Since the season ended I’ve been asked several times whether the Orioles are going to get an ace this offseason. My answer is no. I don’t even hesitate. The reasoning is simple. There are no true aces on the market (Matt Garza? Japan’s Masahiro Tanaka? Hiroki Kuroda?) the Orioles likely wouldn’t offer a five-year-plus deal even if there was an ace available and they don’t have the farm system to deal for a No. 1. It’s part philosophy and part supply and demand. The Orioles have never given a free-agent pitcher a contract longer than three years. And I don’t see them doing it now. Not with the current ownership and not with the current front office. And not with so many examples of big-money pitchers being worth the money for about half of their contracts and being a financial albatross for the rest of it. The reality is that most teams including the Orioles can’t pay for five years to get two or three good years and two or three lost ones from a starting pitcher. Teams like the New York Yankees can bury those mistakes but most can’t. The majority of teams need to grow their own aces or trade for someone with potential and hope to get lucky. Think I’m talking the party line? Consider the list of the 27 pitchers who have started a division series playoff game this October (Clayton Kershaw started two): Detroit (Max Scherzer Justin Verlander Anibal Sanchez); Oakland (Bartolo Colon Sonny Gray Jarrod Parker); Boston (Jon Lester John Lackey Clay Buchholz); Tampa Bay (Matt Moore David Price Alex Cobb); Pittsburgh (A.J. Burnett Gerrit Cole Francisco Liriano Charlie Morton); St. Louis (Adam Wainwright Lance Lynn Joe Kelly Michael Wacha); Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw Zack Greinke Hyun-Jin Ryu); and Atlanta (Kris Medlen Mike Minor Julio Teheran and Freddy Garcia). Of that group 15 of the 27 are homegrown and have not been with any other organization. Nine of those 15 were drafted in the first round or supplemental first round by their current clubs. Only one of the 15 was an international amateur (Teheran).
Talking aces, Orioles and growing your own playoff pitchers
Baltimore Sun | Oct 8