3 reasons why signing pitching next offseason makes more sense for O’s

We are officially on the back end of what seemed to be a crazy offseason, and the Orioles currently have made mostly small upgrades to fill out their roster and build depth.

The biggest issue that Orioles fans currently have is that the organization didn’t sign a big name in the free agent pitching market. Personally, I would say the move, or lack thereof, makes sense, and GM Mike Elias should wait until after the 2023 season to attack heavy on pitching.

Therefore, here are my three reasons why waiting until after this season makes more sense to sign free ageng pitching for the Orioles.

1. Development

The Orioles have the concensus best farm system in baseball, having the top prospect two times in the span of a year alone with Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson. With that being said, the Orioles have some of the most underrated pitching prospects who are currently waiting for their chance in the majors.

With Grayson Rodriguez hopefully making his debut this year, along with Drew Rom, Peter Van Loon and many others, the Orioles need to trust in the development of those players.

Signing a starting pitcher would put the Orioles into a situation where the development of players would most likely be put on unless you sign someone to a team-friendly one-year deal, such as Michael Wacha or Chris Archer.

Also, with Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer, two arms that had some struggles in 2022 but over time turned into solid starters, the O’s already have two spots in their rotation taken specifically for development and improvement at the big league level.

2. The Price Tag

This offseason had pitchers sign for a lot of money in so little time.

The 2022 AL Cy Young Award winner, Justin Verlander, signed a two-year, $86.67 million contract with the New York Mets. That’s an average annual value (AAV) of $43.33 million for a 39-year-old.

Now, you could argue that players like Jacob deGrom, who signed a five-year deal with the Texas Rangers, and Carlos Rodón, who signed a six-year deal with the New York Yankees, were signed to reasonable deals due to age, productivity and skill set. But this is what needs to be remembered over time.

Players like Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson are players who could be labeled as superstars very soon. And guess what superstars want: money.

It would make more sense for the Orioles to use this offseason to extend Rutschman and other young players. Then, use next offseason to attack the pitching market when there are quality pitchers on the market who might require less money, which leads to our final point.

3. The 2024 Free Agent Pitching Market

The 2024 free agency pitching class is not only really good, but there are also players that are quality arms and cheaper than the ones from the 2023 market.

With names like Julio Urías, Aaron Nola and Trevor Bauer on the starting pitching market and Josh Hader, Liam Hendriks and Matt Barnes in the reliever market, you have names that will cost maybe $8 to $15 million per year and still give you significant productivity on the mound.

Names like Lucas Giolito, Blake Snell, Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas are guys who won’t cost as much as a Verlander or deGrom but can still prove their worth to help the Orioles.

Other names like Lance Lynn, Kyle Hendricks and Corey Kluber, who have club options, and Marcus Stroman, who has a player option, could potentially test the waters of free agency in 2024.

Please remember one thing. It’s obvious that a pitcher can sign for a large amount and absolutely fall apart in that season and be labeled as a bad signing. But sometimes, in baseball, it’s worth taking the risk.

The Orioles not overpaying on pitchers and not spending that much money is the best case scenario for this offseason. They are still an AL Wild Card caliber team and will most likely have a .500 record or better with the guys they have right now.

What do you think about the Orioles not signing a big name free agent pitcher? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

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One thought on “3 reasons why signing pitching next offseason makes more sense for O’s

  1. I like what the have right now. I can’t see tieing up big $$$ for any length of time. As Zachary said in the article, our young guys are going to want to get paid in the not too distant future. I’d rather lock up these young bats now, and let the young arms we have under contract grow into their roles as a unit. I really believe we’re not that far off a solid 5 man rotation right now with Wells, Kremer and Bradish leading the way. Assuming Rodriguez, Hall and hopefully Bauman continue to progress as anticipated, and that’s not a bad start! And who knows, maybe we haven’t see the last of John Means either?
    So why lock up any money on a free agent for more than a year? Doesn’t make sense.
    Besides…does anybody really think ownership is going to poney up any serious money anway?


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