Looking into the current status of the Orioles' 10 free agents from season's end - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Looking into the current status of the Orioles’ 10 free agents from season’s end

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

If you’ve been paying attention this offseason, you know the drill about free agency.

Few significant deals have been consummated. A ton of quality players are looking for jobs. The players are waiting. The players’ union is ticked. The agents are whispering – or shouting – collusion.

And Major League Baseball contends this is the current market: Figure it out, embrace it or at least live with it.

There are more than 100 free agents still on the market. And the Orioles haven’t signed a major leaguer to a big league deal (unless you count right-hander Michael Kelly, who was signed and placed on the 40-man roster in December, but has never pitched in the majors).

On Wednesday – which marked one week before pitchers and catchers must report to Sarasota, Fla. – the Orioles announced the signing of three players: outfielder Craig Gentry and relievers Elvis Araujo and David Holmberg. All were signed to minor league deals, and only Gentry, who had 117 plate appearances with the Orioles last year, received an invitation to spring training.

If you want a microcosm of what this free agent market has become, look no further than the Orioles’ 10 free agents at the end of last season.

Only one has inked a big league deal and only three have signed a pro contract. Certainly, part of the reason is that, as a group, the 10 had down years in 2017. But you’d think most would land big league deals. This offseason, though, is like nothing we’ve witnessed before – or at least not in decades.

Here’s a look at what’s going on with the 10 Orioles that declared free agency at season’s end:

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. phildell

    February 8, 2018 at 8:43 am

    The fact that the so called “top tier” FA’s are still waiting for offers, it doesn’t surprise me that the O’s FA’s are still in limbo. Except for Tillman (who I wish would get an offer from the O’s) these guys are fill in types. And until the big name FA’s are in place, they’ll continue to wait.
    Tillman has a lot to prove. And until last year, he was as valuable a part of the rotation as anyone. Given the desperate starting pitching situation the O’s

    • phildell

      February 8, 2018 at 8:44 am

      Are in, why wouldn’t he be at the top of their list?

    • Dan Connolly

      February 8, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Yeah. There just doesn’t seem to be much aggressiveness there.

    • cynos

      February 8, 2018 at 10:04 am

      The talk of signing Tillman is premature. Sign 2 solid pitchers then you can take a chance on Tillman. But as of now, you cannot afford for him to fail.But I am just fed up. How can you talk about about competing and then talk about resigning Miley. They can talk to Miley but can they talk to either Machado or Schoop no. What does Duquette do while waiting for someone to fall into his lap? Go through the seat cushions looking for loose change.?

  2. Orial

    February 8, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I find the interest in Tillman by the team and fans to be reaching considering how awful and dishonest he was with his coaches(telling them he was fine) in 2017. Another concern I have is Angelos’ fear of long term deals for pitchers. Hearing that a possible 3 year/$57 million deal for Lance Lynn is in the works to be followed by articles on Angelos’ long term reluctance is very annoying. It’s mandatory that they remain aggressive.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 8, 2018 at 9:48 am

      I think it has to be on a case-by-case basis. But Angelos and family is right here in the belief that 4 and 4+ deals for free agent pitchers rarely work out. Again, sometimes you have to take a shot. But generally speaking it’s not wise.

    • Dpsmith22

      February 8, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Remain aggressive? Not disagreeing that aggressiveness is called for, but I am not sure I have ever seen them aggressive. Duquette moves at the speed of a snail alone, let alone adding PA and his crew into it.

  3. GSISDANNO

    February 8, 2018 at 9:51 am

    It doesn’t surprise me that Jimenez. Miley, Tillman and Hellickson are unsigned. Tillman is a HUGE question mark. The other three impressed nobody last season

    All during his career. We have heard about Miiley’s potential. He has bounced from Houston to Arizona to Boston to Seattle. He is runnimg our of teams.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 8, 2018 at 11:12 am

      The surprise is it has been this long and none has jobs. Say what you want about last year, but MLB rotations are a mess and all of these guys have experience. I expect all to get jobs. The timing is the thing.

  4. Dpsmith22

    February 8, 2018 at 10:36 am

    It is no surprise that few of the O’s free agents aren’t signed. The majority of them are from the “no one else wanted” category and the others are just plain bad.

    Sorry Dan, but Smith was not adequate in the outfield and slow on the bases. He was, the same as most of Duquette’s signings, not a factor.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 8, 2018 at 11:13 am

      To me, adequate is making the plays one should make. He did that. Was he limited? Sure. But he was adequate.

      • Dpsmith22

        February 8, 2018 at 11:33 am

        Ok. I understand your definition.

        I will say it this way. Smith is not good enough defensively to play the OF, utilizing the big side of a platoon.

        With Mancini in LF, Smith’s lack of range becomes exasperated. The sabermetric folks think Smith was 7 runs worse than average in 17′ and FAR worse in Seattle in 16′..

        Let’s ask Jones if Smith was adequate.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 8, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      I think Jones would agree to adequate. Or fine, anyway. He has had worse next to him. Trust me on that. Not a fan of defensive metrics is putting it mildly. But I think we agree he’s not a good defender. I just don’t think he is a bad one.

      • Dpsmith22

        February 8, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        I agree he has had worse. lol The O’s total indifference to outfielders is hard to fathom. 2015 O’s OF WORST in baseball. Keep in mind that was the off-season Markakis and Cruz were allowed to walk.

        Had Mancini not forced his way onto the team, the O’s outfield would have been the WORST again. it almost was, even with him.

  5. TxBirdFan

    February 9, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I like it that mediocre free agents are not signing for $millions. Ticket prices continue to rise, and going to a game has become expensive. We should only pay for top talent who want to play hard baseball in Baltimore, and want to win for the fans.

  6. thebookdoc

    February 10, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Nice summary. The free agent market remains pretty incredible, and frankly I’m glad. I’m tired of huge contract failures on any team. Baseball players need to realize there is not a player on the planet worth 30 million a year when slots in a lineup can be filled by guys like mancini for a million or less. I’ve nothing against players earning, but the reality of that comparison says it all.

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