MLB Rumors: Mets Yamamoto underdog, Orioles disappointment, Ohtani's contract caveat

  • Are the New York Mets considered underdogs for Yoshinobu Yamamoto?
  • The Baltimore Orioles may not target an ace after all
  • Shohei Ohtani's contract deferments may limit Dodgers after all.

World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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MLB Rumors: Orioles pivoting from search for ace?

The Baltimore Orioles enjoyed a rather successful season in 2023. The team won 101 games during the regular season and secured the top seed in the American League.

However, like the Dodgers, they too were swept in the Division Series, falling short against the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers. Baltimore's biggest flaw, which was their lack of a true No. 1 starter, was exposed against a powerful Rangers lineup.

Unfortunately, the Orioles may ultimately choose to pivot away from their search for an ace, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN. Kubatko notes that the Orioles have been hesitant to significantly raise their payroll, which could ultimately get in the way of them trying to make a play for Blake Snell, Shota Imanaga, or Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Instead, the Orioles may look to add a starter to the back of their rotation and hope that Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez will project as aces in 2024.

Baltimore is in desperate need of a top-level starter if they want to repeat their success from the 2023 season. If they are not going to add a starter in free agency, they could always make a trade for somebody like Dylan Cease or Shane Bieber.