The Orioles finally reached a deal to bring veteran RHP Yovani Gallardo to Baltimore. Gallardo reportedly agreed to a three-year, $35 million contract with a $13 million option for 2019.

Not a bad deal financially for a pitcher who has proven to be very reliable during his major league career. He will hit the post every fifth day for manager Buck Showalter and keep the Birds in most games he pitches.

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However, unless the other members of the Orioles rotation step up their performance, the Gallardo acquisition will not have much effect on the American League East standings in 2016.

Baltimore starting pitchers had a combined earned run average of 4.53 in 2015. That less-than-stellar number was the 2nd-worst in the AL.

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Chris Tillman (4.99) and Miguel Gonzalez (4.91) both regressed from a 2014 campaign in which they posted strong ERA’s (3.34 and 3.23, respectively). After a solid first half in which he put together a 2.81 ERA, Ubaldo Jimenez scuffled to a 5.63 ERA post All-Star break in ’15.

Kevin Gausman never really found his groove in 2015 as he spent time in the bullpen, on the DL, in the minors and in the Baltimore rotation. I’m thinking 2016 could very well be his breakout season.

The Orioles will begin 2016 with five right-handers expected to make up their starting staff. If they pitch well, that will more than make up for the fact that they currently lack a left-handed starting pitcher.

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Of course, if they pitch well, the Orioles could be headed for a big year.