Some names came off the market this week. Eduardo Rodriguez signed with the Diamondbacks on a four-year, $80 million deal. Marco Gonzales was traded from the Mariners to the Braves to the Pirates. Erick Fedde, after a year in South Korea, went to the White Sox for two years and $15 million.
There are plenty of options left on the table, via free agency or trade. Orioles general manager Mike Elias wouldn’t specify this week whether his focus was on a No. 1 starter to lead the staff that includes Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez, or if he would be content adding a depth piece. Either way, here are a few available options.
The Orioles have been linked to Cease in trade talks, and they certainly have the farm system to deal from. Everyone but No. 1 prospect Jackson Holliday is on the table, although the Orioles have a few other names that they will be reluctant to move.
Cease, 27, has two years of team control left and is expected to make $8.8 million in arbitration, making him cheaper than most free agent starters would be. He finished second in AL Cy Young voting in 2022 and had a 4.58 ERA in 2023.
Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery
Snell and Montgomery are two of the top free agent names left. Will the Orioles actually be willing to shell out the long-term deal these two are looking for? Their track record says no, but they did pay Kimbrel $12 million, the most Elias has given to a free agent.
Snell, 31, won the National League Cy Young after posting a 2.25 ERA with the Padres. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Snell is drawing interest mainly from West Coast teams.
Montgomery, 30, was traded from the Cardinals to the Rangers midseason and was an important part of Texas’ World Series run, including pitching four innings against the Orioles in the American League Division Series.
This signing wouldn’t be flashy, but Lorenzen has proved he can get the job done. He would also likely be in the $10 million to $12 million range for a one-year deal, which is right in the Orioles’ wheelhouse.
He pitched 153 innings in 2023, including a no-hitter in August in his second start after being traded to the Phillies. Lorenzen would slate in as the Orioles’ No. 4 or No. 5 starter.
Another veteran, Paxton, 35, will be entering his 11th major league season. He had Tommy John reconstructive surgery in 2021 and posted a 4.50 ERA in his return last season. The question with him is durability. He pitched only 96 innings last year, making fewer than 20 starts for the Red Sox.