Some have called the Orioles “winners” in free agency, after they were able to retain Matt Wieters, Darren O’Day, and Chris Davis. It took a lot of money to do so, but Peter Angelos opened up his wallet to keep the fan-favorites around.
The team also brought in Hyun-soo Kim to play left field and Mark Trumbo will likely fill the utility void left by Steve Pearce while also serving as the designated hitter. However, the Orioles still have holes in their rotation and in right field.
Here’s a look at who Baltimore may still try to go after in free agency:
SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo recently reported that Gallardo was down to the Orioles, Astros and Rockies. He’s been linked to the Orioles most of the offseason and the team seems very interested in adding him to the rotation.
The problem is he’ll cost Baltimore its first-round pick and is also the most expensive pitcher left on the market. He also struggled against Boston, New York and Tampa Bay last season, giving up a combined 18 runs in 33 2/3 innings against those teams.
Gallardo did have a 3.42 overall ERA, which the Orioles would gladly take if he can somehow keep that form. It’s a gamble, but it’s one the Orioles might make – it depends whether or not you believe Dan Duquette when he says that the team doesn’t want to part with that pick.
SP Doug Fister
Fister is coming off the worst season of his career, but has a career 3.42 ERA and doesn’t walk many batters (1.8 BB/9 in 1085 innings). He’s also reportedly looking for just a 2/$22M deal, which is much more affordable than signing Gallardo.
Fister isn’t as big a gamble as Gallardo and has a better pitching history. The Orioles will likely look into the former National and could add him if Gallardo chooses to sign elsewhere, or if they choose to keep their draft pick.
SP Mat Latos
Latos fell apart last season and had the worst season of his career (4-10, 4.95 ERA), just like Fister. It hurt his value and he has only received small looks in the market so far.
The Orioles checked in with the pitcher and might work out a one-year deal with Latos. It’d be a low-risk/high-reward deal, as he might be able to find his lost form. For his career, Latos has pitched to a 3.51 ERA and 3.44 FIP. Even last year, his FIP was a respectable 3.72, so he could be a bounce-back candidate.
OF Marlon Byrd
The 38-year-old is still swatting home runs and could be a cheap signing if the Orioles want him to play right field. He also batted .271 against lefties last year. His defense has struggled since he’s gotten older, but the Orioles have always been willing to trade offense for defense.
It’s worked before….right?
Talk about falling off. The former Phillies stud dropped off and floated around in the minors in 2015 after OPS’ing .818 and smacking 27 homers in 2013. He’s now a free agent and hasn’t received any interest as of late. However, Brown is only 28 and has a powerful swing.
The Orioles could give him a deal with a Spring Training invite to battle Dariel Alvarez for right field if the team doesn’t find another right fielder in free agency.
Are any of these guys of interest to you?