Of course, none of those incumbent pitchers are especially talented. Depending on your point of view, they pretty much all fit into the fringe middle rotation for a first division club. There is nothing top tier about any of them. Add that to the second tier nature of the trade items they have inquired upon, and it seems the team is very much obsessed with adding depth with more of the same.
In other words, they are trying to acquire more deck chairs in order to rearrange them. Perhaps the idea is to push existing starting pitchers into positions in the bullpen in order to strengthen that side while collecting arms that can slide into the rotation. There is some sense to that, but one should expect a premium to be spent on any starting pitcher that can, well, start. That is a very valuable skill.
Below, you can see how much value can be expected from each of the Orioles' starters based on ZiPS. These numbers assumed a full slate of games for each of them.
|ZiPS remaining fWAR|
ZiPS still projects Jimenez to do well. It knows what he has done this season, but recognizes that he can switch on like a light bulb. The pitchers who ZiPS dislikes most are Tillman and Gonzalez, who are both pitchers who do not do well under fWAR. The reason for this is that they both tend to vastly outperform FIP, which fWAR relies upon in their methodology. With that in mind, their values probably rise up to the others in the rotation mix.
When you look at the available second tier arms, there is not much that is exceptional:
|ZiPS remaining WAR||pr 2014||Future|
|Ian Kennedy||0.7||2 MM||Arb-3|
|Bartolo Colon||0.7||3.3 MM||10 MM|
|John Lackey||0.9||5.1 MM||0.5 MM option|
|AJ Burnett||0.5||5 MM||15 MM (m) option|
|Roberto Hernandez||-0.2||1.5 MM||FA|
|Kyle Kendrick||0.2||2.6 MM||FA|
|Kevin Correia||0.2||1.6 MM||FA|
|Jorge De La Rosa||0.5||3.5 MM||FA|
|Scott Feldman||0.3||4 MM||2yr 18 MM|
|Erik Bedard||0.2||0.35 MM||FA|
|John Danks||0.2||4 MM||2yr 28.5 MM|
|Justin Masterson||0.8||3.4 MM||FA|
|Colby Lewis||0.4||0.35 MM||FA|
|Edwin Jackson||0.6||3.7 MM||2yr 22MM|
Of that batch of arms, the only one that looks very interesting is John Lackey due to his 0.5 MM salary next year. Beyond him, maybe a pitcher like Ian Kennedy (if healthy) who has another year left to his deal or someone like Colby Lewis who has some time as a reliever in place. Supposedly, that is the draw on Jorge De La Rosa. The club has been leaked as being interested in him as a lefty out of the pen, but that would mean some juggling in the pen and it would put him in a position that he had not performed in since he was with the Brewers.
As it stands, perhaps a target such as Kennedy, Colon, Lackey, Masterson, or even Jackson would enable the club to take one of their cost controlled pitchers and turn them into a useful piece at second base where there is room for considerable improvement. One could imagine that being able to acquire someone like Jorge De La Rosa would enable the club to package Miguel Gonzalez or Wei-Yin Chen for a bigger piece at second. At least, that would be what I would be looking into.