Free agent market right where the Orioles want it


The Orioles start their pitching mini-camp this week, but have remained quiet on adding starting pitching and hitting from the outside. Baltimore has been known in the past, under Duquette, to wait around for cheaper options, with no real big splashes. However, minus C.C. Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka (who didn’t opt out of his deal), most of the top starting pitchers remain without deals.

This could be due to teams waiting for the other to set the market for those free agents, and so the waiting game continues. With pitchers and catchers reporting in a little over a month, expect the dominoes to start falling shortly.

The big question is, where are the Orioles with any of these sought after free agents? The O’s were linked to Alex Cobb back in November, but have seemed to look at other pitchers, with the Cubs making an aggressive multi year offer to him recently. They have recently met with Andrew Cashner, who finished 2017 with a 3.40 ERA (15th among starting pitching) and 86 strikeouts. A Gold Glove infield in Baltimore should be enticing to a pitcher like Cashner.

The interesting aspect for the Orioles is that they don’t need to jump from worst to first next season, but they have to be better than last year. If Baltimore were to get Cashner, they could possibly bring back Chris Tillman on a cheap “prove it” deal to fill out a four-man rotation that already includes Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

The Orioles finished 27th in the league in team ERA in 2017 (4.97) and they could knock that down by .50 or so, which would put them within the top fifteen. With so many pitchers still on the market, and many will be forced to take cheaper deals, the Orioles could have some decent talent fall into their lap for the right price.

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