The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly moving on from free agent pitchers Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb.
However, those plans of adding another arm received some critical news today as MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports the Orioles checked on Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb, but determined there wasn’t a financial match. As a result, the Orioles are moving forward without the trio of pitchers.
Furthermore, Kubatko reports:
"A left-hander would fit nicely into the rotation, with Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes Jr. the only real in-house consideration, but Jason Vargas and Jaime García are off the board. Francisco Liriano continues to linger."
Of the two pitchers mentioned, Nestor Cortes Jr. is a Rule 5 draft pick and is already on the Orioles roster. On the other hand, Francisco Liriano is a free agent who had stints with the Toronto Blue Jays and reigning World Series champion Houston Astros.
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Cortes Jr., 23, is a rare left-handed pitching option for the Orioles who first pitched in the New York Yankees Gulf Coast League and remained in the Yankees organization for the next three years. Just last year, Cortes Jr. made 13 starts in the minors with a 7-4 record and 2.06 ERA.
On Dec. 14, 2017, the Orioles claimed the lefty off waivers from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in the Yankees farm system. Cortes Jr. is will now battle for a rotation spot throughout Orioles spring training as he strives for his MLB debut in 2018.
Liriano, 34, is coming off a World Series title with Houston where he made appearances in Game 1 and Game 3 of the American League Divison Series. In the two outings, Game 1 was by far his best as he allowed two hits and one earned run in Game 3 against the Boston Red Sox.
Entering first full team workouts, the Orioles projected rotation per RosterResource.com consist of Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Kevin Gausman, Chris Tillman and Gabriel Ynoa. Out of the five starters, only Bundy and Cashner posted opponent batting averages below the MLB average of .252, per FanGraphs.com.