The Baltimore Orioles have a problem.
They have too much pitching. Not only that, they have too much young, high-upside pitching.
Yes, up to four pitchers will be competing for the team’s fifth rotation spot in Spring Training in 2013, several of whom had been previously regarded as high-end pitching prospects.
While most teams would love to be in this situation, the Orioles are in a spot where they can’t simply provide the kids another full season to to through the ups and downs of development in a major league setting in 2013. That time ended when they became a surprise AL Wild Card entrant to the playoffs, and this year, they will be looking to prove that 2012 wasn’t a fluke.
That means the team may be motivated to deal from excess sooner rather than later, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
One rival exec expects #Orioles to talk about LHP Zach Britton in trades later in spring. Orioles’ surplus well-documented. Arrieta too.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 22, 2013
Both Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta had been considered among the top 100 prospects in the league at one point, and both have had mixed success in the bigs thus far. At 25 and 26-years old respectively, both are young enough to still grow into solid starters in the game, though both have come off significant injuries over the last two years.
In the Orioles were to be looking to deal, there would be no shortage of interested suitors. Whether it’s the New York Yankees or the Milwaukee Brewers, there are always teams who could use an extra arm.
At the front of the line, though, would probably be the Colorado Rockies, who have been looking all off-season for starting pitching, and have come away without the desired results. The Rockies are said to be looking for more of a veteran pitcher, and the Los Angeles Dodgers may be willing to deal exactly that, but Britton’s upside (and left-handedness) could also be enough to entice the club to look at younger options.
Will it be enough for them to deal one of their MLB-ready excess outfielders like Tyler Colvin, Eric Young Jr., or Charlie Blackmon?
The Orioles could use an extra outfield bat, and it seems like there’s a good fit there for the two teams to make a deal.