouts per nine innings dipped to 4.6, which is a far cry from a previous high of 8.0. The native of Texas no longer throws in the upper 90s, but velocity still isn't that big of an issue with a 94-mph average on his fastball in 2017.

It was reported earlier in the offseason that Cashner initially was seeking a three-year deal. His representatives met with the Orioles and there are still ties to the Rangers' organization.