Baltimore Orioles: Looking at free agent pitchers
Yesterday I asked whether or not the Baltimore Orioles should consider signing a free agent pitcher. My deduction was that it was something they should consider. And here’s another point to that ends; the Orioles played musical pitchers all season last year. Wouldn’t it suit them better to have at least one or two guys who they know will be mainstays in the rotation?
So today I wanted to throw some names out there. While it’s attractive to look towards the Strasburg’s and Odorizzi’s of the world, do we really think that’s feasible? Those are pitchers who will look for big money deals with longevity. The Orioles probably aren’t in a position to hand out a contract of that nature to a pitcher right now.
But there are more veteran pitchers out there who might come cheaper and for shorter contracts. The Orioles obviously traded Andrew Cashner to Boston last year – might both sides consider a reunion? Whether or not the Orioles would want that is another story. Cashner’s ERA ballooned when he went to Boston last year. Whereas with the Orioles he had a .383 ERA, with Boston that went up to .620. But he would be an option if he were willing to sign a team-friendly contract.
And there are other guys out there, such as perhaps Marco Estrada, or Gio Gonzalez. Ultimately the goal wouldn’t be to sign a pitcher who would be a big name so as to put people in the seats. While that would be a great addition, it isn’t the idea behind getting someone on the free agent market.
The goal would be to get an innings eater, and someone who could anchor the Orioles’ rotation and help some of the younger guys along. They did this in 2010 when they signed veteran Kevin Millwood to the staff. And he served his purpose very well. That’s the type of move the Orioles might consider making in the form of a Gio Gonzalez (among others).
And there are other names out there as well. Clay Buchholz, who could be an option. Again, the idea isn’t to get someone who might be an automatic ace. The Orioles are trying to grow their own ace in a sense. But someone to eat innings and to help show some of the younger guys the ways and means of being a big league pitcher. Someone who can perhaps be an extension of the manager and pitching coach on the field. Guys who are willing to do that are the types of guys you need when you’re building a team from the ground up as the Orioles are.