19 November 2017

The Orioles Are Interested In Being Interested

One constant among nearly every MLB offseason is that the Orioles are going to be interested in lots of players. That has no bearing on whether they'll actually follow through, of course. The O's are the department store customer who's not only just browsing, but who really has no desire to purchase anything that's not on the discount rack. If you're familiar with the pros and cons of free agency, that's not a horrible strategy. Still, the annual charade can be exhausting (though mildly amusing).

Just check out which players the Orioles are reportedly "interested in" in the past couple weeks:
There will be more. Still, it makes sense that the Orioles would have interest in the tier of starting pitchers under Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. Even though O's ownership likely wouldn't be thrilled with another four-year deal near or above the $50 million it took to sign Ubaldo Jimenez, if they want to bring aboard the services of Cobb or Lynn or maybe even Chatwood, it could take something close.

The Orioles always cast a wide net in their free agent search, but it's one that's filled with holes. Dan Duquette would probably tell you the O's target potential bargains who slip through the cracks; as O's fans have learned, those players often slip through for a reason.

The O's have found success using these strategies in the Duquette/Buck Showalter era, but they need real help in the starting rotation. Sometimes you can't get around paying what actual upgrades cost. And, well, if you do, you might end up selling Vargas and Tillman as the main upgrades to a rotation that's destined to fail again - and in perhaps the final seasons that Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and Zach Britton will be in Baltimore.


Anonymous said...

Sigh. I hate being prepped for disappointment.

Unknown said...

I think my ideal scenario would involve Cobb and Lynn, but I highly doubt Duquette gets authorization to commit upwards of $30 million a year to 2 pitchers. In addition to being the guys for whom I like the floor/ceiling combination the best, these 2 guys meet my additional criterion. They have career resumes that would put them at the top of the projected rotation next spring. As much as we say rotation spots don't matter after the roster is constructed, they matter to some people. It seems to me that they matter to Gausman. If there's been anything consistent about his performance with the O's, it's that it's been inversely related to expectations. When he's expected to be one of the guys at the top of the rotation he doesn't seem able to handle the pressure and hasn't pitched well. Once expectations finally disappear and people stop talking about him turning his season around, he remembers how to pitch. If he comes into the spring projected as the 4th guy in the rotation maybe he can be better prepared psychologically to recapture his 2016 form or better.