Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun speculates that impending free agent John Lackey could be an option for the Orioles at the top of their rotation in 2010. After his last start versus the Orioles, Lackey had some positive comments for the Orioles which you would think they would take into consideration.
"Honestly they put some pressure on me," Lackey said. "They had some traffic on the bases and guys got some hits. I was able to make some big pitches to get out of a couple of innings with no damage, and they've got a nice lineup. They've got some pieces there that are going to be pretty good in the future."
The Orioles currently have two very promising young pitchers in Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz at the bottom of their rotation, with Jeremy Guthrie at the top. Adding Lackey, who owns a 3.72 ERA in 7 career starts at the Camden Yards, would take pressure off Guthrie and give some of their younger pitchers a veteran to follow.
With Dannys Baez, Aubrey Huff, and most likely Melvin Mora coming off the payroll, the Orioles will have even more money to spend to improve their chances. Adding two proven starters to that rotation would definitely change the attitude in the Orioles clubhouse. However, adding Lackey - who has a history of injuries - along with another starter might not be the best way to spend the available money, especially in a down economy.
Making it a priority to add a proven starter to help and shape the future Orioles could pay off huge for the Orioles. You can expect Orioles fans to be all over the Orioles front office to use some of that money intended for Mark Teixeira last offseason for a guy like Lackey.