Orioles need to sign Scott Feldman

Orioles need to sign Scott Feldman
September 23, 2013, 10:30 am
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The Orioles ought to rush to sign Scott Feldman. 

Feldman has long been a favorite of manager Buck Showalter, and now I see why. 

His record is 5-5 with the Orioles, but in his 14 starts, he’s given the team a chance to win in 10 of them. In three of his five losses, he allowed four or more runs in five or fewer innings, but otherwise he’s been sturdy. 

At home, Feldman is 4-3 with a 4.44 ERA, a bit above his season mark of 3.57, but in a park that’s difficult to pitch in, he’s given up just four home runs in 50 2/3 innings. 

Since joining the Orioles, Feldman is allowing nearly two fewer hits a game per nine innings than he has in his career, and striking out almost one more. 

Feldman is a pending free agent, and the Orioles shouldn’t let him leave. 

A year ago, he signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, hoping he could parlay this year into his first multi-year deal. 

An analysis in MLBTradeRumors predicts that Feldman will sign a two-year contract for $17 million. That shouldn’t be too much for the Orioles, particularly after Feldman has shown his durability. 

Chris Tillman is the clear No. 1 starter. There currently isn’t a No. 2.

Wei-Yin Chen, who starts Monday, missed two months with an oblique strain, has won only one of his last nine starts. 

Miguel Gonzalez has won 10, but has just two wins in his last 12 starts, and Bud Norris, who is under team control for two more seasons, has a WHIP of 1.629. 

The Orioles would like Kevin Gausman to join the rotation next year, and maybe Zach Britton gets one last chance. 

If the Orioles sign Feldman, they would enter spring training with a potential rotation of Tillman, Feldman, Chen, Gonzalez, Gausman and Norris. That’s certainly representative. 

If the Orioles don’t sign Feldman, they’ll spend the winter looking for more inexpensive alternatives. They’ll find them, but they probably won’t be as dependable as Feldman.