Tha Sports Junkies 101

Baltimore Orioles: New Year, New Team

Baltimore Orioles: New Year, New Team Image via Sportsgraphics36


Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles headed into the 2016 season with some question marks, as they had a very underwhelming rotation and while they still featured some prominent threats in their line-up, many felt that the Orioles would not be a contender in the AL East. After managing to keep Matt Wieters on a qualifying offer, and re-signing Chris Davis to a seven-year, $161 million deal, many fans felt that Baltimore did not spend enough on pitching or bring in the right pitchers.

One of the lone pitching bright spots for the Orioles was Zach Britton, who put together a career year going 47 for 47 in save opportunities and posting a minuscule ERA of 0.54. With Britton and Daren O’Day steadying the back-end of the bullpen, the O’s were able to steal games away from their opponents late. Meanwhile Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, and Manny Machado combined for 122 home runs between the three of them. That is the kind of power the AL East is known for, and helped keep the sputtering Orioles in the wild card hunt. They would ultimately fall to the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th inning of the wild card game, amid some questionable decisions by manager Buck Showalter. The biggest decision was not calling upon Zach Britton with the game tied and allowing Ujbaldo Jimminez to pitch the fateful bottom of the 10th.

Chris Tillman put together a solid first half to his season by going 12-2 with a 3.41 ERA but struggled like the rest of the starters down the stretch going 4-4 with a 4.45 ERA. Baltimore never had a true ace throughout the season, as they had the Boston Red Sox approach of 2015 where the Red Sox had talented pitchers, but no one could step up and fill that ace role that eventually led to an awful year.

Off-Season Moves:

Heading into the 2017 season, the Orioles lost a number of players to free agency such as Mark Trumbo, Pedro Alverez, Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, Michael Bourn, Steave Pearce, Tommy Hunter and Bryan Duensing all off of their major league roster. The only real notable signing by the Orioles at this point in time was Wellington Castillo to help fill the hole left by Matt Wieters behind the plate. They also traded for swing-man Logan Verret from the New York Mets and sent Yavoni Gaillardo to the Seattle Mariners for Seth Smith.

While these moves don’t seem to be impressive and don’t look like they will keep the Orioles in the hunt for a playoff spot this year, they could be focused on getting ready to pay Manny Machado as he becomes a free agent after the 2019 season.

Expectations for 2017:

The Baltimore Orioles will struggle mightily in 2017, ultimately regressing and missing the playoffs due to their lack of commitment to pitching. While Machado, Davis and Adam Jones should play well like normal, expect the Orioles to be sellers at the deadline and possibly move into a rebuild in the coming years, as many of the key faces of their franchise are due to hit free agency soon. With the rise of the New York Yankees next year, and Boston looking like they hold a firm grip on first place in the East, and a Toronto team that is good enough to finish above the Orioles; all signs point to a disappointing season for Orioles fans.


The Baltimore Orioles would be wise to look at a possible semi-rebuild, and possibly trade away some players at the deadline this year to help restock a very thin farm system. In the always competitive AL East, the Orioles just don’t have what it will take to compete and will be on the outside looking in come October.