Tap-In Question: With Cashner added, what's your next move to improve the Orioles for 2018? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: With Cashner added, what’s your next move to improve the Orioles for 2018?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Welcome to a weekend edition of the bar bog.

We’ve opened Connolly’s doors on a Saturday for a special occasion: The Orioles have finally signed someone. They’ve finally signed a pitcher. And a legitimate major league pitcher that we’ve all heard of. Not some guy who pitched fairly well at Greenville last year.

Veteran right-hander Andrew Cashner is in the rotation mix now after signing a two-year, $16 million deal with the Orioles Thursday that could stretch to three years and $41 million if everything goes swimmingly for the big fella.

We had more than 100 comments for our January contest asking which free agent the Orioles would sign first in 2018. Two of you, general81 and 66Osfan, nailed it with Cashner. We’ll be in touch about prizes (and if we aren’t, contact us). Congrats.

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Now, I’m not giving away free stuff again today. But I still want your opinion on what the Orioles should do next. With one starting pitcher signed, should the club go after another starting pitcher or concentrate on adding a left-handed right fielder that can get on base?

Personally, I’m adding at least one more starting pitcher and then letting the other rotation candidates – Miguel Castro, Mike Wright, Gabriel Ynoa, Nestor Cortes, among others – battle for the fifth spot and the long-man role in the bullpen.

I believe the Orioles would be best served to add someone above their current three starters, but that free agent list is short: Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn.

They haven’t really pursued Arrieta or Cobb at all and they still feel Lynn’s price tag is too salty for them. That still leaves some other candidates. The most popular of which in Birdland is Chris Tillman, who is still on the open market, but likely will be gone soon.

The Orioles haven’t been aggressive in pursuing Tillman either, but crunch time appears to be looming.

I say the Orioles sign Tillman (or another veteran starter) and then turn their attention toward a right fielder. Although, it is possible the Orioles sit back some more and see what else falls to them later this month and into March.

If you were in charge of this team, what would your next move be? Make it realistic.

Tap-In Question: With Cashner signed, what would you do next to better the Orioles?

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78 Comments

78 Comments

  1. OsBeforeBros

    February 17, 2018 at 7:44 am

    I would resign Tillman on a low base salary with incentives deal similar to Miley and Sanchez. For the 5th rotation spot (not to say they would be #5s), I would wait out Cobb or Lynn to see if their demands drop to a more comfortable 3- year deal. If it is clear that their demands will not drop, then I also look into a cheap 1 year flier on Feldman or someone similar that can compete with the fringe/AAAA starter group for the 5th spot.

    For RF, I would make a hard push right now to lock up Dyson or Jay on a 1 or 2 year deal. We need the defensive upgrade in RF badly. Jay makes most sense as an everyday leadoff hitter, but Dyson is the better defender and I believe he has a better arm.

    Finally, depending on remaining SP and RF moves and budget available, I would push for a Moustakas signing if his price falls to 4 years or less. The Orioles need to plan for future at 3B and they could use another good lefty bat in the lineup. It doesn’t hurt that he is a pretty solid defender at 3B. This pushes Beckham to more of a super utility role.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 10:39 am

      I don’t think they are going to give big money to anyone. And that would include Moustakas. And I don’t see Tillman taking a minor league deal.

  2. Eldersburg Enigma

    February 17, 2018 at 8:10 am

    To add to my thought from yesterday along with your response to my point, grab as many free agents as possible on one or two years! Then, five months from now they’re either a surprise wild card contender (ha!), or they can flip these veterans to add much-needed depth for the farm system. When you’re unwilling to spend your international bonus pool money, you’ve got to find creative ways to establish a future MLB pipeline.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 10:40 am

      That is true. You know my feeling on the international pipeline.

  3. JoeFundo

    February 17, 2018 at 8:21 am

    1) Sign Alex Cobb
    2) Trade Darren O’Day+ to the Mets for Matt Harvey.
    NOTE: Yet ANOTHER shortened ST is reason enough to pass on Chris Tillman.

    (alphabetically)
    ROTATION: Bundy, Cashner, Cobb, Gausman, M. Harvey
    LONG BULLPEN: Castro, Cortes, Ynoa,
    MIDDLE BULLPEN: Bleier, Givens, Wright
    CLOSE BULLPEN: Brach
    60 DAY DL: Britton

    GENTRY/BRUGMAN RF
    MACHADO 3B (I KNOW, I KNOW!)
    SCHOOP 2B
    MANCINI LF
    JONES CF
    TRUMBO DH
    DAVIS 1B
    JOSEPH C
    BECKHAM SS (I KNOW, I KNOW!)

    Luis Sardinas Switch-Hitting UTIL IF
    A.Susak RH-Hitting C
    J. Brugman/C.Gentry Platoon OF
    Anthony Santander Switch-Hitting PH/DH

    Add Gentry to the 40 man roster when you send a Rule 5 guy back.

    Hays and Sisco start in AAA and get regular playing time.
    Remember…Santander goes down in mid-May.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 10:40 am

      I like your ideas. And that Ks what I wanted. But they aren’t signing Alex Cobb. They aren’t in on him at all.

  4. bigdaddydk

    February 17, 2018 at 8:25 am

    The rotation still needs work. I push for either Cobb or Lynn and try to lock Tillman in on an incentive laden deal with a possible team option for a second year. Cobb or Lynn would be worth a 4-year flyer to give the young arms time to develop and provide veteran leadership as they come up. I also look at Jay or Dyson for 1-2 years. While a lefty would be nice, lefthanded pitching isn’t exactly rolling off the assembly line, and I’ll take a stronger righty over a mediocre, or worse, lefty.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 10:41 am

      I’m with ya for the most part. Again, I think Cashner is their big money starter. But I would add Lynn too. Just don’t see it happening.

  5. Birdwatcher59

    February 17, 2018 at 8:29 am

    So with one real pitcher added there is more to do. I’d like to see the Os make a big push for Lance Lynn. If he can be signed for 3 years, go for it.
    As for a right fielder, why not move Schoop to right and Beckham to second. Schoop can learn right field if Trey Mancini can learn to play left, I’m sure Schoop can make a good right fielder. He certainly has the arm. That leaves 3rd base. Here is my best answer, sign Mike Moustakas! That would show the fans that the management still wants to win.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 10:42 am

      I don’t mess with Schoop at all.

  6. JParsley

    February 17, 2018 at 8:29 am

    more starting pitchers is the obvious answer. 3 starters won’t cut it, and with Gausman so unpredictable he’s not reliable enough to count on to give the team a chance to win every start. I don’t really think Tillman is the answer for that, he was so bad last year I don’t think he is worthy of a decent gaurantteed deal maybe an incentive laden deal. As for an left handed outfielder on base guy, that is definitely something the team has been lacking for years, but is there any legitimate player out there to fit that need?

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 10:42 am

      I think Jon Jay does.

  7. afterp

    February 17, 2018 at 8:38 am

    What should they do? Convince the St. Louis Cardinals that Manny can push them over the top and like they did with Holliday and McGwire, they can convince him to resign.

    Get their top two SP prospects, Alex Reyes and Jack Flaherty, and include Dylan Carlson or Jonatan Machado and Johan Oviedo.

    What will they do? Sign Tillman to a 1 year deal with incentives and a mutual option for year 2.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 10:43 am

      I’m thinking the trading Manny train has stopped at this point. It could gather steam in July of course.

  8. JoeFundo

    February 17, 2018 at 8:50 am

    If I had my choice of teams with which to deal, I would try pick the White Sox. Package Manny to Chitown for Lucas Giolito & Michael Kopech.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Can’t see the White Sox, who love how they have rebuilt, to give up that haul for a rental. No shot. They’d take him and re-sell him in July but not at that cost.

  9. bickel57

    February 17, 2018 at 8:56 am

    If I couldn’t get Tillman to sign I would trade for Colin McHugh of the Astros or Montgomery of the Cubs. Both teams have a glut of starting pitching that pushed these 2 down the depth chart. Then I would sign Jerod Dyson.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 11:00 am

      You’d have to give up something of worth for either. Lots of teams have interest in them.

  10. JustWin8

    February 17, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Make a trade for an established starting pitcher. It doesn’t have to be a #1 or #2. I’d also sign Tillman to a minor league contract with an option include season long performance bonuses if he makes the Orioles

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 11:00 am

      It won’t be a 1 or 2. Is don’t have that kind of farm system. But I’m with ya.

  11. Wade Warren

    February 17, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I am still thinking Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb. I think there are offers made for both of them 1 will sign with O’s

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 11:01 am

      I’ve written, Wade. Os have not pursued Cobb with any gusto at all. None. And Lynn would be a waiting game on price. And he’s too good to drop too far.

  12. Tiss

    February 17, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Cobb and/or Lynn, if he/they come at a discount. O’s missed an opportunity on Fister early this off-season, and signed the worst of the three scrap heap SP this week (Vargas to NYM and Garcia to TOR). I’ll set the over/under on Cashner’s ERA this year at 5.00, and take the over.

    All sorts of scrap heap SP should be given MiLC with invites…Tillman (yes), Lincecum (you heard me), Dickey, etc.

    Aggressive promotion of Austin Hays (opening day RF) and Chance Sisco (platoon at C with Joseph).

    Listen to offers on Trumbo and Chris Davis. If you can get takers, now Sisco can DH if we’re really worried about his D at C. Also could then use money to sign LH OF. Bonus points if this OF can play CF better than Jones.

    Don’t move Manny to SS.

    Since they will anyway, move Schoop to 3B and Beckham to 2B. Schoop certainly has the bat and arm for 3B.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 11:04 am

      I think Fister, Fiers, Mikolas coming off the board early shocked the Orioles. But I think Cashner will be fine.

    • Strovel

      February 18, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      With you 100% on Cashner pitched to a lot of luck in ‘17. Look at his FIP. 1 K every 2 innings is a bad bad bad sign.

  13. Orial

    February 17, 2018 at 9:54 am

    A Tillman reunion seems inevitable but is that infamous “Angelos Physical Process” going to apply? If not it sure should after last year’s fiasco. Not a Cargo fan. Dyson,Jay for RF platoon. Dyson,Beckham together would be fun. Need that speed. A concern I have that doesn’t get addressed too often–who replaces Castillo’s 20 HRs and clutch hits?

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 11:03 am

      I’m not sure it is inevitable. They have to be somewhat aggressive. Other teams are in, too.

  14. Dblack2508

    February 17, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Sign Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman, then John Jay. I think with that they can actually compete. Finally have internet in the mountains!

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Glad you are still with us. Again, Cobb is beyond a long shot.

  15. Ksig108

    February 17, 2018 at 11:44 am

    If I understand correctly, we have about 35 mil under last years payroll. If we are holding back to make a run at Machado then I say sign Tillman to a 1 year prove it deal with a 2nd year team option and sign Dyson for outfield. I however think there is no chance that we will spend money on Machado so this is what I’d do.

    If Lynn isn’t an option, you have to still sign Tillman or bring Hellickson back because after Arrieta, Cobb, and Lynn, there just aren’t better options. I would then go after Cargo and spend on Moustakus with full intention to trade Machado for the biggest return possible. I actually really like what I was hearing from the Arizona talks with Corbin and Drury. Wouldn’t need to go after Moose if we worked that out. Beckham eventually moves back to short. Also don’t want to block Hays for too long.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      If the Orioles move Manny it would have to be long-term controllable pitching. That has to be the main part of the deal.

      • CZakrun

        February 17, 2018 at 8:43 pm

        Guarantee Orioles are hoping Manny plays lights out the first half of the season, so they finally get the offer they want from a contender and trade him at the deadline. It was special having you while we did Manny. It’s a shame they didn’t extend you after coming back from your knee injury.

  16. Tmhelms30

    February 17, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    It’s time for the birds to put their focus and money on starter pitching and defense.
    They are not going to outscore their opponents enough to contend for a title.
    They haven’t had much success at bringing in quality free agent starters because of their unwillingness to pay big bucks for the top tier free agents that could solidify the starting rotation. Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo should be moved and/or allowed to finish their current contracts and let go. Their is enough young talent on this team to average 3.5 runs per game which I believe with and quality rotation
    will give them a real chance to win day and day out. The bullpen has been a strong point as of late but can’t be expected to shoulder 4 plus innings in relief every night because the starters can’t get through more than 5 innings so I think they will be okay they could thrive if the starters could work into the 7th inning on a regular basis. Having said that I believe they should add another veteran starter like Lynn or Cobb or maybe add Jake Odorizzi from the Rays. I like the young talent we have for the outfield. Solidifying the rotation is what is needed to compete for a division title and chance to play in the World Series.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      I don’t disagree. Pitching is the biggest need.

  17. willmiranda

    February 17, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    As I understand it, the question is what I would do next. The same as I said at the beginning of winer. Sign Moustakas and trade Machado for a good starter and sweeteners. I realize it’s not what either Dan would do, but all the other options don’t seem to make much of a difference to me. A number four starter? A journeyman outfielder? Moustakas could be a bust, and Manny could become MVP; but if you think the team needs a serious change, you have to take serious risks and hope the upside is on your side.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      I think Moustakas would be a great addition. I just don’t think they pay for him. But I like what he would bring.

  18. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    February 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    With many pitchers off the board especially Garcia and Vargas. I see the Orioles bring Tillman back with an incentive laden contract. They other spot filled by Castro, Cortez, or someone else through ST competition. They sign Jay to fill the left handed OF spot.

    I would like to acquire Colin McHugh in a trade. However, I dont know if the Orioles have the prospects to pull it off. Ryu of the Dodgers who is left handed would be another trade option. Again whether there is a true trade match is another question.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:04 pm

      A guy like McHugh is gonna be coveted by several teams in a trade. The Orioles can probably be outbid, Prospect-wise, by other teams.

  19. GooseLu

    February 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Dan–I’m loving that you are on with Tom Davis today. It always makes for great tv.

    For the past day or so, I keep thinking that their next best REALISTIC move is to re-sign Tillman, hopefully for two years.

    Thanks!

    Johb

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Glad you watched it. It’s always fun.

  20. GooseLu

    February 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    John.

  21. oriolesyoyoyo

    February 17, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Signing Tillman low with incentives is still dicey, but they can’t afford Lynne. Spend the money on a productive right.fielder. Because of spending restraints, the O’s will be fairly competitive, but will never get over the hump with Angelos as owner.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      They’ve been a Top 10 payroll team the past few years. The money has been spent. The question is how wisely.

  22. Bigjim41

    February 17, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    I may be missing something but Cashner has only won a third of his games, looks weak to me!

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Has been on bad teams too. But I hear ya.

  23. Mau

    February 17, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    If I were Peter Angelos my next move would be to deal Duquette to Toronto for a Canadian Ham. After that I would sell the team to the Cal Ripken Consortium (I made that up).

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Well, ya made me laugh. Drink chip.

  24. Bancells Moustache

    February 17, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Renegotiate with Delaware North to coerce a 30% reduction in concession prices, while keeping my ticket prices at the same level. And Ill make sure every damn body on the Eastern seaboard knows about it. This team couldn’t sell tickets when they were playoff contenders. Now that everyone thinks they will be terrible and will sell off most of the players by Christmas, Ill be lucky if I’m at 20% capacity on Friday nights against the Yankees. I need to do something to stop the bleeding.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Hey, you can bring in your own food to OPaCY.

      • Bancells Moustache

        February 17, 2018 at 6:18 pm

        And still noone comes. Apparently the allure of the Boston Red Sox and a homemade turkey sandwich doesn’t get it done.

  25. Carl

    February 17, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Probably not the thought process you’re looking for, but extend Buck. It could provide a piece of mind to the youngsters, and possibly provide a sense of stability to those on he fence for the future (Schoop, Adam, etc.). Then they probably need to grab Tillman before he’s gone. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, and maybe the second chance can boost him to step up.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      No, that’s an interesting thought. Drink chip.

  26. OsBrosStrohs

    February 17, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    if i ran this team i would spend, spend spend. being realistically though, i would sign Tilly to a 1 year incentive laden deal. that way, if he is not cutting it you can realse him to find his way somewhere else. i would take a hard look at clay buckholtz and Jake peavy both of whom will be looking for a come back. in the mean time, sign RA Dickey and John Jay to round out the needs.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Peavy and Buchholz are real flyers. Certainly nothing you could count on.

  27. ClyOs

    February 17, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I would hope they sign another starter, maybe Francisco Liriano? He had a descent season in Pittsburgh two year ago and would give the Orioles a left handed starter.

  28. CZakrun

    February 17, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    I really really wish they were even looking at Cobb like most of us are. Or even a trade for Odorizzi. We all know how difficult it is to pitch in the AL East and both have plenty of experience and have pitched fairly well.

    Realistically I see Tillman coming back on an incentive laden deal as our #4.

    For our RF, I want to see CarGo on a 1-2 year deal. Just because he brings a star to Baltimore and with things looking so bleak we need something to boost our spirits as fans. I see our opening day payroll being 20-30 million less than last years and I believe that’s what Angelos already set in stone and all Duquette had to work with.

    With that said, Let’s Go O’s!

    • Dan Connolly

      February 17, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      The only thing I would caution is it’s a whole lot easier to pitch at the Trop than it is OPaCY. Not that Cobb and Odorizzi couldn’t pitch anywhere, but the Trop is an advantage for Ps.

      • CZakrun

        February 17, 2018 at 9:37 pm

        Too many pitchers fail coming to the AL East, or at least it sure seems that way. It’s amazing how as Orioles fans we are happy with guys giving us sub 4.00 ERAs, but maybe a big reason why is OPACY. I believe the only thing that is affected truthfully is Home Runs Allowed.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      You are also facing AL East lineups. That has something to do with it too.

  29. Mies1535

    February 17, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    It would be ideal if we could find a taker for Trumbo who has excess pitching and just bumped a starter to their pen and there’s our #4 starter. Problem being not too many of those teams and we’re limited to AL only teams who might have any interest. Then we could go for maybe a more substantial LH RF bat, CarGo on a 1-2 yr deal or Dickerson just DFA’d? That allows time to LH split w/ Hays in RF and more AB’s at DH for Santander. If not maybe Lackey and Dyson on 1 yr deals.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      I’m a believer that Trumbo can play an adequate 1B so it may not be limited to AL only. But teams would have to believe that too. My guess is any team that would have interest in Trumbo would also want to exchange salary. So it would get complicated.

  30. rginge

    February 17, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    I don’t understand why the O’s would not be all in on Cobb….He knows the AL East, pitches well at Camden Yards….And our left handed bat we’ve been searching for is now available…Corey Dickerson was designated for assignment tonight by the Rays….O’s will come up with some excuse as to why he’s not a fit for the team

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      I’ll tell you why. He’s gonna cost more than what they want to spend. In money and likely years. Agree or not, that’s why.

  31. MikeinFairfax

    February 17, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Sign another pitcher. No question. What killed them last year was the rotation, and they absolutely need four dependable starters in the AL East. My money (and eventually, Peter’s money) is on a one-year reunion with Chris Tillman.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Definitely could happen.

  32. mlbbirdfan

    February 18, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Lance Lynn.

    Chris Tillman

    Sign both now! And go for the gold.
    Go big or go home!

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      I can’t imagine they’ll be aggressive on Lynn.

  33. mlbbirdfan

    February 18, 2018 at 9:21 am

    PS: Manny had to issue a statement to the media this weekend, saying he has not heard from the Orioles. Someone started a rumor that we were negotiating with manny

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      He didn’t issue a statement. He just talked to reporters

  34. Farmeredcuneo

    February 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

    I am interested in seeing them give the pitchers in their system a shot. I like how they are bringing a lot of arms to camp to see what they can do.
    If your interested in getting strong arms with years of control this is the way to go.
    BTW I agree with club policy of not going international on a large scale. There are more talented players in this country that we should concentrate on. Especially pitching. International pitchers are not the pick of their tree.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      You have to do both well. You need to have all talent pipelines open imo.

  35. SubZero

    February 18, 2018 at 10:24 am

    IMHO We need to pick up a left fielder and move Mancini over to third.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Third????? Two new positions in two years???

  36. Sizemo

    February 18, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    We know Arieta ain’t even remotely a possibility (see: Boras & rapidly diminishing fastball)
    Lynn had the best numbers of who’s left, if they’re serious about one last hoorah, then he’s the Ace, though more a 2-3 type arm but it’s the O’s favorite rotation move since Moose left. A staff of 3’s is what I see, and again, a lot of dingers, dinging the B&O, don’t ya know.
    The pitching pipeline must be stocked, and until, this team is gonna blow.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 18, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      If they got Lynn the team would be competitive for sure

  37. Ray OKelly

    February 18, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    NO, PLEASE NO TILLMAN! When it’s hot he can’t get to the 4th inning. Usually by the second he’s given up at least 2 runs. He simply doesn’t know the concept of hard work and shows he doesn’t care.
    PLEASE NO TILLMAN.

  38. 54orioles

    February 19, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Find a pitcher who can throw for nine innings and have a below 4.00 era. Any suggestions.

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