The off-season for the 2018 season of the MLB has been very slow for most of the teams, and the Orioles have been no different. The free agent pool of roughly 90 MLB players are not happy with the front offices around the league, but clubs are anxious about spending top dollar; especially for players that usually only get big deals because they don’t have to compete with huge stars.
The slow market has been beneficial for teams like the Orioles, simply because players now are just trying to make it on rosters before spring training games start next week and are signing team-friendly deals. Every O’s fan knows that the team needs pitching and they answered the call, to an extent.
Why are nearly 90 MLB free agents still unsigned as camps open across Florida and Arizona?
The union's boss decries owners’ "excuses" https://t.co/ImAaV52vgS
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 16, 2018
Andrew Cashner signed a two-year, $16 million contract to join the Orioles rotation with Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. The Texas Rangers attempted to bring him back, but only wanted to offer him a bullpen position. The best years for Cashner are behind him, but he will be a serviceable #3-4 rotation pitcher, as he posted a 3.40 ERA in 2017. He isn’t a strikeout guy, but Cashner will draw a fair amount of ground balls that his infield can use to get out of jams. This was a smart signing for Baltimore, who desperately needed starting pitching. With that, the Orioles know that they still need a few more pieces.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) February 16, 2018
The Orioles are still in search of another rotation piece, and a left-handed batter for the 40-man roster. In a previous article, “Free agent market right where the Orioles want it”, I mentioned that the addition of Alex Cobb would be great for the O’s in the fact that Cashner is similar to Cobb, as both induce plenty of ground balls. The most important note here is that Cobb can be had for around the same price range as Cashner. A left-handed outfielder is also a need for the lineup, but the O’s may be banking on a guy they already have in the system by the name of Anthony Santandar, who happens to be a switch hitter.
Five Things To Know About Orioles Outfield Prospect Anthony Santander https://t.co/cUl0eZ1B4o
— ZantiGM (@GMZanti) February 16, 2018
This era of the Orioles is coming to a close with Manny Machado most likely leaving, Adam Jones becoming a free agent, and with Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter’s contract’s expiring at the end of the season. This is the time for the team to go all in and give the Orioles fans one more look at postseason baseball until the next regime takes over.
This group has been underwhelming for the last few years, but also left good memories by ending the thirteen-year playoff drought and won a division title to boot. All in all, however short lived the success was, Baltimore got excited about baseball again; something that was desperately needed.
Paul Moseley | Fort Worth Star-Telegram