Baltimore Orioles: Potential landing spots for Chris Tillman

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 20: Starting pitcher Chris Tillman
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 20: Starting pitcher Chris Tillman /
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Former Baltimore Orioles ace Chris Tillman is one of the more interesting players available this offseason. Where could the Orioles former ace land?

There was a time when Chris Tillman looked like a long term option atop the Baltimore Orioles rotation. After years of waiting, he finally tapped into his immense potential in 2012, posting a 9-3 record with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.047 WHiP in his 86 innings. Tillman, who had appeared to be at a crossroads earlier that year, had given the Orioles hope he could be a part of the future.

In 2013 and 2014, Tillman became the pitcher the Orioles hoped for. While he was not quite a superstar, he had established himself as a top of the rotation starter, a key piece for Baltimore. In those two seasons, Tillman produced a 29-13 record, along with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.226 WHiP. He was a solid workhorse, leading the league in starts in 2014, and pitching over 200 innings each season.

After a down year in 2015, Tillman was right back to his former self in 2016. The Orioles Opening Day starter, he posted a solid 16-6 record with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.285 WHiP. He was now the Orioles ace, and a candidate for an extension as Baltimore built towards the future.

However, disaster struck in 2017. Tillman struggled after his late start to the season, and was eventually demoted to the bullpen. The former All Star looked like a shadow of himself, posting a 1-7 record with a 7.84 ERA and a 1.892 WHiP. He walked 4.9 batters per nine innings, the second highest mark of his career, while striking out only 6.1 batters per nine. In 93 innings, Tillman allowed 24 homers. It was one of the worst ways he could have entered free agency.

However, given his track record prior to last season, Tillman could be the type of pitcher that can help a team. On a one year, make good contract, he would be the prefect buy low candidate for a team with payroll limitations. Or, for a team looking for a back of the rotation starter with upside, Tillman would be a great fit.

Let’s take a look at a few teams that could make sense for the former Baltimore Orioles ace.