There has been a lot of speculation about the Orioles recent trade acquisition of Kevin Millwood . To some the trade appears to be the Orioles acquiring a starting pitcher who is most likely past his prime. To others Millwood could bring the insight and the potential that Jamie Moyer brought to the Phillies in mentoring a young pitching staff and winning ball games. I’m not saying that Millwood is going to have the same success that Moyer had as he aged, however i’m not going to agree that age hinders a pitchers ability to win games.
As starters age they are forced to rely more on knowledge of situations, opponents, and their own pitching strengths. Whereas, a young hard throwing pitcher relies more upon his arm and talent alone. One example of this is Daniel Cabrera. Cabrera had some of the best potetial in the Orioles organization a couple of years ago, but he could never get control of his pitches and often found himself going short into games. However, Millwood brings maturity both on the field and off; something young pitchers can model themselves around. And something the Orioles pitching staff lacks. Im not knocking on Jeremy Guthrie, but it was visible that he was not able to carry the team on his back as the ace. Millwood, is the first established Ace the Orioles have had since Mussina. Of course Millwood would probably be maybe the fifth starter in the Yankee’s rotation, but he is the Orioles ace. He will bring much need knowledge to the Orioles pitching staff.
I think the Orioles would still be wise in bringing another veteran “inning eating” pitcher. There has been speculation that the Orioles might even bring back former Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard. Personally, I’m kinda split about having Bedard back. I mean yes it would be ironic because it would be a slap in the face to the Mariners. Especially if he was able to stay healthy, which he could not do in Seattle. However, this is the same guy who has criticized the Orioles and quit on the team. I worry that Bedard could become a cancer in the club house if the times get rough, which most likely the Orioles will encounter a couple times next year. I hope the Orioles can steer clear from Bedard, maybe they can also think there’s a reason no one else has come asking for his services.
So who do the Orioles go out and get? Well it will be a pitcher who has had some medical issues in the past. This will allow the Orioles to offer a one year-low base salary with a incentive structured contract. Chien-Mien Wang is a pitcher that i feel the Orioles should strongly pursue. The Yankees have made it apparent that they would like to bring back Wang, but they have yet to even offer him a contract. So why should the Orioles go after Wang? He is still only 29, he has won 19 games twice in his short career. That is something Erik Bedard can not claim. His career era was bloated a little from last year, but is still only 4.16. He would get the opportunity to compete for a starting job. If he does not make the rotation, Wang could still be used in the bull pen, which needs all the help it can get. There are quite a few other possibility out there, but Wang interests me the most, especially with his knowledge and success of pitching in the AL East.