The Orioles are always rumored to be “in” on someone. This morning, ESPN’s Jim Bowden had them interested in Kyle Lohse. It’s questionable if the team would bite on losing a draft choice for a 34-year-old pitcher, even one as skilled as Lohse.
As most of the top free agents are signed by now, here are five contracts highly unlikely to be matched by the Orioles. They’re also five I’d never negotiate.
1) Edwin Jackson, four years, $52 million, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs think they’re going to be the team that finally unlocks Jackson’s potential. He’s bounced from team to team. The Cubs will be No. 8, and they’re paying an awful lot for a 70-71 record and an ERA of nearly 4.5.
Even with an excellent team in a park that often helps pitchers, Jackson couldn’t break .500 last year and had an ERA of over four runs per game.
Nationals fans will get to watch Dan Haren replace Jackson at about the same price he agreed to with the Cubs, but only for a year.
2) Angel Pagan, four years, $40 million, San Francisco
In the euphoria of the Giants’ World Series win, they gave a four-year contract to a center fielder who’s a nice player. There are lots of nice players on good teams. Nate McLouth is one, but he got a year at $2 million.
Pagan led the league in triples and batted .288 last year. He has stolen nearly 75 percent of the bases he’s attempted, but at 31, that skill is likely to decline.
Ten million a year doesn’t bother me. The four years does.
3) Anibal Sanchez, five years, $80 million, Detroit
Both Pagan and Sanchez re-signed with their teams. Sanchez doesn’t even have the track record Jackson has. He’s just 48-51. His ERA is 3.75 and strikes out lots of hitters.
Sanchez fits well on the Tigers, and it’s nice to see a non-glamor franchise shell out big money, but five years at that money?
4) Marco Scutaro, three years, $20 million with San Francisco
At 37, Scutaro strikes it rich. His contract expires as he reaches 40.
He was an integral part of the Giants’ winning the World Series in October and hit .500 against the Cardinals in the NLCS.
Scutaro batted .362 in 61 regular season games with San Francisco, and has gotten better as he’s gotten older. It’s a reach to think he’ll continue to get better or even sustain his performance.
5) Zack Greinke, six years, $147 million with the Dodgers
It was obvious that the Dodgers would sign either Josh Hamilton or Greinke. The Orioles and some other teams have a policy of not offering more than four years to a pitcher. There’s a good reason for that.
Many long-term deals for pitchers go badly. Greinke has anxiety issues, and it will be interesting to see how he does in a high-pressure environment. He did well when the Angels and in his last two seasons, he’s a combined 31-11. That’s quality.
Greinke can opt out of the deal after three years. It’s hard to believe that someone would pay him more than $25 million a year to pitch in 2016.