Baltimore Orioles: East winds
The biggestt news out of this past week’s winter meetings that came out of the AL East did not involve the Baltimore Orioles. Yet that in and of itself is not surprising. (Incidentally, I’m not sure that this year’s winter meetings had the big splashes that previous years’ have brought to begin with.) However I would submit that the Orioles got just a little better given the deal that was made involving former BoSox pitcher Jon Lester.
Lester going to the Chicago Cubs doesn’t play a huge role in the 2015 season for the Orioles, but it does make a difference. Boston traded Lester for Yoenis Cespedes back in July, which was considered a blockbuster deal at the time. I think that Boston saw Cespedes as a player around whom they could build. And they might have been right.
Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
However this past week they swapped Cespedes for Rick Porcello from Detroit. Porcello is a solid starter to be sure, however keep in mind that his entire five-year career has been played in pitcher-friendly Comerica Park. During that time period, he’s earned a 4.30 ERA, and a won/loss record of 76-63. Now Porcello will call hitter-friendly Fenway Park his home…you get the idea,
So with Lester now with the Cubs, you can almost look at this as Boston swapping Lester for Porcello. Incidentally, Lester has a career ERA of 3.58 with a 116-67 record – much of which came at Fenway.
Lester also dominated the Orioles over the years. Their success against Porcello has been somewhat muted as well (although they won the game he started in the ALDS in October), however needless to say one can look at that as negative growth year-over-year for Boston. Obviously the BoSox have probably improved their team a bit since April, however that’s one area in which the inverse is true.