Baltimore Orioles: Six Post-Winter Meetings Free Agent Pitching Targets
By Nick Stevens
Which pitchers will the Baltimore Orioles sign? No one knows for sure, but a bunch of possible fits have been thrown around.
The Baltimore Orioles need starting pitchers, lots of them. During the Winter Meetings in San Diego, general manager Mike Elias said he wants eight to nine starting candidates in spring training, meaning he’s going to have to add a few more warm bodies to the mix who don’t mind pitching for one of the worst teams in baseball, in a ballpark that is unfriendly to pitchers as one can be, all while navigating through the gauntlet that is the American League East.
Sounds like quite the pitch to free agents, doesn’t it?
If the season started today, the Baltimore Orioles rotation would consist of LHP John Means, RHP Alex Cobb, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, and likely LHP Keegan Akin. Means is the only lock after earning a trip to the All-Star game in his rookie season last year. We don’t know if Cobb will be 100% or even provide any value at this point, Wojo is a 30-year-old journeyman who has just 161 major league innings under his belt since 2015 (82 came in 2019), and Akin still has to prove himself in spring training before earning a big league gig.
Other internal candidates include the likes of David Hess, Tom Eshelman, Chandler Shepherd, and Ty Blach, with Dean Kremer and Bruce Zimmermann becoming likely candidates after more seasoning in Triple-A. The Orioles need help, they know they need help, but where is it going to come from?
We have taken a look at a few possible options, but even thinking about Ivan Nova or Taijuan Walker may be thinking too big. Welcome to the 2020 Baltimore Orioles.
Orioles beat writers Joe Trezza of MLB.com and Dan Connolly of The Athletic both recently put out their shortlist of potential signings and the lists are underwhelming, but a shot of reality. So, we took out the names of pitchers who have already signed elsewhere and pitchers we have already looked at and are taking a look at the positives and negatives of each new name thrown out by both reporters.
At the end of the piece, let us know if any of these six pitchers interest you!