Baltimore decides Craig Kimbrel is the cure for its bullpen


Baltimore Oriole fans were hoping for a big move during the Winter Meetings to cleanse their palates after a disappointing end to the team’s 101-win season. However, their hopes were dashed when the franchise’s big splash turned out to be signing Craig Kimbrel. With mixed feelings about the former Phillies closer, fans are left wondering if this move is enough to address the team’s needs.

Kimbrel, who is now 35 years old, has played for four different teams since turning 30. Known for his tightrope saves, he has had his fair share of ups and downs. But the real concern lies with the Orioles and their lack of urgency. Despite winning 100 games for the first time since 1980 and having promising young talent, the team seems to be treating 2024 as a gap year.

The loss of regular closer Felix Bautista due to Tommy John surgery adds to the team’s bullpen woes. Kimbrel’s one-year, $13 million deal is seen as a temporary fix rather than a long-term solution. While there is still plenty of talent available in the market, it remains to be seen if the Orioles will make any significant moves to address their needs.

The departure of innings leader starting pitcher Kyle Gibson, who signed with the Cardinals, further highlights the team’s challenges. Replacing him will not be easy, especially considering the limited options available. With other teams with deeper pockets vying for top pitchers like Jordan Montgomery, Blake Snell, Marcus Stroman, and Eduardo Rodriguez, the Orioles will have to make a compelling offer to attract any of them.

Perhaps with the Angelos family’s infighting over control of the team now resolved, there is hope that John Angelos, the team’s executive vice president, will feel confident enough to extend contracts to some of the Orioles’ talented young players. Adley Rustchman, Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez, and others have shown their potential to contribute to a winning team.

While building an Orioles dynasty may be a pipe dream, as the Angelos family has a reputation for not spending big in free agency, it is not impossible for a small-market organization to capitalize on its title window. The Kansas City Royals did it less than a decade ago. However, preaching patience to Baltimore fans is unlikely to be well-received. They want to win now or forever hold a grudge.

The signing of Kimbrel may not be a game-changer from a baseball standpoint, as bullpens can always find closers from spare parts. However, it symbolizes a missed opportunity for the Orioles to make a significant move and address their needs. With talent still available in the market and time to make a splash, fans are hoping that the team will figure it out and make the necessary moves to compete at a higher level.

In conclusion, Baltimore Oriole fans were left disappointed with the team’s big move at the Winter Meetings, which turned out to be signing Craig Kimbrel. With concerns about the team’s lack of urgency and the need for more significant acquisitions, fans are hopeful that the Orioles will make the necessary moves to compete at a higher level. It’s win now or forever hold a grudge for Baltimore fans, and the Kimbrel signing may not be enough to satisfy their desires.

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