The Baltimore Orioles could look to sign a veteran pitcher coming off an injury on a low-risk/low-cost deal.
Over the last few weeks, we have highlighted four different possible low-cost pitching options the Baltimore Orioles could target in free agency this winter. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check any of them out, you can find the links below. Let’s offer up one final free agent profile piece, but this time we’re upping it to include three possible options.
Mike Elias has made it clear that he is looking to add pitching depth to come in and compete for rotation and bullpen spots in spring training after watching his pitching staff just barely crawl across the finish line of the 2019 season.
John Means may have earned himself an All-Star appearance and finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting, but Orioles pitchers finished last among major league teams in combined Wins Above Replacement (5.5 fWAR), home runs allowed (1.90/9 IP), and ERA (5.67)
Andrew Cashner was putting together a career-year before being shipped up to Boston, Aaron Brooks left the Charm City for South Korea, and Gabriel Ynoa recently elected free agency instead of accepting an assignment to Triple-A after being designated for assignment.
Those three arms accounted for approximately 18% of all innings pitched in 2019 for the Orioles. It was already hard enough to cover nine innings of a game when starters were skipped for extra rest. It’s going to be harder to replace that kind of usage over the course of what is sure to be another long season in Baltimore.
We highlighted RHP Ivan Nova (link here) as someone capable of eating many of those innings with his long track record of going deep into games. There’s also Robbie Erlin and his extremely low walk rates and ability to keep the ball in the yard. Or how about Jhoulys Chacin? Chacin has been successful in Colorado and had one of his best seasons ever on a really bad San Diego Padres team.
All four of these options are sure to be cheap gets with potential to turn things and around and command some sort of return in a deadline trade, but did we think cheap enough?
Here are three veteran options who have found success in the past but will likely have to take prove-it deals this winter as they attempt a comeback in 2020. It may be more realistic to expect the Orioles to look for these kinds of signings, similar to last season’s Nate Karns experiment.