Can the Orioles afford to trade pitching?

Can the Orioles afford to trade pitching?
November 9, 2012, 8:30 am

If the Orioles make a trade to acquire a bat, they'll need to sacrifice some of the team's pitching depth.

A year ago, it looked dubious that the Orioles had enough pitching to field five credible starters and staff a bullpen. Even if they don't re-sign Joe Saunders, they may feel quite differently today.

Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman are the top four starters, and even if Saunders isn't back, there are several candidates to choose from for the fifth starter. Jake Arrieta, who was 2012's Opening Day starter, Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter or Steve Johnson could be the fifth.

Tsuyoshi Wada could be back from Tommy John surgery by May, and not long after that, Dylan Bundy could be ready for the rotation with Kevin Gausman not far behind.

Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop, Darren O'Day, Luis Ayala, Brian Matusz and Troy Patton were all effective in the bullpen, though it's possible
Matusz could get a shot at starting again.

Perhaps Arrieta, Britton, Hunter or Johnson could be part of a deal for a hitter.

Last season, the staff was remarkably free of shoulder, elbow or arm issues with the exception of Wada and Britton's shoulder issues.

The Orioles can’t be certain that will happen again, but they may feel they have enough pitching depth to move one or two for a bat.

NOTES:

-The Orioles did not win any Silver Slugger Awards on Thursday night. They haven't won one since Aubrey Huff in 2008.

-There's only one manager's job open, according to reports, the Toronto Blue Jays are not close to choosing one. They're apparently concentrating on those with previous major league managerial experience, which would work against Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale. Hale had been mentioned as a contender in Toronto.