There was a “legitimate possibility” of the Orioles exercising Wade Miley’s $12MM club option for the 2018 season before a late collapse, writes Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, but the team now looks likely to buy that option out for $500K. Baltimore will be on the hunt for a left-handed starter this winter, but as Encina points out, the free-agent market is hardly rife with appealing options. Most of the lefties available are reclamation projects or back-of-the-rotation starters, with 35-year-old Jason Vargas and 37-year-old CC Sabathia representing the southpaws that enjoyed the most success in 2017. Encina notes that the weak crop of lefty starters may force the O’s to really evaluate whether they’d like to “balance” out their all-right-handed rotation or simply set their sights on overall quality regardless of handedness. Of course, it should be noted that even the offseason crop of right-handed starters carries more question marks than sure things, and the O’s will need to add a minimum of two starters. Suffice it to say, GM Dan Duquette will have his work cut out for him.
More out of Baltimore…
- The O’s don’t look likely to make any significant additions to their lineup, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Catcher Welington Castillo is expected to decline his modest $7MM player option on the heels of a terrific all-around season, but Baltimore may simply hand catching duties over to top prospect Chance Sisco and Caleb Joseph. In the outfield, Adam Jones will return in center field, with Trey Mancini and young Austin Hays the favorites to work in the corners. (Mark Trumbo, then, would be the DH.) However, Kubatko does note that Hays, a 2016 third-rounder who skyrocketed through the system, won’t merely be handed a job. Inferring a bit, that’d suggest that the O’s could add a veteran outfield option to push Hays and possibly handle some corner work early in the year of Hays proves to need more development time.
- While the Orioles’ farm has long been ranked among the bottom minor league systems in the game, they’ve made some significant progress in that regard as of late, writes MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski. Melewski spoke to MLB.com’s Jim Callis and both J.J. Cooper and John Manuel of Baseball America in recent weeks, with each suggesting that the Orioles now rate more as a middle-of-the-pack farm (in the 15 to 20 range throughout MLB). The improvements come largely based on Hays’ breakout and the presence of Sisco, both of whom will likely exhaust their rookie status early in the 2018 season. But 2017 first-rounder DL Hall, 2015 supplemental rounder Ryan Mountcastle and a once-again healthy Hunter Harvey have helped bolster the top end of the farm for the time being. There’s still a lack of pitching help in the upper levels, however — an element that is particularly troublesome given the current state of the big league roster.
Triple A turd squad can’t fill a MLB roation. Please, DD for the love of Earl, go get some quality starters. No more Ubaldo/Miley weak sauce.
You and so many others talk as if he hasn;t tried. Name three free agent pitchers in the last ten years (truly free agents, not ones that signed extensions with their own teams) that have been worth their contract. Or even 80% of their contract. I’ll wait.
well, in all fairness, if you have Wade Miley and Ubaldo in the rotation, odds are you aren’t trying, or not trying hard enough
Price for the Red Sox, Rich Hill for the Dodgers, and Zack Greinke for the Dbacks, soon to be Chapman for the Yankees. I look forward to your reply. I’m waiting.
Max Scherzer. Yu Darvish. Jon Lester. Not really that hard. You are never going to win a pennant unless you are willing to develop and pay for starting pitching. The Orioles haven’t done that since McNally, Cuellar, Dobson and Palmer.
the earth is flat
What free agent pitchers have been worth their contracts? I’ll give you more than three.
Zack Greinke 6/147 to the Dodgers. He opted out after he realized how much he was underpaid.
Darvish 6/60 to the Rangers.
Kazmir 2/22 to the A’s
Cashner 1/10 to the Rangers.
Samardzija 5/90 to the Giants.
Garza 4/50 to the Brewers
Here are just 5 examples for you. Bet you regret what you said now.
Samardzija and Price were good free agent deals?? What planet are you folks living on? Price was very good out of the bullpen but 218 million for a reliver is terrible. Samardzija is one of the many terrible 2015 free agent deals.
Your kidding right ? Samar and Garza have SUCKED..
Bartolo Colon 2016 Mets
Bartolo Colon 2014/15 Mets
Bartolo Colon 2013 A’s
Bartolo Colon 2012 A’s
Bartolo Colon 2011 Yankees
Yea which version was clean?
Not sure, but they were all sexy.
JA Happ, Rich Hill, RA Dickey, Jhoulys Chacin, Ervin Santana, Johnny Cueto, Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Jason Hammel. And that’s only in the last couple of offseasons
Ubaldo was worth the contract he signed when it was signed. Now though, he’s not worth a bag of balls. Miley was a middle of the rotation arm before coming to Baltimore, which is what he has been paid to be. His performance post-trade is a different conversation.
It’s actually kind of impressive how they’ve improved their farm without international talent. I don’t know if it’s whether their scouts have got lucky or done a good job, but they did get good players.
They do have pretty good minor league coaches.
that’s a great name…DL Hall
Mancini will be starting at 1B not RF
You’re crazy to think Chris Davis won’t be starting at 1B. If Angelos wouldn’t allow Ubaldo to be DFA’d, what makes you think he’s going to allow the man that was signed to the largest contract in O’s history to ride the pine? Mancini SHOULD be the starting first baseman, but simply won’t happen while Davis is under contract.
Trading for Moore might make some sense if they insist on not rebuilding.
Another option could be using Brach (who’s contract is expiring after next year) to try and acquire a starter. Tanner Scott pretty is much ready to replace him at this point,
Tanner Scott threw three inning starts the majority of the season. Spring training won’t be long enough to stretch him out sufficiently to begin the year in the rotation; mid-season is a different conversation.
They were saying Scott could replace Brach who isn’t a starter.
Baltimore’s pitching philosophy in the minor league system is that everyone is a starter until the hitters tell you that you’re a reliever. Tanner Scott has done absolutely nothing to lose the opportunity to be a major league starter.
“The Orioles’ plan for Scott this year has worked very well. A reliever for most of his first three seasons on the O’s farm, they moved him to a starting role this year at Bowie. But Scott was not converting to a starter. They just wanted him to throw three-inning outings. This would allow him more work on his pitches and controlling them better, plus he would have a bullpen between starts to further work on all the above.”
Well, the likelihood of tanner Scott throwing more strikes than wade Miley if his starting is no better than 50/50. Don’t like his chances of being an effective starter. A reliever, sure. Guys with shaky command don’t usually get better later in games.
I think they might be able to survive without Machado. Schoop and Mancini should make up for Machado’s offense. The loss of Machado’s defense is what would concern me.
The O’s need a center field option so than can ease Adam Jones into a corner role as he continues to age.
While I agree, AJ seems to be too prideful to let that happen yet…Hays is capable though, as is Mullins (when he’s ready for a call-up).
Jones is a FA after 2018. No reason to ease him into anything.
Two of the Orioles top 5 prospects are center fielders. #2 Hays and #5 Mullins.
Need a good lefty? Just call Derek Holland up he comes cheap
Are repping this guy or what….
Dan Duquette might be the worst GM I’ve seen. He can’t build a farm and spends money where he doesn’t need. No speed on the bases, no rotation. Like bro, it’s time to rebuild. You aren’t competing against the Red Sox, Yankees or even Tampa for the next 3 seasons.
It’s not Duquette’s call. Angelos makes most decisions. Duke tried to escape to another team and Angelos wouldn’t let him out of his contract. I would expect that this is Duke’s last year in Baltimore since his contract is up at the end of the season.
I disagree. Angelos is like the Stephen Hawking of MLB owners. No disrespect to Professor Hawking, but Angelos has to one foot in the grave.
Finding talent in the draft isn’t hard.
Developing the talent that is drafted is where the money is made.
We know that Angelos won’t allow Duquette to go after any big name free agent starters even if he claims to want to contend in 2018. At best we will see retreads and guys trying to rebuild their value.
To me, Sabathia seems like a good fit for the O’s. He pitched reasonably well in Yankee Stadium and the AL East. I always have a problem picking up a pitcher like Vargas that pitched in a pitchers park and then expecting them to do well in an extreme hitter’s park like Camden Yards.
Since he is so young and throws hard I think Chatwood would be another good pickup for the O’s. Still going to need depth and the O’s don’t have much ready on the farm, so I would think a cheap, back of the rotation filler type is going to be part of Duke’s offseason plans.
I will be sad to see Castillo go, but with Chance seemingly ready I don;t see a huge problem with letting him walk and spending that money on pitching.