Zack Greinke: Just the Ace the Orioles Are looking For

Saturday November 10th, 2012

Kyle Holland:  The Orioles had by far  surprising run in 2012. Not one ESPN or MLB Network reporter predicted them to make as strong of a run as they did. After finishing the 2011 campaign 69-93, they turned it around with an impressive 93-69 record. They won an amazing 16 extra inning games in a row, an MLB record. The Orioles were definitely strong contenders this year, but lacked in one key area. Starting pitching.

Solution to this pitching problem? Zack Greinke. Greinke is the best pitcher on the free agent market this year and an ace like him is exactly what the Orioles need. Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen had probably the best seasons on the starting staff, but neither are a go-to ace. Hammel had a 3.43 ERA in 20 games started with an 8-6 record. Chen lead the team in wins, ERA, and strikeouts (with a qualifying amount of innings pitched). He tossed 154 Ks with a 4.02 ERA through collecting 12 wins along the way. The O’s pitching was their downfall in the ALDS.

Greinke would be a perfect fit in Baltimore. The Orioles have plenty of money to spend considering they have no superstars on their team. Even with the lack of big names, they found ways to get people on base and score runs. They finished the regular season with a .311 OBP scoring 712 runs.

In the clubhouse, it seems to be a great atmosphere. The players all get along with each other and Buck Showalter is one of the most loved and respected managers in the league. Plus, he knows how to manage a team. He has 2 manager of the year awards under his belt and is looking for a third this year. Showalter was indeed a player himself, although not in the majors, so he knows how to act around the guys. He would know how to use and treat a veteran like Greinke.

Another reason Greinke would fit in an Orioles uniform is the atmosphere of the Baltimore fans. For a city that is not used to winning in a long time, he won’t have much pressure put on him. He won’t have to be living up to the hype that everyone in LA expected from him. He went 9-3 in Milwaukee this year before the trade deadline. When going to Los Angeles  they expected the same from him. Greinke gave the Angels 6 more wins, while adding 2 more losses to finish the season at 15-5, a wonderful record. With C.J. Wilson also on board, the Angels did not deliver what was hoped for and expected when Greinke came to L.A. – A playoff berth.

Before Greinke went to L.A., the Orioles did indeed make an attempt to get him from the Brewers. They were “going hard” after him but were unwilling to give up Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado, two of the top prospects in baseball. Obviously the O’s were unable to get him in a trade at the deadline, but this was probably for the best. There is no guarantees that the Orioles would have ended up re-signing Greinke at the end of the year and would have lost 1-2 or their top prospects. Now the Orioles have the chance to get Greinke all over again.

The Orioles only have $53 dollars worth of commitments for 2013 and only Adam Jones is signed past 2014, so they clearly have plenty of payroll room. This would be a great pickup for the O’s during the 2012-13 offseason and just add to the competitiveness in the AL East, widely considered to be the top division in pro baseball.

Don’t doubt this pickup for the Orioles or sleep on them in 2013 again. They may pull another rabbit out of the hat and shock the professional baseball world two straight years. 

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

Welcome our newest Baseball Intern, Kyle Holland! You can find Kyle on Twitter (@TheKHolland13) – be sure to follow him and send all your comments!

 

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Posted on November 10, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Are you serious!!! You believe their pitching cost them the ALDS!!! Did you even watch the series??? The Orioles STARTING pitching gave a up a total of SEVEN EARNED RUNS in the five game series, SEVEN!!! SEVEN!!! That’s amazing…now their bullpen let them down, but Zack Greinke is a STARING PITCHER, not a relief pitcher, so your argument as to why the Orioles should sign him in very inaccurate…but for other reasons, I agree they should sign him!!! Now that I got that out, I enjoyed the article and would love for him to be wearing orange on Saturdays next season.

  2. Interesting. But, there are several other good players on the team that the Orioles should focus on retaining! Matt Wieters, JJ Hardy, Chris Davis, Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Nolan Reimold. And Mark Reynolds if they can keep him.

    What kind of contract would Zack Greinke be looking for? My guess is something like 7 years and 90 million. But I’m more knowledgeable about football than baseball.

    Ivan

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