Blue Jays: Additions, losses, and breakout candidates for AL East rivals

Henry Wright
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 19: Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays watches the ball leave the ballpark after hitting a solo homerun in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in a Spring Training game at BayCare Ballpark on March 19, 2022 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 19: Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays watches the ball leave the ballpark after hitting a solo homerun in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in a Spring Training game at BayCare Ballpark on March 19, 2022 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles’ No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman eyes the bases during his Delmarva Shorebirds’ debut on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.Adley 6 /

The Baltimore Orioles

Biggest Loss: Pedro Severino

This section is a little bit tough for the Orioles since their shortage of good players makes it tough for them to have any sort of “big loss”. That being said, they did lose Pedro Severino to the Brewers in free agency, who had been their starting catcher for most of the last three seasons. Over that time, Severino posted a 91 OPS+, which is actually above average for catchers, with the league average being 90. He was also a solid presence behind the plate, providing above replacement level defence with a 1.2 dWAR. Despite all that, I imagine they’re not too concerned about who will be starting at catcher, thanks to the player I have as my breakout candidate.

Biggest Addition: Jordan Lyles

Considering their league-lowest payroll of just over 30 million, it’s no surprise that the Orioles weren’t big spenders in free agency. Because of this, their biggest signing of the offseason may have been the most underwhelming of any team in baseball. Starting pitcher, Jordan Lyles, is coming off a season in which he was in serious contention for worst pitcher in baseball. His 5.15 ERA was the third-worst among all qualified pitchers in MLB, and he led the American League in both earned runs and home runs allowed. The Orioles, however, have little to no starting pitching depth, so they gave Lyles a one-year, seven million dollar deal in the hopes that he can provide them some innings. This may seem like a bad choice for this category, but the reality is that the Orioles have no plans on competing for anything other than last place in 2022, so the options were pretty limited.

Breakout Candidate: Adley Rutschman

Finally, if you’re an Orioles fan, something to be excited about. The 2019 first overall draft pick, and consensus top two prospect in baseball, Adley Rutschman, is finally set to make his major league debut at some point in 2022. The switch-hitting catcher absolutely tore up the minors in 2021, posting a .899 OPS in 452 at-bats in both AA and AAA. With that, he also brings with him some well above average defence, and raving reviews from every team he’s played on. Depending on who you ask, either him or Royals shortstop, Bobby Witt Jr, is the number one prospect in baseball, but at that point, you’re really just splitting hairs. The point is, Adley is the real deal, and expect him to make a huge impact once he reaches the majors this season. It’s been a pretty miserable few years in Baltimore, but he could make it all worth it.

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