Baltimore Orioles: Three Bounce-Back Free Agent Pitching Options
Alex Wood could have the highest upside for the Baltimore Orioles.
Wood, also 28 years old, found early success in the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, but started just seven games for the Cincinnati Reds after being traded in the offseason along with outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig.
The Reds were getting a left-handed pitcher who had logged just north of 150 innings in each of the last two seasons, won a combined 25 games, struck out 286 hitters, and made his first All-Star game in 2017 (finished 9th in Cy Young voting).
Wood went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and .216 average against during that 2017 season and proved his breakout season wasn’t a fluke after putting up similar value the following season.
Unfortunately, back injuries limited Wood to just seven starts in 2019. He was 1-3 with a 5.80 ERA, giving up an uncharacteristic 11 home runs in 35 innings. According to Fangraphs, Wood was worth -0.2 Wins Above Replacement.
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He now enters free agency for the first time in his career, looking to replicate some of his earlier success in the big leagues. Wood believes he is on track to being 100% healthy for next season, per a quote from this Cincinnati.com article.
If so, Wood is 53-43 with a 3.40 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 22% strikeout rate, and 6.8% walk rate across his career. Like many other free agent pitchers we have profiled, Wood rarely gives up a home run, giving up just 79 in 839 career innings (0.8/9 IP).
MLB Trade Rumors projects Wood signing a one-year deal worth $8 million with Seattle. His potential upside is very high, likely leading to many teams giving him a call this winter. The Orioles aren’t looking to add much to the payroll in the offseason, but if Wood can bounce back, he could net whichever team that signs him a few impressive prospects at the trade deadline.
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