Andrew Cashner doesn't have the gaudy résumé of Madison Bumgarner, doesn't have the mound presence of Marcus Stroman, and hasn't built the social media platform of Trevor Bauer. For all those reasons and more, Cashner wasn't really coveted in the trade market the way those other stars are.
But he will feed a need for the Red Sox at the back end of their rotation, and at modest cost; Boston surrendered a couple of 17-year-old prospects (or, more accurately, long-term lottery tickets). The same is true with Homer Bailey, who steps into the Oakland rotation after being acquired from the Kansas City Royals.
The way those deals are being translated by other organizations is that the Red Sox and Athletics had no interest in paying the higher prices currently attached to Bumgarner, Stroman, Robbie Ray and others, and wanted to make sure they landed some rotation relief.
But what those trades could do is place a greater squeeze on the teams dangling starting pitchers, because the balance between buyers and possible sellers appears lopsided.