The Orioles agreed to a contract with Darren O’Day, pending a physical, and there seems to be mixed reaction to giving a non-closer a four-year, $31 million deal.
My opinion is that I’m OK with the O’Day deal –he’s been lights out and as high character a guy as you could ask for– as long as it doesn’t preclude the Orioles from spending money elsewhere.
Baltimore now has Matt Wieters, Mark Trumbo and O’Day on their payroll, but their biggest hole from last year was the rotation. They’ll have to add a starter to make up for the loss of Wei-Yin Chen and probably another arm, too, if they want to improve from last year and add some much-needed depth.
You’ve heard the names they’re looking at on the free agent market –guys like Scott Kamir, Yovani Gallardo, Doug Fister– but executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette also has been active in trade talks. With the pitching market moving so quickly, its opened up some trade options among other teams who have expendable pieces after acquiring a free agent starter. It’s another avenue to get a guy and perhaps, keep the payroll in check in the process.
Asked if he felt it was tough to get starting pitchers to come to Baltimore, Duquette said he thinks a lot of pitchers look to the National League first.
“It’s a league where you get to face the pitcher. Some of the ballparks are pitcher friendly. You don’t have to face the DH,” Duquette said. “Having said that, I think the pitchers enjoy, they recognize the value of pitching to a good defense, which the Orioles have had over the last several years.”
*I keep getting asked if Chris Davis is a priority and, yes, the team remains interested. The pitching market is moving quickly and it’s where most of their time was funneled into for Day 1. The Davis market has been unusually quiet, which perhaps speaks volumes to his mysterious market. With agent Scott Boras, you would think he’d want offers and other teams involved to leak out, hoping to perhaps start a bidding war. But there’s really been nothing, causing not just the Orioles but a lot of baseball people to wonder.
Davis is being marketed as a first baseman and an outfielder to increase his suitors. Twice yesterday I had two different scouts bring up how impressive he was to watch in right field last year. He can hold his own defensively. But who is willing to invest in him long-term, besides the Orioles? Stay tuned.