SARASOTA, Fla. -- Sporting an offseason beard and a shiny new Orioles cap, right-hander Andrew Cashner was officially announced as part of Baltimore's rotation on Thursday evening."I'm excited," Cashner said after inking a two-year, $16 million deal with Baltimore that includes a $10 million vesting option for 2020. "It's definitely
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Sporting an offseason beard and a shiny new Orioles cap, right-hander Andrew Cashner was officially announced as part of Baltimore's rotation on Thursday evening.
"I'm excited," Cashner said after inking a two-year, $16 million deal with Baltimore that includes a $10 million vesting option for 2020. "It's definitely a new journey for me. There are some familiar faces. [Manager] Buck [Showalter, who has a home in Texas], it's pretty cool to be back with somebody from Texas. Just bring a little home up here and try to get us back to the postseason."
Despite the long wait to join a club -- in what has been a slow free-agent market -- Cashner said it wasn't a difficult time. Orioles vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson had remained in steady contact with Cashner since November, and the righty cited that as "a great building block" in ultimately getting a deal done.
Cashner, who went 11-11 with 3.40 ERA last year, joins a rotation that includes right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman with a lot of question marks behind them. To make room on the roster, the Orioles placed closer Zach Britton (right Achilles surgery) on the 60-day disabled list.
The Cashner deal marks the Orioles' first major acquisition since the end of last season. The contract also fits the O's parameters of not going above three years for a free-agent starter and gives them some financial flexibility for potentially more acquisitions.
"I don't know a lot," Cashner said of his new club. "I do know that they need some starting pitching, and here it is. [I'll] show up every day, and whomever I can help out, I'll help out. My job is to come here and pitch and win."
The 31-year-old Cashner made 28 starts for the Rangers in 2017, throwing 166 2/3 innings. He struck out 86 batters and walked 64, posting an impressive ground-ball percentage of 48.6, which ranked No. 6 in the AL and should play favorably in a hitter-friendly ballpark such as Camden Yards, where many fly-ball pitchers have struggled.
On Thursday Cashner praised Camden Yards, calling it one of his favorite parks, and talked about how excited he was to call it home for the foreseeable future.
"Obviously, we've said many times how much further it goes than just five starting pitchers," said Showalter.
"[Cashner is] a guy who's pitched well in the American League. That's something that I think played in his favor. And doing a lot of the homework on the other part of it, I think we just think it's a good all-around fit for us, and especially it's something that is a big need for us and something that's been in the works for quite a while."
Cashner has pitched in eight big league seasons, going 42-64 with a 3.80 ERA in 230 career games (137 starts). He spent the first seven years of his career in the National League with the Cubs, Padres and Marlins. Cashner has pitched at Camden Yards twice in his career, registering a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings. Cashner was drafted three times before he signed in 2008 with the Cubs, who drafted him 18th overall.
After passing Thursday's physical, the righty is excited to get going.
"I think as a starting pitcher, it's important not just to get in and get ready, but meet your teammates, get to know the coaching staff, get to know the clubbies, get to know everybody. And more make it a family atmosphere," Cashner said.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.