The organization has a lot to address this off-season concerning the starting rotation. This past season, the Orioles went threw many starters, some affective, some not so much. The fact is, the Orioles still don’t have a clear-cut ace on the team. To be a contender next season, this is a major issue.
Guthrie did not have a good season by any means. To have a number one starter not doing well for most the season, is a major factor for our horrible record. I’m not saying that Guts isn’t a good pitcher, but if you believe he’s an ace, you’re delusional. Guts is a great veteran presence in the rotation, but he’d be more well suited for the third or fourth rotation man.
Now that leaves another question, do you put one of the young guys as the number one guy in the rotation? The only baby Oriole I see that may have a chance to start the season at that spot is Bergesen. He had a tremendous year, and showed why we are all excited about this team again. But on the flip side, I don’t see this as a real possibility; he’s just too young an inexperienced.
The last option is finding a guy in the free-agent pool. Some of the few names that I noticed while quickly glancing at the list is Rodrigo Lopez and Jarrod Washburn. Both of them guys are veterans, and have the capability of being our top of the rotation starter for a few seasons. Also, I wouldn’t rule out Erik Bedard from being a possibility. Although he’s been injured since we traded him, he is still a very good pitcher.
One other pitcher I’d like to touch on is Aroldis Chapman, he’s only 22 an just defected from Cuba. As we saw in the WBC, he is an awesome pitcher, with a lot of upside. I know we most likely won’t even consider signing him, I just believe he’d be a great fit in our young nuclease.
Our two most likely options for our number one starter to begin the season is either Guthrie, or sign somebody via free-agency. If MacPhail wants to become contenders next season, he’s going to have to go out an make a splash in free-agency or trade. This year’s free agency isn’t anywhere near strong as last season, so Macphail needs to pounce on the opportunities soon as it arises.