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Orioles’ top priority is adding another starting pitcher

Jan 4, 2014, 8:58 AM EDT

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The Orioles are still unsettled at closer and could use another bat for the designated hitter spot, but Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports hears that adding another starting pitcher is the club’s “primary focus” at this time.

As we have heard throughout the winter, veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett is at the top of their list. However, he has yet to make a decision about whether he plans to continue his playing career. Kubatko doesn’t see big names like Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana as a fit, so if Burnett isn’t a possibility, it could be difficult to find a difference-maker. Bronson Arroyo, Paul Maholm, Chris Capuano, Scott Baker, Johan Santana, and Chad Gaudin are among the other starting pitchers still available in free agency. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has indicated that he’s more likely to sign a pitcher, but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a trade.

As of now, the Orioles project to enter spring training with a starting rotation of Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris, Miguel Gonzalez, and Kevin Gausman.

  1. eagles512 - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Yeah that rotation isn’t going to get it done.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      When I first read the headline I thought that it said “The Orioles’ top priority is adding another struggling pitcher.”

  2. rockthered1286 - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Since the end of the 2013 season the orioles have seen a production drop off in LF (lost Nate, added Lough), 2B (lost Roberts, starting Flaherty), closer (traded JJ and added nothing yet), and DH (no acquisitions made traded away Pearce). As for the rotation they opted not to bid high on Feldman who was with the team last year and inevitably lost him in FA. Not that it’s a huge loss. But looking at this rotation I see 3 #2′s and the others low end starters. Gausman has the highest ceiling but I don’t expect you can get any better production from guys like Gonzo or

  3. rockthered1286 - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    (Continuation after my toddler smacked the phone and hit post)…

    … Chen or Norris. They are what they are. With that said the rotation does need help, but Angelos and Duke ignoring the other needs is careless and ignorant of the team needs. One guy doesn’t change this team. You have way too many voids to fill to be focusing on a SP who, at this juncture in FA, will be no better than what you already have in the rotation. This front office is a total embarrassment and while I still wish everyday Uncle Pete would just wake up and decide to sell, I realistically know it won’t happen. Gotta spend money to make money. Pretty simple principle that for some reason nobody can drive home to this owner who continues to line his pockets at the expense of the loyal fan base. Shameful.

    • mmeyer3387 - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      I agree that one free agent, more than likely will not make enough difference. What’s more I’ve never been a big Angelos fan. That being said, yes we all want to win, sign the best free agents to get better every year, but we must build the farm system. First, because Orioles have had one of the worst farm systems for a long time they have not produced a real quality pitcher in decades. As hard as this may be, They can not ignore the need to build from within. Second we must be practical , it’s unlikely that the Orioles can just become better by out spending the Yankees and Red Soxs. I will admitt that they may be able to have some short term success but it’s very unlikely that they can be the top Eastern division leader without strengthening the farm system. But they can make a balanced approach

    • mmeyer3387 - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      I agree that one free agent, more than likely will not make enough of an difference. What’s more I’ve never been a big Angelos fan. We all remember that he once destroyed his farm system by signing old free agents and making poor drafts. When he had a good team under Pat Gillick, he refused let his gm restock the farm system. Over time this made a once great organization into one of the worst. That being said, yes we all want to win, and sign the best free agents. They will not regain their status as being a top organization overnight. Clearly, we must build the farm system. First, because Orioles have had one of the worst farm systems for a long time, where they have not produced a real quality pitcher in decades. As hard as this may be; they can not ignore the need to build from within. Second we must be practical , it’s unlikely that the Orioles can just become the better team by out spending the Yankees and Red Soxs. I will admit that they may be able to have some short term success but it’s very unlikely that they can be the top Eastern division leader without strengthening the farm system. They must make a balanced approach, with good drafts, player development, and making practical FA signings. That would be the best formula for the Orioles to win and become one of the best organizations again..

  4. jpalughi823 - Jan 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Jesus Christ, I hate my ownership. My Christmas wish that was our owner would die & Marc Cuban would buy the team. Buck is going to get fed up with this mess & quit soon, I see it now. This team operates like they have a salary cap in a sport that doesn’t have one. We own a cable network & pinch pennies together. The Ravens aren’t going to the playoffs this year, so now all of the attn has shifted to you guys. Buy a few guys & go for it. There is a nice core, add to it & do it before the window closes.

    • bigtrainrr - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      Don’t wish Angelos dead, just wish he’d sell. But then he couldn’t exploit two tv markets like he does with MASN. Love to have Cuban but realize Angelos will never give up on the MASN revenue

  5. cocheese000 - Jan 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    People here in Baltimore need to relax. So we lost McLouth, pierce, Roberts and JJ. We still have a good core group of talent. If our young pitchers come around we will be even better. And I don’t blame Angelos for not wanting to spend money. I mean, have you seen the kind of money these players are getting.

  6. georgegsmiller - Jan 4, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    How many times has Duquette said this or “We are going to sign a BIG Free Agent this off season”? I must have seen 5-6 quotes stating the same goal. Yet the O’s have not made one single move that has improved the team. Of course, I blame the OWNER. Peter Angelos is the WORST owner in all of sports. Not willing to spend any $$ when this team is close to being a contender. Hint to Angelos: buying cheap usually ends with a cheap product not lasting. In the long run you lose MORE because you have to consistently replace one cheap product with another. Invest in a good product and you get a better return on your investment. Maybe Angelos needs another anology… a good pair of shoes costing a bit more lasts a whole lot longer than a cheap pair of shoes. Understand? What an idiot.

    I don’t blame Duquette or Showalter. Everyone knows Angelos is hiding in his office in the dark calling the shots (Owner “The Judge” in Robert Redford movie The Natural). Feel sorry for the fans in Baltimore (I am one) who have to put up with Angelos’ zero for brains ownership.

    • flamethrower101 - Jan 4, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      And then Angelos will inevitably turn around and blame the fans for their “lack of support” or something to that notion despite them not having anything to get behind for nearly 2 decades outside of last year and 2012.

    • shorttracknews - Jan 4, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      There are some Marlins fans who would disagree that Peter Angelos is the worst owner in sports…

      • bigtrainrr - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        When was the last time the Marlins won (or even appeared) in a World Series? Has it been 30 years like the Orioles? Get back to me when it’s that long

  7. watermelon1 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Trade for Felix. I don’t know who is going to play 3rd but it’s probably going to be ugly no matter who it ends up being. Even if you aren’t comparing him to Machado… It will be ugly.

    At least I’ve the fans hope with a true ace.

    We could live without either markakis or jones if it meant a beast on the mound to boost the entire staff’s confidence.

  8. dowhatifeellike - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    The season ended three months ago and they haven’t made any offers to FA SPs or come close to finalizing a trade. Top priority my arse.

  9. rockthered1286 - Jan 4, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    @gocheese

    Please name one SP drafted by the O’s that has panned out in recent memory. And no, Tillman was not drafted by the O’s he was acquired in the trade for Jones that sent Bedard out of town. Banking on Gausman and Bundy is a cop out given our history of poor drafting (proof in the O’s extremely anemic farm system). And while I do agree that names like Roberts or McLouth or Pearce are not striking fear into opposing pitchers, the fact that their replacements on this roster are even worse is something fans should be extremely worried about. And yes it is 100% on Angelos. Like I said you need to spend money to make money.

  10. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    The Orioles top priority is lying to it’s fan-base giving them false hopes and to further their efforts to fleece people out of their hard earned cash.

    There, fixed the headline for you. It’s a little long, but much more accurate.

    • chitomartinez - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      I get that it’s frustrating the O’s haven’t spent in an offseason where their marginal $/win are as high as they’ll ever be, but who did they really lose out on? Cano wasn’t coming to B’more. Choo would have been an upgrade, but his contract seems like a significant overpay.

      Aside from Tanaka, Burnett is the most reasonable pitching option out there for a team in their situation–middle of the road revenues with hopes hanging on the development of its young pitchers. Why are they inept/greedy if they don’t want give up a draft pick and oodles of cash for too many years of second-tier guys like Garza, Santana, and Jimenez?

      Can some angry O’s fans actually tell me what deal they want to see the team make?

  11. evankay92 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    Not an upbeat comment in the bunch. And believe me, I’m not about to change the sentiment.
    If a washed up Burnett is our main goal, as opposed to Garza, et al, then it’s even sadder. It almost
    makes you wish the last two seasons didn’t happen, so that our expectations would be nil.

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