The Baltimore Orioles haven’t had much luck over the years when acquiring new starting pitchers.
Recent Baltimore Orioles signee Dan Straily has struggled, to say the least, in his first few appearances for the Birds. The 30-year-old RHP has given up 11 earned runs in 9.2 innings, leaving him with a 10.24 ERA and 1.86 WHIP through his first three games, while giving up four home runs. Straily has been a far cry from the guy who went 14-8 with a 3.76 ERA in 31 starts for the Cincinnati Reds in 2016.
On a positive note, he did throw five innings of one-run ball against the Boston Red Sox on Monday afternoon, allowing just two hits and walking one. Neither of those hits were home runs.
His early struggles have brought back memories of other transactions the Baltimore Orioles have made in the past decade to help bolster the rotation. Year after year, it seems the team brings in a starting pitcher, through trade or free agency, who is unable to find success in the Charm City.
Here’s a look back at five pitching transactions that didn’t work out. Hopefully, Straily doesn’t add his name to this list in the future.
Ubaldo Jimenez (2014-2017)
The Orioles welcomed former Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez in February of 2014 with a four-year, $50 million deal. Jimenez was coming off a bounce-back 2013 season with the Cleveland Indians in which he went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA (after leading the league with 17 losses in 2012). He had a track record of ace capabilities when he was in Colorado, finishing third in National League Cy Young award voting in 2010.
However, Jimenez was atrocious in Baltimore. In four seasons, his lowest ERA was 4.11 as he finished his Orioles career with a 32-42 record and 5.22 ERA. His command was all over the place, allowing 4.2 walks per nine innings. His most notable career moment was the 2016 American League Wild Card game when he gave up a walk-off home run to Edwin Encarnacion to allow the Blue Jays to advance to the division series.
Scott Feldman (2013)
This one stings Orioles’ fans, possibly like no other transaction made by the team in recent history. The Birds traded for Scott Feldman, who was having a career year with the Cubs in 2013, to try to make a push to the playoffs that season. He made 15 starts for the Orioles and posted a 4.27 ERA, going 5-6 during his short tenure in Baltimore. Included in the trade was starter Jake Arrieta, a guy who looked as though he could not figure it out in Baltimore. Arrieta won the 2015 Cy Young and helped the Cubs end their 107-year World Series drought in 2016.
Kevin Millwood (2010)
The Orioles traded for Kevin Millwood from the Texas Rangers in December of 2009. The former member of an Atlanta Braves staff featuring Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Greg Maddux was coming off a bounce-back season in 2009 in which he posted a 13-10 record with a 3.67 ERA. However, in his one season with the Orioles, he had one of the worst seasons of his career. Millwood led the league with 16 losses and posted an ERA of 5.10. He allowed more than 10 hits per game and finished with a 1.51 WHIP.
Andrew Cashner (2018-present)
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The jury is still somewhat out on Andrew Cashner, as he is currently on the team and in the second year of a two-year/$16 million deal with a $10 million option for 2020, but so far, it has not gone well for the big righty. After a solid season with Texas in 2017, in which he posted a 3.40 ERA, he has been less than stellar in Baltimore, going 7-16 with a 5.30 ERA in 32 starts with 29 home runs allowed.
Yovani Gallardo (2016)
Baltimore signed Yovani Gallardo to a three-year/$35 million deal before the 2016 season with a $13 million option for 2019. Gallardo, like Millwood and Cashner, was coming off a solid season with his former team, going 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA. In Baltimore, he lasted just one year, going 6-8 with a 5.42 ERA and walking nearly five hitters per game before he was traded to the Mariners in exchange for Seth Smith. He is currently a free agent.
It will be interesting to see if Dan Straily usurps any of these transactions or gets it going in his Oriole career. Hopefully, the team can finally develop viable starting pitchers in the farm system so these transactions are avoided in the future.