Orioles Among Teams Predicted to Sign Top Starter on Market
The Baltimore Orioles would appear to have their starting rotation locked up for 2024 with the acquisition of former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes.
The deal for Burnes, who is only signed through 2024, allows him to serve as the anchor for a rotation that should include Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, John Means, Dean Kremer and Tyler Wells.
Whether Orioles stick with the traditional five-man rotation or even expand to six, they would seem set. But, as they say in baseball, you can never have enough pitching.
So … would the Orioles be willing to make one more bold move as their change in ownership approaches?
MLB.com polled its 43 writers recently about the six remaining free agents on the market, the big ones — outfielders Cody Bellinger. J.D. Martinez and Jorge Soler, infielder Matt Chapman and pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell.
Turns out those writers linked Snell to the Orioles. Granted, the Los Angeles Angels were voted the favorites to land the reigning NL Cy Young award winner. Bu the Orioles were among a host of teams that received votes.
While the Orioles look ready, remember that Burnes is only under contract through 2024. He can hit free agency next offseason. The Orioles have made noise about extending Burnes, but he’s never been a free agent and this will be likely his one shot to cash in on a huge guaranteed deal.
But, if the Orioles want to lock in Snell to a long-term deal, avoid the concerns about Burnes’ future and go all-in for 2024, Snell would be the pitcher to do that with.
Snell won nearly every first-place vote after he went 14-9 with a MLB-best 2.25 ERA with San Diego in 2023. It’s the second time he’s led the Majors in ERA. He did it in 2018, when he went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA with the Tampa Bay Rays. He won the AL Cy Young that season.
Snell is one of seven pitchers to win a Cy Young in both leagues and one of 21 pitchers to win at least two Cy Youngs.
With spring training starting next week, one more big splash in the market wouldn’t hurt one bit.