Could Orioles have pitching surplus?

Could Orioles have pitching surplus?
November 4, 2012, 10:45 pm
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Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy (left) and manager Buck Showalter (right) prior to the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field.

(Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE)

At MASN’s website, Orioles blogger Steve Melewski asks a question that would have seemed ridiculous last year at this time but now has become quite relevant: Should the Orioles trade some of their pitchers?

If you’d asked that question in November 2011, the answer would have been along the lines of this: The Orioles have hardly any reliable pitching, and who would want any of them anyway?

But the outlook is far different now. Many members of the staff have shown themselves to either be capable major-league pitchers or potentially capable. And Melewski makes the argument that, despite the baseball truism about no one ever having enough pitching, the Orioles may have a surplus that could bring valuable pieces in return.

Counting on a re-signed Joe Saunders, adding top prospect Kevin Gausman and minor-league arms on the 40-man roster, Melewski comes up with 21 pitchers. He points out that just six of that group have more than three years’ big-league service, making most of the pitchers attractive to other clubs that wouldn’t have to worry about losing them for at least five years.

Melewski writes: “Also the [Dylan] 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. … 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.”

It’s another sign of progress for the Orioles that we’re even entertaining the notion.