Cashner has been an average pitcher for his career. Elias wasn't likely getting any more substance which is why I think the trade was made so soon. Either way, both of these guys might make it, one might make it, or neither might make it. The one thing we know for sure is Cashner wasn't going to be here next year, so you're literally not losing anything.I like what Elias is doing.
You can't view this through the lens of his career stats.They aren't trading the career of Cashner in the off season, when everyone is patient and has plenty of time and more supply at their disposal. The fact that the O's only have a 2 month rental to offer isn't a disability, it's a plus. Because he's pitching well above his standards. It's also a plus in the sense that he isn't likely to be this guy next year. So it isn't a situation where Boston is forced to swallow the pill and bog down their 2020 roster and payroll with an inconsistent pitcher.
Boston is looking at the here and now, not who he was last year, or who he may be next year. And they weren't trading for an upgrade. If they were, I would be in total agreement with you. They're trading to fill a big hole in their rotation. And Cashner is currently pitching well above the level of a 5th starter. Boston was desperate, and Cashner is a hot hand. We all know how Boston is, there's no excuse for not going all in, every year. That fan base will never have enough WS trophies to cure their inferiority complex to NY.
I'm not pinning the O's past on to Elias. But after years of watching DD under sell and over pay in trades, it would have been nice to see something a bit more uplifting.