Starting pitching is always a hot commodity in baseball, and this offseason is no different.
This offseason hasn’t been a very exciting one, but there has been plenty of speculation and rumors to go through. Teams are still scrambling for pieces that can help them in 2018 and beyond. Two teams that have been the subject of rumors lately are the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles. Furthermore, both clubs are looking for rotation upgrades. The Twins have a much better farm system to deal from.
Two pitchers that are being talked about are right-handers Jake Odorizzi and Colin McHugh. Both players have two years of control left and are reliable arms on the mound, but teams might not want to pay an escalated price because of the over-saturated market. Here’s more detail on the increased interest.
However, teams like the Twins and the Orioles are considering Odorizzi or McHugh while also trying to figure out if they want to add a free-agent pitcher as well to their rotations. The Twins have been a suitor for top free-agent starter Yu Darvish, but they just lost ace Ervin Santana for 10-12 weeks with a broken hand, making their need for a pitcher even greater. The Orioles need another arm to depend on since they only have two consistent starters in Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.
The Twins need a starter even more now that Yu Darvish is off the table. The club could pursue Jake Arrieta on a short-term deal. They have the prospects to acquire an impact arm on the trade market also. So, the club could make a run at right-handed pitchers Odorizzi and McHugh. The Rays righty is 27 and tossed a 4.14 ERA in 2017. His best season was in 2015 when he pitched with a 3.35 ERA. McHugh, on the other hand, is 30 and is coming off an injury.
The righty produced a 3.55 ERA in 63.1 innings. The Orioles also desperately crave a reliable guy to slot in the starting five, but their farm system is weak and the top prospects they do have are untouchable. Maybe owner Peter Angelos will cough up some dough in a last ditch effort to keep the Machado window open. The Twins should cash in on some of their prospects and land a good pitcher.
With that said, the Twins should aim higher than Odorizzi or McHugh. Their two young stars Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano have established themselves, so Minnesota should go after an ace like Chris Archer, but they might wait to make that move if they’re in it at the trade deadline. Right now, a move for a solid pitcher can help build up the staff.
The same goes for Baltimore, except there’s no chance in acquiring an ace. The Orioles are on the brink of a rebuild. They really should start blowing the team up, but the front office thinks they still have a chance in the AL East. The Twins are playing in the most mediocre division in baseball, so they always have a fighting chance. Minnesota had a surprising year and look to build on that.
The Twins are the most likely team to make a move for one of these pitchers because of their trade ammo. Baltimore has had mediocre starting pitching for a while now, and it will stay that way in 2018.