The Red Sox need to stop relying on Cashner as a deadline response

BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Andrew Cashner #48 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on July 26, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Andrew Cashner #48 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on July 26, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox were silent as the trade deadline came and went. But if you hear them speak on it, they were more than busy when it mattered.

Another night and another loss in the books for the Red Sox. This time it came at the hands of the now 41-74 Kansas City Royals, who also happen to be 30.0 games out of first. Red Sox Nation was hoping that “Dealin'” Dave Dombrowski was going to do what he does best and get some pieces to help this team, but he didn’t. That is unless you ask him.

When the deadline hit fans were waiting for what the front office would come up with as an answer to the question. Sadly for us, it was just a lot of generalizations and doublespeak that led to nowhere. But one name that came up more than once leading to the deadline and now after was that of Andrew Cashner.

A starter Boston received from Baltimore that up to the point of the move had an impressive 9-3 record and was shutting down the AL East. Then he put on that Red Sox uniform and in the blink of an eye things went from hopeful to hopeless. So in its most literal definition, Boston technically DID do something ahead of the deadline, but it can hardly be considered a deal of substance.

Cashner’s 9-3 record is long gone and he now carries a rough 10-7 and it doesn’t seem to be looking up anytime soon. He also owns a 7.53 ERA for the Red Sox while giving up 7 homers (3 of which came last night) and having a 20/12 K/BB ratio.

It’s been a real Jekyll/Hyde case for Cashner between his time in Baltimore and Boston. This all ties back to my point that Dombrowski and the Sox can keep touting Cashner as some big acquisition to deflect the critique of their deadline silence.

Now, if Cashner had continued his strong 2019 then this would be an entirely different story. This may seem like I’m piling on Cashner and that’s not my intent. He’s been very consistent in his career to this point and the 9-3 that he posted with the Orioles was more than likely an anomaly.

Hell, he even shut down the Yankees during that series at Fenway last week. So there have been some glimmers here and there but the overall results have been lacking.

I won’t begin to say I know what it’s like running a team as I’ve never done it. Zero experience. But I do have experience in management and the way that Dombrowski spoke after the deadline was likely more disheartening than inspiring to his team.

He used the Cashner trade as a way to try and prove that he did something as well as speaking about how good this team is and can be. And he’s not wrong, this team is very good, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use some help.

The lack of movement is fine and all if it as addressed in a better way. Dombrowski would say that the team wasn’t playing well enough but in the same breath say they’re good enough to win. Yeah, that’s some confusing stuff from Ol’ Dave. If this team is good enough to win as it is, then just say that, leave it there, don’t even mention the not being high enough in the standings.

By trying to appease both sides of the coin to defend himself and how he handled not only the deadline but the offseason he basically kicked the team below the belt. He could’ve simply said that the team we have is strong and will find their way as we get closer to October and adding a new piece could’ve disrupted that.  Or say something along the lines that he wasn’t willing to part with any of his prospects or key pieces as they’re too important.

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He’d still get crapped on by the media but at least he’s going all-in on his team rather than hedging his bets. The message needed to be more positive in the fact that he truly does believe in this team and it just doesn’t feel like he does.

Red Sox Nation knows how good this team is, hell we saw what they’re capable of last season. Management needs to get behind them instead of trying to cover their own behinds if they want any form of success this year. Unfortunately for Andrew Cashner, he finds himself in the middle of this mess as the only piece acquired. He now has to be the saving grace and is forever the lone face of the 2019 trade deadline for the Red Sox.

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Going forward Dombrowski and the rest of the front office team just needs to step up and take the reigns when questioned about the lack of activity in 2019. Cashner was having a good season and being the “big” get for Boston may be in his head and is leading to the rapid decline. He could be a reliable fifth starter for this team but the Red Sox need to stop leaning on him as a crutch.