The Orioles are expected to be busy this winter, as they look to add to a young roster that is showing signs of life after a lengthy rebuild. Left-handed hitting and pitching is top of the list for Baltimore, and Roch Kubatko of MASN notes that the Orioles want “multiple veteran starting pitchers”.
It’s already been reported that the Orioles aren’t expected to do business with the top tier of free agents, ruling them out of the likes of Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom. Instead, they could be aggressive in going after a couple of second and third tier starters to supplement the current crop of pitchers.
As things stand, Dean Kremer, Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells and Austin Voth are four starting options on the roster. Kremer worked to a 3.23 ERA through 21 starts, and while a low BABIP helped him out, there’s enough to suggest he’ll get a chance in the rotation again. Voth is arbitration eligible for the first time and projected to make a modest $2MM salary in 2023. He had a 3.04 ERA in 83 innings after coming over from Washington, and also figures to be part of the rotation.
The other clear option on the roster currently is Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore’s top pitching prospect. He’s yet to make an appearance in the big leagues, but Kubatko is predicting him to make their opening day rotation. The just-turned 23-year-old threw 69 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year, punching out batters 35.8% of the time against a 7.7% walk rate to post a 2.20 ERA.
Should Kremer, Voth and Rodriguez take three spots in the opening day rotation, that’d leave Wells and Bradish as depth options (and both have minor league options) and two spots open for external additions. John Means is the other internal name to consider, but he had Tommy John surgery in April and it’s not clear when he could feature in 2023. So who could the Orioles be in play for?
With a right-handed-heavy provisional rotation, it’d make sense for them to pursue a lefty option. Carlos Rodon is the top option available there, but he falls into the top tier that it seems the Orioles are reluctant to shop in, so instead they could look to add Jose Quintana, a veteran who enjoyed a terrific bounce back season with the Pirates and Cardinals, and would add valuable leadership to a young Baltimore clubhouse. Sean Manaea struggled with the Padres in 2022 but he’d been a reliable arm in Oakland prior to that.
Elsewhere, Chris Bassitt and Jameson Taillon represent solid right-handed options. Both were reliable mid-rotation arms for the Mets and Yankees respectively, and would solidify the rotation. Bassitt turned down a qualifying offer, so the Orioles would have to sacrifice their third-highest pick in the 2023 draft should they go down that route.