There’s no question that the Baltimore Orioles had a successful season in 2012. They finally returned to the playoffs and push the New York Yankees to their limits. However, the Orioles still have plenty of work to do on their roster in the offseason if they are to build on this year’s success. Left as is, the Orioles would not be an MLB odds on favorite to make the playoffs in 2013.
Overall, the team was built on the sum of the parts rather than superstars. They lacked a true staff ace, a good cleanup hitter and a proven closer. Even so, a number of diamonds in the rough were discovered and if the Orioles can supplement the roster, they could be built to compete for years to come.
While the general consensus right now is that hitting is the issue – especially since the offense went completely cold in October – the truth is that a stud starter could be the bigger key. The O’s got by with what they had in the rotation and the late season acquisition of Joe Saunders helped but even so, they never had that true No. 1. They saw how valuable that type of an ace can be when C.C. Sabathia shut them down in the pivotal Game 5 of the ALDS. They didn’t have anyone to counter with.
There are going to be plenty of options out there including Dan Haren and Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Angels. Both have been studs in the past and both will supply the O’s with what they are looking for. Greinke would obviously be the better of the two. Also, Jake Peavy is on the market and could be an option.
Pretty much every team in baseball would love to have an ace – or another one – but for the O’s, it really could be the difference between building on their 2012 success or missing the playoffs in 2013.