Dan Duquette weighs in on new Orioles pitcher Andrew Cashner and the search for more talent

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is obviously pleased with the two-year deal that added free-agent right-hander Andrew Cashner to the team’s starting rotation.

“The addition of Cashner gives us not just a veteran pitcher but a proven pitcher in the American League,” Duquette said Friday. “That’s something to put some value on. He’s got a good veteran presence. He’s been steady and dependable in terms of the innings he’s pitched. He’ll help stabilize the team.”

Cashner agreed to a $16 million guarantee that starts with just a $5 million salary this season. The deal also includes a ton of incentives and a vesting option for 2020 that kicks in if he pitches 340 innings in the first two seasons. It turns into a player option if that total reaches 360 innings.

“I know from the club perspective it’s a good fit,” Duquette said. “Gives him an opportunity to pitch and earn some money and the terms are good for the team. I thought it was a fair deal. We try to do fair deals, market deals. I think this looks to be a fair deal where the player can continue to earn money if he’s healthy and continues to pitch well for the team.”

Duquette was particularly impressed with the way Cashner, 31, performed when he jumped to the Texas Rangers last year after spending his first seven seasons in the National League. He was 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA after posting a career record of 31-53 playing for nothing but losing teams in Chicago, San Diego and Miami.

“Andrew Cashner put it together last year,” Duquette said. “He’d been a pitcher of good potential. What I like most about it is he has the pitches. He has several quality major league pitches, and at the end of the day, that’s what gets hitters out. Pitches get the hitters out, and he has several quality pitches that he can utilize. I’m a little bit old school. I like the won-loss record. The new school says that you should not pay attention to the wins because there are a lot of things that are out of a pitcher’s control. That would be one of those cases, yeah.”

The Orioles are still in the market for another pitcher and Duquette predicted that several will sign over the next few days. He dodged a question about Chris Tillman, saying it would be inappropriate to talk about a specific player who is still testing the market.

The search also continues for a left-handed hitter, though Duquette also pointed to some in-house possibilities.

“We’re still in the market for that left-handed hitter, although we can take a look at the kid we picked up from the A’s – the kid from BYU, Jaycob Brugman,” Duquette said. “Take a look at DJ Stewart. The last 20-20 guy from the minors that went on to the big leagues was Kole Calhoun. He did it in A-ball. This kid did it in Double-A. I wouldn’t sell him short. He’s got all the tools to be a good player. And he had a really good last two months of the season … in Double-A.”

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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