As numerous people have pointed out, including our illustrious bearded owner, we are probably going to be in the market for starting pitching. This will be necessary to both shore up weak spots in the rotation (Kevin Correia) and ease the load on our young ace. Because of the state of our payroll and farm system, we probably will not be adding an elite arm like Cliff Lee. Instead, I'd like to offer an alternative proposal that is inexpensive, has low risk, and high upside.
Before you freak out, look past his W/L record and ERA. His underlying numbers are actually very good—he’s got a 7.17 K/9 and a 2.74 BB/9. What is killing his ERA is a 1.68 HR/9 and a .336 BABIP. His problems with home runs are almost entirely explained by ballpark. If you look at his splits, he’s posting a 2.44 HR/9 at home in Baltimore, and a 0.90 HR/9 on the road. When you look at his home FIP, it’s 6.07. His road FIP is 3.83. His BABIP is at least partially explained by playing in front of a crappy defense—the Orioles rank as the 6th worst team in baseball in both UZR and UZR/150.
There’s a caveat that he’s performed worse in June than he did earlier in the season, but three of the five starts he’s made in June have been at home, where again it’s been home runs and BABIP that have hurt him. Also, two of his June starts have been against the Yankees.
Lastly, he’s due about $5m for the remainder of the season, and I imagine the Orioles could probably be induced to pick up a chunk of that. I bet he could be had for a fringy prospect, possibly even a PTBNL. A move out of the AL East and into Petco Park would probably do wonders for him.
I’m not claiming he’s going to be an ace, but he would probably be better and more dependable than Kevin Correia.