Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
September 24, 2013
Look? Yes. Will it happen? Can't imagine. The Orioles under Peter Angelos have not been proponents of giving more than three years to a free-agent starting pitcher, and neither has Dan Duquette in his career. It's rarely a good investment. And the top free-agent starters almost always get beyond three years.
This club definitely needs an ace. But so do most teams. The Orioles are hoping Chris Tillman can grow into the role and someone else, perhaps rookie Kevin Gausman, can seize the second spot in the rotation at some point next year.
There is no true ace in this year's market. Matt Garza is probably the top starter available, with Hiroki Kuroda, Bartolo Colon and Ervin Santana among the top tier.
With the hopeful exception of Chris Tillman, the Orioles currently have a collection of mid-to-back-end starters, steady pitchers with little upside. Penciled-in to next year's rotation are Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris, with Kevin Gausman, T.J. McFarland, Steve Johnson and Zach Britton likely spring training rotation candidates.
The Orioles would like to re-sign Scott Feldman, who was acquired in July from the Chicago Cubs and pitched well down the stretch. He'd also like to come back. But he may have pitched himself into a three-year deal, and the Orioles may not do that.
Expect them to kick the tires on various second-tier starters, especially long-coveted lefty Jason Vargas, pictured. But a legitimate ace does not seem attainable.