This is a tricky one. It all depends on the interpretations of "look" and "top-of-the-rotation starter." And when some of these guys are actually going to sign. The Orioles have been interested in several available free-agent starters, including right-hander Bronson Arroyo and four who haven't signed yet: right-handers Ervin Santana, pictured, Ubaldo Jimenez, A.J. Burnett and Suk-min Yoon. It's arguable, however, if any qualify as top starters -- though they were among the best available this offseason and would, in most cases, be considered a rotation upgrade for the Orioles. The Orioles did not really pursue the two most intriguing free-agent pitchers, right-handers Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Garza. They had their sights on Arroyo, the most consistent of the group, but he signed for a slightly more lucrative package from the Arizona Diamondbacks. They also wanted Burnett, a Monkton resident, but that doesn't seem like it is going to happen. Santana and Jimenez are still in play, but they both will receive lucrative contracts and are tied to draft-pick compensation. Despite how late it is the offseason, the Orioles still could end up with a lesser-tier starter to join Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris. But that would be more of a back-end starter and not someone to help anchor the staff.
Ed Zurga, Getty Images