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The Orioles are interested in Joe Saunders

Dec 29, 2011, 5:20 PM EST

Joe Saunders AP

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun says that the Orioles are interested in Joe Saunders.

That makes them one of several teams that, for reasons that aren’t clear to me, are apparently interested in Joe Saunders. I swear, starting pitchers in December and January are like homely people in the bar at closing time. They all seem so attractive now, but when the sun is up someone is gonna say “man, I signed Joe Saunders? Oof.”

Eh, I shouldn’t hate on Saunders. He had a 3.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP and ate 212 innings this past season. That has its uses. It’s not so useful that the Dbacks didn’t non-tender him when faced with the prospect of paying him $9 million bucks or so in arbitration, but it isn’t nothing.

Seriously, though: Think he’ll do OK in the AL East, Mr. Duquette?  Really?

  1. Francisco (FC) - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    So Cliff Lee was “homely” last December? LOL!

    • bloodysock - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:31 PM

      No, but John Lackey was very homely in mid-December of the 2009 off-season.

  2. proudlycanadian - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    He will not win more games than he loses in the AL East; however, he would be an improvement over many of the young pitchers used last season. Several pitchers used by Baltimore last season needed more time in the minors.

    • JBerardi - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:28 PM

      They need more time in other organizations.

  3. jetsguy1117 - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    every once in a while i click over to here from PFT. and two minutes thereafter, i immediately ask myself “why?”. is it possible for you to write a single article without being a total jerk? its funny – you clearly sat down saying “ok, my first instinct is joe saunders sucks, so lets rip him a new one”. you get the intro on paper, then you check his stats just so you can tie up your article, and realize “hey, he actually isnt THAT bad”. but you’re so stubborn, rather than just report on the rumored interest, you go with the “well, if he hasn’t sucked yet, he surely will suck in the AL east” route.

    fact of the matter is he has pitchers 200 innings year in and year out since 2008 with an ERA in the 4.1-4.2 range. sorry we can’t all be cy young. you know, teams do need a #4 and #5 starter.

    • tgifinley88 - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:12 PM

      I couldn’t agree more. I hit most of the nbc sports sites at the top of the page, and until recently I frequented this page as much as the others. But lately, thanks to stories written like this, I’ve found mlbtraderumors to be much better. Maybe tone down the poor stand up comic routine and stick to the facts and this site would be a better read.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Dec 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

        MLBtraderumors is a great site if all you want is straight news. This site adds a little bit of lighter side to it. I don’t always like the smug commentary but I know that’s what this site is about so it doesn’t bother me. Just like I know when I go to ESPN there’s a good chance they’re leaving facts out to support their agenda.

    • Kyle - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:25 PM

      That’s all well and good except for the part where Joe Saunders has barely been above replacement level for 3 years now. Sure, teams need #4 and #5 starters but they’d be better served paying a lesser name 500k to fill that need instead of Joe Saunders many many millions of dollars.

    • quintjs - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      You have to remember though that the story should be reported but isn’t really that interesting. A team might be interested in an average pitcher. Craig is just trying to make the article more interesting for us, but most likely himself.

      Also, the point about regretting the signing is valid as teams have a track record of signing guys like Saunders to insane contracts that they regret after year one and kill the team by year three.

    • JBerardi - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:37 PM

      Go back to PFT until you learn what division the Orioles play in. Craig is right, Saunders would get crushed there. And then also maybe check on how many games the Orioles won last year. They’ve got no business spending any real money on a pitcher who’s basically back-end rotation filler.

  4. moveablenu - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Saunders isn’t the Missing Piece the Orioles need, by any stretch, but he could wind up being a nice pitcher for them or anyone else who signs him. Also of note: Saunders is from Northern Virginia, and pitched at Virginia Tech. Duquette has said that he’d like to acquire some local talent, which partly explains this (he’s also a capable lefty and all) and the Orioles’ wanting to trade with the White Sox for Gavin Floyd, who’s from the Baltimore area, as opposed to John Danks.

  5. aschwartz2011 - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    those numbers seem pretty similar to Jenks who just got a multi year big money deal.

    • Reflex - Dec 30, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      Except Danks is a much better overall pitcher.

  6. aschwartz2011 - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    sorry Denks

  7. hammyofdoom - Dec 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    I honestly don’t think theres a chance in hell Saunders ERA would be under 4.5 if he went to the Al east next year. Striking out 100, walking 60, and for 3 years before last year he had a whip in the 1.4’s, almost 1.5 at one point. Last year was his second best year EVER in terms of ERA and Whip, yet he walked more guys than ever while striking out an average amount for him. He’d get shelled in the East

  8. dowhatifeellike - Dec 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    He’s a guy with a recognizable name, which should appease the fans. Duquette and Angelos are more concerned with appearing to try to win on a budget than actually trying to win.

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