The Orioles finished last in the majors last season in rotation ERA by more than a half-run. To this point, they’ve added only one starter, Japanese free-agent left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada. Needless to say, they will be a team to watch over the next month.
Taiwanese lefty Chen Wei-Yin remains among the Orioles’ targets, major-league sources say, as do at least two major-league free agents – right-hander Edwin Jackson and lefty Paul Maholm. The O’s reportedly are interested in free-agent lefty Joe Saunders as well.
Jackson, 28, is one of the top pitchers remaining on the open market, but the Orioles expect that he will be beyond their price range – particularly if Jackson’s agent, Scott Boras, meets his reported goal of a five-year, $60 million contract.
Maholm, 29, would be more realistic after going 6-14 with a 3.66 ERA for the Pirates last season, but missing time in late August/early September with a strained left shoulder. The Pirates declined his $9.75 million option at the end of the season.
Older free-agent starters such as right-handers Hiroki Kuroda, who turns 37 on Feb. 10, and Roy Oswalt, 34, are not realistic for the Orioles. Both would prefer to join contenders, sources say.