TREVOR CAHILL, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: March 1, 1988
Drafted: 2nd Round, 66th Overall, 2006 (A’s)
How Acquired: Free agent
High School: Vista (CA) HS
Agent: John Boggs and Associates
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Cahill has had a lot of ups and downs in his career. The A’s drafted him out of high school despite limited experience on the mound. He reached the majors in a little over two seasons and quickly established himself as a reliable, mid-rotation starter. He consistently put up solid numbers from 2009-13, despite low K rates, then ran into problems in 2014-15 that got him shifted into the bullpen. He had bad years in 2017 and 2019, and pitched well in 2016, 2018 and 2020, sometimes as a reliever and sometimes as a starter.
Cahill’s fastball in the first half of his career sat around 89-91. As he’s pitched more in relief, it’s been 92-93. His best pitch has always been his curve, and he also throws a change and a slider. His fastball usage has dropped sharply in recent seasons, from around 60% for much of his career to about a third of the time. He now throws his curve and change combined about half the time. As Cahill has reduced his fastball usage, his K rate has gone from well under one per inning to more than one. In some years he’s had high walk rates and he usually, although not always, has kept the longballs down. He was a strong groundball pitcher for most of his career, but by 2020 was a flyball pitcher. He’s had only a modest platoon split over his career. The Pirates signed Cahill to a major league contract for 2021.
Cahill made four appearances after signing. He allowed only two hits but walked seven. Baseball America rated him tenth in Oakland’s system after the season.
The A’s moved Cahill up to full season ball and had a very strong season. He gave up only three home runs and opponents batted only .220 against him. BA rated him second in the Oakland system.
In the high-offense California League, Cahill made 13 starts and dominated. Oakland then moved him up to AA and he continued pitching well. For the full season opponents batted only .179 against him. BA again rated him second in the system.
Surprisingly, Cahill made Oakland’s rotation and stayed in it all year, making 32 starts. Considering the fact that he’d just turned 21 and had limited experience, he performed quite well. His adjusted ERA was just below league average. He had some trouble with gopher balls, allowing 27.
Oakland sent Cahill to AAA to open the season, but after two games they brought him up. He had what arguably turned out to be his best season, finishing ninth in the AL Cy Young voting. He was helped by a low BABIP of .236; his xFIP was 3.99. Cahill cut down sharply on the home runs, allowing 19.
At the start of the season, Cahill signed a five-year extension through 2015, with options for 2016-17. Going by his xFIP of 3.90, he had about the same season as the year before, although the ERA doesn’t show it. His BABIP rose to a more normal .302. After the season, Oakland sent Cahill to Arizona in a five-player deal.
Cahill was a fixture in the Diamondbacks’ rotation, improving slightly on the previous two seasons, helped by allowing only 16 home runs in a hitter’s park.
Cahill was hampered by a bruised hip, which cost him a month and a half. He made 25 starts for the D’backs and his performance fell off only a little.
After he got rocked in his first four starts, Arizona moved Cahill to the bullpen. In June, the team optioned him to the minors, where he stayed for a month. Upon returning in mid-July, he rejoined the rotation and had a 5.58 ERA in 13 more starts. For the season, he had a 6.31 ERA as a starter and 3.04 as a reliever.
Cahill did a lot of traveling during the year. At the beginning of the season, Arizona sent him to Atlanta. He had a very rough time in three starts and a dozen relief appearances, and the Braves released him in June. He got a minor league deal with the Dodgers, but after he struggled for six weeks in the minors, LA also released him. The Cubs signed him to a minor league deal in mid-August and called him up in September. They used him strictly in relief and he was outstanding in 11 games. Cahill became a free agent after the season and re-signed with the Cubs for a year.
Cahill pitched in relief for the Cubs, except for one start, and was effective. He did miss a month with a knee injury. In the off-season, he became a free agent and signed with the Padres.
When Cahill was able to pitch for the Padres, he was solid in 11 starts. He was hampered, though, by injuries. He was out from mid-May to early July with a shoulder strain, then much of August with a right shoulder impingement. As soon as he returned from the first injury, San Diego traded him to Kansas City. Cahill made three starts and seven relief appearances with the Royals and couldn’t find the plate. After the season, the A’s signed him as a free agent.
Cahill made 20 starts for the A’s and pitched well. He missed a month with an Achilles strain. After the season, he signed as a free agent with the Angels.
Things didn’t go well for Cahill with the Angels. He opened the season in their rotation, but produced a 6.92 ERA in 11 starts. After moving to the bullpen, he wasn’t a great deal more effective. Gopher balls were a major problem as he allowed about one every four innings. He became a free agent after the season and signed a minor league deal with the Giants.
The Giants called Cahill up from their training facility early in the pandemic season. He made six starts and five relief appearances and, apart from a high walk rate, pitched well. He missed a lot of bats and opponents batted only .184 against him. He was helped by a .232 BABIP, so his xFIP was 4.48. He became a free agent again after the season when the Giants non-tendered him.
It’s generally expected that Cahill will be in the Pirates’ rotation in 2021. They’ll hope that he doesn’t continue with his recent, every-other-year pattern.
|Signing Bonus: $560,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 4/7/2009
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2021
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 4/4/2009
Options Remaining: 0
MLB Service Time: 11.056
|June 6, 2006: Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2nd round, 66th overall pick; signed on July 8.
April 4, 2009: Contract purchased by the Oakland Athletics.
December 9, 2011: Traded by the Oakland Athletics with Craig Breslow and cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jarrod Parker, Ryan Cook and Collin Cowgill.
April 2, 2015: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks with cash to the Atlanta Braves for Josh Elander.
June 11, 2015: Designated for assignment by the Atlanta Braves; released on June 18.
July 2, 2015: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
August 14, 2015: Released by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
August 18, 2015: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Chicago Cubs.
September 1, 2015: Called up by the Chicago Cubs.
November 2, 2015: Became a free agent.
December 14, 2015: Signed as a free agent by the Chicago Cubs.
November 3, 2016: Became a free agent.
January 20, 2017: Signed as a free agent by the San Diego Padres.
July 23, 2017: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter to the Kansas City Royals for Esteury Ruiz, Matt Strahm, Travis Wood and cash.
November 2, 2017: Became a free agent.
March 19, 2018: Signed as a free agent by the Oakland Athletics.
October 29, 2018: Became a free agent.
December 20, 2018: Signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Angels.
October 31, 2019: Became a free agent.
February 11, 2020: Signed as a minor league free agent by the San Francisco Giants.
June 28, 2020: Released by the San Francisco Giants and re-signed to a minor league contract.
August 12, 2020: Called up by the San Francisco Giants.
October 28, 2020: Became a free agent.
March 11, 2021: Signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.