Orioles rumors: Targeting starting pitching, power bats

Greg Fiume

The Orioles continue to target veteran starting pitchers and power bats.

Fresh off his five-year contract extension, Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette told reporters that he’s interested in adding a power bat and veteran starting pitcher before the winter is through.

Duquette told reporters, including Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun, that the Orioles would still like to add a veteran starter to their rotation of young arms. The GM also said he’s had numerous talks with other teams in efforts to add a power bat, but rival clubs are "asking for too much young pitching" in return, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports.

At this point, the Orioles project a starting four of Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman. If the team isn’t able to acquire a veteran arm, they would be looking at in-house candidates, including Zach Britton, Steve Johnson, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz, to fill the No. 5 spot. Top prospect Dylan Bundy may not be ready out of spring training, but he also figures to push for a spot at some point this season.

As far as targets from outside the organization go, the Orioles have been tied to free agents and potential trades. Baltimore is said to have interest in re-signing Joe Saunders, while they’ve also been connected to free agents Shaun Marcum and Kyle Lohse. They’ve also reportedly held talks with the Detroit Tigers concerning right-hander Rick Porcello.

On the impact bat front, the O’s have reportedly expressed interest in Arizona Diamondbacks outfielders Jason Kubel and Justin Upton. They were also connected to Mike Morse before he was dealt to the Seattle Mariners, while being tied to M’s first baseman Justin Smoak.

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