The Orioles would like to add starting pitching candidates and, according to MLBTradeRumors.com, there are a number of free-agent starters out there. Here’s a list:
Brett Anderson (33)
Tyler Anderson (31)
Chase Anderson (33)
Chris Archer (32)
Jake Arrieta (35)
Homer Bailey (35)
Trevor Bauer (30)
Trevor Cahill (33)
Tyler Chatwood (31)
Mike Fiers (36)
Mike Foltynewicz (29)
Zack Godley (31)
Gio Gonzalez (35)
Cole Hamels (37)
J.A. Happ (38)
Felix Hernandez (35)
Rich Hill (41)
Corey Kluber (35)
Mike Leake (33)
Wade LeBlanc (36)
Jon Lester (37)
Tommy Milone (34)
Matt Moore (32)
Jimmy Nelson (32)
Ivan Nova (34)
Jake Odorizzi (31)
James Paxton (32)
Martin Perez (30)
Rick Porcello (32)
Jose Quintana (32)
Garrett Richards (33)
Carlos Rodon (28)
Tyson Ross (34)
Jeff Samardzija (36)
Anibal Sanchez (37)
Matt Shoemaker (34)
Masahiro Tanaka (32)
Julio Teheran (30)
Adam Wainwright (39)
Taijuan Walker (28)
Trevor Williams (29)
Alex Wood (30)
Jordan Zimmermann (35)
A number aren’t realistic fits for the Orioles. They’ll command multi-year contracts or one-year contracts with high guarantees.
In the past two years, executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias signed two free-agent pitchers to major league contracts — Nate Karns in 2019 and Kohl Stewart last season.
Karns pitched just four times for the Orioles in 2019. Stewart opted out in the early days of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Left-handers Wade LeBlanc and Tommy Milone, who were signed by the Orioles to minor league contracts last season, are back on the market.
Some of the most recognizable names wouldn’t be logical fits. Let’s take a look at some who might make sense:
Brett Anderson: He’s a 33-year-old left-hander who has pitched for six teams in a 12-year career that began in 2009. Anderson’s lifetime record is 63-65 with a 4.06 ERA.
In 2019, Anderson was 13-9 with a 3.89 ERA with Oakland. Last year, he was 4-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 10 starts with Milwaukee.
Manager Brandon Hyde knows Anderson because because he spent the first four months of the season with the Chicago Cubs in 2017. He had a rough time in Chicago (8.18 ERA in six starts).
A year ago, Anderson had a $5 million contract with the Brewers. If the market continues to be soft and his price comes down, the Orioles might be interested.
Tyler Anderson: The San Francisco Giants didn’t offer him a contract last month after he compiled a 4-3 record and a 4.71 ERA in 13 games, 11 starts.
Anderson was a first-round pick by Colorado in the 2011 draft and is familiar to Elias. Adding another left-hander for a reasonable salary — his contract was for $1.775 million in 2020 — might be attractive.
Trevor Cahill: Here’s another pitcher with whom Hyde is familiar. Cahill pitched for the Cubs in 2015 and 2016 as a reliever.
In his 12-year career for eight teams, Cahill has mostly started. Last year, he was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA for the Giants in 11 games, six starts.
He had to settle for a minor league deal last season and may well have to again.
Zack Godley: The 30-year-old began his professional career in 2013 in the Cubs’ organization when Hyde was the team’s farm director. They traded him to Arizona after the 2014 season.
Godley had a big year with the Diamondbacks in 2018, going 15-11 with a 4.74 ERA, but he’s declined in the past two years.
Last year, Detroit let him go during summer camp, and he was 0-4 with an 8.18 ERA in four starts with Boston.
It’s likely he’ll have to settle for a minor league contract.
Ivan Nova: The Orioles know Nova, who pitched for the Yankees from 2010-2016. In recent years, some have speculated Nova could be a fit with the Orioles, but he was always out of their price range.
After a disappointing season –1-1 with an 8.53 ERA in four starts with Detroit — Nova is again a free agent and he might have to settle for a contract even less than the $1.5 million one he signed a year ago.
Tyson Ross: Over his 10-year career, Ross is 44-70 with a 4.04 ERA with five teams. Ross opted out of the 2020 season.
If Ross would elects to play again in 2021, an incentive-laden contract could work for him.
NOTE: Branden Kline, 29, who was the Orioles’ second-round draft choice in 2012, announced his retirement on Wednesday morning on his Instagram account, saying he wanted to spend more time with family and on spiritual matters. Kline was 1-4 with a 5.48 ERA in 37 games with the Orioles in 2019 and 2020. The Frederick native was removed from the 40-man roster after the season.
Here’s what Kline wrote:
We both knew this day would eventually come……Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and my family, over the past 25 years! You’ve given me great friends, life-changing experiences, as well as a career that I’ve cherished for the last 8 years. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and being more involved in spiritual matters. One of my favorite scriptures throughout this whole process has been Matthew 6:33- “ Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” I especially want to thank @thisistomfoolery and the team at @caabaseball for taking care of me over the last decade, as well as @orioles for taking a chance on a local boy! I’m happy to officially announce my retirement from this wonderful game. It’s been a fun ride ✌🏽