If the Baltimore Orioles are going to contend for a playoff spot, they will need to sign a few pitchers for the starting rotation.
Fortunately for the Baltimore Orioles, there are a few consistent and decent hurlers that will become available to the highest bidder on 9:00 AM the day after the World Series ends.
The pitcher with the highest current contract is C.C. Sabathia with $25 million. It’s safe to say that he will not command anything close to that, but he did have an ERA of 3.69 in 148.2 innings pitched. He is still an asset, but without the endurance he once had.
Orioles turned free agents and who remains
Four former Orioles are on the free agent market and they are in the top eight for current contracts. Despite the fact that the O’s dropped $23 million from their books for Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez and whatever was remaining on Jeremy Hellickson‘s $17 million contract, they are not likely to spend $23 million on one pitcher. Wade Miley is also a free agent, which dropped nearly $9 million from the books, too. Duquette needs to figure out how to get at least two solid starters as well as figure out how to keep Manny Machado.
The Orioles will have Dylan Bundy and Gabriel Ynoa for the first three spots in the rotation. So, the team clearly needs a pair of starters. With his rookie status still intact, Ynoa might serve the team better as the fourth or fifth member of the rotation. Bundy might be ready to be the “ace” of the team in 2018. Miguel Castro could make the transition to the rotation, but that is a huge question that won’t be answered anytime soon.
The odds are good that the O’s need three starters
There are several pitchers who could be assets to an Orioles team that is on a real mission to go deep into October:
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- Andrew Cashner is on the market. With the Rangers, he had 11 wins and an ERA of 3.40. He earned $10 million in his last contract but is worth slightly more.
- St. Louis Cardinal Lance Lynn made $8.5 million in 2017. He started in 33 games and had an ERA of 3.43. He is durable, but that durability comes with a price. He is expected to see a 50% salary increase.
- Tyler Chatwood could be another pitcher who is worth a look. As a Colorado Rockies pitcher, he is familiar with pitching in a home-run-friendly park like Camden Yards. He made $4.4 million in 2017 and had an ERA of 4.63.
- Another pitcher who might be worth looking at and will be cheap is Anibal Sanchez. He had a rough couple of seasons with the Tigers, but he can eat up innings and is dedicated to bettering himself. He made $16 million in 2017 and had an ERA of 5.33. In his last three starts in September, his ERA was 3.18.
There are less expensive pitchers available, but they are less expensive for a reason. If the Orioles want to contend, they will have to pay for it.