4 extensions the Orioles must prioritize when new ownership takes over

Here are the young players the Orioles need to extend now that they aren't going to be owned by cheapskates.

Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages
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Grayson Rodriguez

If there is a weakness on the Orioles' projected roster over the next few years, it is in the starting rotation. The lineup looks to be in great shape for the foreseeable future, and the bullpen should be in a decent spot once Felix Bautista returns, but the rotation doesn't have anywhere close to the long-term depth Baltimore is going to need going forward, even if Orioles somehow find a way to convince the newly acquired Corbin Burnes to stick around.

That is where Grayson Rodriguez comes into play. Often overlooked because of the scope of Baltimore's position player strength, Rodriguez is not far removed from being one of the best pitching prospects in baseball while putting up nutty strikeout numbers in the minor leagues. While his big league numbers in 2023 were fairly pedestrian, he showed plenty of flashes of what he can do down the stretch, and with a new pitch poised to help Rodriguez take the next step in 2024, the Orioles should try to strike now.

Extending pitchers is inherently risky, given how prone to long-term injuries they tend to be. Rodriguez hasn't been immune to the injury bug himself, as a lat injury cost him a chunk of time in 2022 in the minor leagues. However, a scaled down version of Spencer Strider's extension with the Braves seems like a good place to start a conversation with Rodriguez.

Such a move would keep Rodriguez cost-controlled in the event that he does truly break out and remove the uncertainty of arbitration. Rodriguez is also probably acutely aware of the risky demographic in which he resides, and given that he isn't a Boras client, it sure seems like he could be open to securing his financial future without forcing the Orioles to break the bank.