It is a fair question to ask. Do the Orioles now have enough pitching depth that they should consider trading some pitchers this offseason?
It appears that the answer is yes. The Orioles have a long list of young pitchers that are lower-salaried and years away from free agency. When it comes to making a trade that is almost as important anymore as how talented the player is.
The flip side of the argument is that age-old adage that you never have enough pitching. When you think you do, go get some more, some in baseball say. I agree with that theory. Just when you think you have a surplus, one or two pitchers come up with sore arms and one or two others don’t pitch as well as expected and suddenly you have much less depth there than you thought.
But a case can be made that the Orioles have some depth and you usually try to trade from an area of strength to help a weaker area. In that regard, moving pitching may be something the club must ponder this winter.
Rotation candidates: Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Jason Hammel, Steve Johnson, Joe Saunders, Chris Tillman and Tsuyoshi Wada.
Bullpen candidates: Luis Ayala, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, Jim Johnson, Darren O’Day, Troy Patton, Pedro Strop and Stu Pomeranz.
Minor league pitchers on the 40-man roster: Dylan Bundy, Zach Clark and Oliver Drake.
The Orioles would have to re-sign Saunders, who is a free agent, to keep him. I listed Matusz with the bullpen pitchers although he still has a shot to be in the rotation next year. Also, Kevin Gausman could potentially help the Orioles in 2013 although he does not yet have to be on the 40-man roster.
That list above includes 20 pitchers, 21 with Gausman. Of the 21 pitchers, only six - Hammel, Saunders, Ayala, Johnson, Hunter and O’Day - have more than three years of service time. That means the Orioles have a long list of pitchers under team control at least through the 2017 season.
The players with less service time are usually lower-salaried, as well, and some are not even arbitration eligible yet. Having pitchers to deal that are young, talented and under team control for many years just adds to the value of those hurlers. The Orioles have some pitchers that would clearly be attractive to other teams in a trade.
Also the Bundy and Gausman factor is at work for the club. How soon will one or both be ready to join the big league rotation? If the pair proves to be as good as they look right now, not only will they add to the depth but they may be paired together at the top of the club’s rotation for a long time to come. Do the O’s bank on this pair for the future or hedge their bets here by continuing to add pitching depth?
I am usually against trading pitching and believe in that you never have enough pitching theory. But the Orioles may have reached the point to test that theory by moving some pitchers this winter.
What is your take?: Should the Orioles consider trading some of their pitchers? Do they now have enough pitching depth for that? What should they be looking to acquire in any possible deals?