The Orioles won’t be adding a high caliber free-agent starting pitcher this offseason, settling for the additions of Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman. Hopes of adding Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb to lead the rotation have subsided.
With both Cashner ($16 M guaranteed over two seasons) and Tillman ($3 M guaranteed in 2018) signed to team-friendly deals, it appeared that further money could be spent on addressing the mediocre rotation, however Roch Kubatko of MASNsports reported earlier that the Orioles checked on Jake Arrieta, Lynn, and Cobb, and determined that there wasn’t a financial match. As such, they have now moved on from the trio.
Seemingly now content to find a fifth starter from camp, options include Miguel Castro, Alec Asher, or Gabriel Ynoa, while Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes could land a spot with a strong spring showing. Mike Wright’s name has been discussed too, unfortunately.
With the luxury of an over-supply of starters in Houston, Collin McHugh has been linked to the Orioles in potential trade talks with the Astros, however that appears unlikely given the Orioles weak farm system and unwillingness to trade away the few high prospects it does have.
The Orioles starting rotation last season had a 5.70 ERA, which was the worst in the major leagues and the second worst of any team this past decade (behind the 2012 Colorado Rockies, 5.81 ERA). In 2018 it’s hoped that the young arms of Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy can find some consistency and deliver on their potential. Cashner and an injury-free Tillman are expected to provide a steady third and fourth option, with the back of the rotation potentially being a combination of others throughout the early parts of the season until a candidate impresses enough to make the role their own.