Baltimore Orioles: It’s about the pitching


Yesterday afternoon John Morosi of Fox Sports sent out this tweet regarding the Baltimore Orioles’ interest in Rick Porcello of Detroit. Porcello was 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA this past year in Detroit, although he’s had winning seasons in the past. You could look at Porcello as a guy that perhaps hasn’t totally reached his full potential in a sense at only age 24. The first question is what would Detroit be looking for in return? From the Orioles standpoint it would make no sense to send a starting pitcher given that they’d be getting one in return. Unless you’re trading a prospect for Cy Young, what’s the point? However perhaps a reliever along the lines of Troy Patton or even Pedro Strop would be worth giving up.

Porcello would be far from a front-line starter, however he does have some experience and he’s had some limited success thus far in his career. He became an instant favorite with Orioles fans a couple of seasons ago when Kevin Youkilis of Boston charged him on the mound and Porcello body-slammed him onto the field. However that aside, the Orioles need to figure out whether or not a would-be trade for Porcello would truly help the club, or whether it would be making a move for the sake of making a move.

Given that statistically he had a lackluster 2012, he’s a guy that might come fairly cheap. Or he should come fairly cheap to say the least. This is where the business side kicks in and it ceases to be a game in a sense. If I were the Orioles I wouldn’t give up anything more than a reliever and perhaps a low-level prospect for Porcello. The problem of course is that they aren’t the only team that’s in on him; apparently Seattle has some interest also. I highly doubt that we’ll have a bidding war over Rick Porcello, however Detroit is obviously going to accept the best deal for them which is offered.

I would also mention that former Oriole Joe Saunders is still on the market. Saunders may have joined the Orioles pretty late in the year (via a waivers trade in August), however his service was invaluable to the club as they made their push to the postseason. And let’s not forget that he started and won the first Orioles’ playoff game in 15 years back in October at Texas. If it came between re-signing Saunders or obtaining Porcello, I’d go with Saunders. A huge part of the Orioles’ success this past season was the closeness of the clubhouse, and Joe Saunders seemed to fit right into that scene. Properly vetting potential new Orioles (either via trade or free agency) is important because if you stick someone in there who won’t fit in it will cause problems.

There are other names out there in which the O’s have interest, however it’s really just a wait and see thing for fans – and writers – right now. I think it’s clear that the Orioles will probably step up and sign or trade for someone, it’s just a matter of finding the right fit and the right deal. Incidentally, if Porcello ends up being the Orioles’ guy he’ll have a lot of chances to face Youkilis again…as he’s now a member of the New York Yankees.