The Baltimore Orioles have had a very quiet offseason, other than the trade rumors involving Manny Machado. Despite a lack of major moves, the Orioles have a returning offense that has the potential to be one of the best in the MLB, but their pitching staff still is a major liability and could keep the Orioles at the bottom of the AL East.
A number of starting pitchers remain unsigned in free agency, and the Orioles should try to acquire at least one starting pitcher and other relief pitchers. Multiple Orioles relief pitchers have been rumored to be making a transition to a starting role, but the Orioles should sign some veteran starters to ensure they have a legitimate chance at competing for the AL East crown. Here are a few proven starters the Orioles could still acquire in free agency:
Pitching for the Chicago Cubs last season, Arrieta finished with a 14-10 record and a 3.53 ERA. Though he began his major league career with Baltimore Orioles in 2010, Arrieta was traded to the Cubs in 2013 and rose in popularity after a stellar season in 2015 when he finished with a 22-6 record and won the AL Cy Young Award. He may not have had as solid of a season last year as he did in 2015, but Arrieta definitely has the potential to be the ace of Baltimore’s pitching staff and would be a positive addition to the Orioles if they could sign him.
Cashner pitched for the Texas Rangers last season, and he had the 13th best wins above replacement (WAR) among pitchers at 4.56. He would be another good option for the Orioles, as Cashner, 31, has eight years of major league experience and is a solid starting pitching option that the Orioles could rely on for important games next year.
Darvish is an All-Star pitcher that is probably the best remaining pitcher available in free agency. This would make him a more expensive option for the Orioles, as I explained in my article from two months ago, but he would make a huge difference in the Orioles’ starting rotation because he has postseason experience and has the pitching ability to be an ace for Baltimore.
Lynn has pitched his entire career for the St. Louis Cardinals, but he would be a reasonably priced option for the Orioles to sign. He was an All-Star in 2012, and he would be a consistent starter for the Orioles, who need more than anything to have consistency from their starting pitchers. Since he is not the biggest name on the market and has not had outstanding seasons, the Orioles could likely sign Lynn for a reasonable price but gain a serviceable player who could once again have a year like 2017 when he went 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA.
Vargas finished with an 18-11 record last season with the Kansas City Royals, despite a relatively high 4.16 ERA. He was an All-Star for the first time in his career last year, and the Orioles could use a starting pitcher like Vargas that has not had a below .500 record since the 2012 season.
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