As it stands, the rotation is:
Chris TillmanMike Wright appears to have the most tenuous grasp of his slot. Miguel Gonzalez might also feel some heat as his poor end to the season may be coupled with a long-term shoulder injury and whispers of a non-tender.
This past weekend many people, even long time writers, were surprisingly astonished by the deal that J.A. Happ signed with Toronto (three years, 36 MM). They obviously were not paying attention to Happ (a 3 WAR last season with sufficient back end rotation performance in 2013 and 2014) or baseball contracts in general. Our BORAS model actually overpredicted Happ's earnings by 4 MM. In other words, we prepared our audience quite well to the realities of what Happ would cost. Twelve million a year makes complete sense for a four slot pitcher on a competitive club. It is why Jimenez' deal is actually quite on target market-wise.
The BORAS model did underpredict the money that Jordan Zimmermann wound up seeing from the Tigers, but it did get the number of years right (which is a bit easier to project). BORAS suggested a light 5/88 deal, but he signed a 5/110 deal. The opposite reaction was delivered with the Zimmermann signing compared to the Happ inking, which was that Zimmermann left money on the table by signing early. Personally, I think this will wind up being a massive overpay for Zimmermann. Batters tend to hit him hard (bottom third for starting pitchers) and he misses few bats (bottom third for starting pitchers). At 30, he is well on his way to losing velocity and I question how well he will be able to adapt to another mile or two drop. It should be noted that being hit hard or missing few bats is not an automatic collapse of a pitcher, but if I am handing out a two slot contract then I want to be more sure of that pitcher. I would not want that pitcher to be at the bottom of those two metrics.
Where will the Orioles go? I am unsure at the moment. The club went through many discussions and connections until arriving at Ubaldo Jimenez a couple years back. That happened after the publicized failure to come to terms with Tim Hudson, Bronson Arroyo, Gavin Floyd, and Scott Kazmir among others. The club, with as many holes as it has, may decided to let the market play out and see who falls.
Below is the list of the available pitchers and the BORAS projections. I expect Cueto, Fister, Price, and Kennedy are underprojections. If I would guess, the last two pitchers to sign will be Samardzija and Kennedy. Iwakuma might delay depending on his interests. If I would be held to pick which one suits up in an Orioles uniform, my guess would be Samardzija.