With a one-year deal, the Baltimore Orioles re-signed Chris Tillman. Yes, they really did re-sign the worst pitcher on the 2017 team.
This Baltimore Orioles signing proves that when it comes to baseball, there is something to be said about who you know.
The worst in the MLB
Per several reports on Tillman, he had interest from several teams, including the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins. But, Tillman chose the Orioles and the deal is reportedly for one year and $3 million.
Tillman started in 19 games and earned one win in 2017. He recorded a -2.2 WAR and an ERA of 7.84. For comparison purposes, Ubaldo Jimenez who isn’t on anyone’s radar right now, had an ERA of 6.81 in 25 starts. Jimenez, who was horrible in 2017, had six wins. Hopefully, the Orioles are not planning on bringing the whole squad back together for 2018.
Tillman was not just bad in 2017. He was the worst starting pitcher in the entire league. Not the American League, the entire Major League. And, the Orioles just re-signed him to a guaranteed $3 million contract.
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Does this team even want to win?
This signing shows that the Orioles are not dedicated to winning. They are simply filling holes in the rotation. It looks like the rotation will include, in no particular order, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman, and one of the minor league pitchers like Gabriel Ynoa or Miguel Castro. No Orioles fan should feel confident putting this lineup against the big hitters in the AL East.
There are a few good thing about this re-signing. Tillman should be able to eat some innings, which the Orioles need. Also, he has had some seasons that haven’t been awful. His career ERA is 4.43. And, in 2016, his ERA was sub-four. If he can get back to his pre-2017 form, he could be an asset. But, this is a big if as he was really, really bad in 2017.
Maybe, just maybe, Orioles fans will even be treated to Chris Tillman getting the start on Opening Day. Or, maybe Dan Duquette can bring back Jimenez? I think Jeremy Hellickson is still available.