Tap-In Question: Which remaining free agent is the best fit for the Orioles? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: Which remaining free agent is the best fit for the Orioles?

Got a little late start to the bar this morning. A brief ice storm put schools around me on a two-hour delay. Ice storm. Kids.

Anyway, the joint is open for business. So are roughly 100 free agents who still don’t have a job on January 11, basically a month before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Here’s what I’ve done for you since I’m such a caring barkeep: I’ve given you a list of some of the best free agents still available by position. Hopefully, I didn’t miss anyone – or give you someone who has just been signed. You pick the one you think would most help the Orioles (I kept players at just one position).

Here you go.

C: Matt Wieters, Nick Hundley, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kurt Suzuki, Chris Iannetta.

1B: James Loney, Mark Reynolds, Dae-ho Lee, Justin Morneau.

2B: Chase Utley, Gordon Beckham, Aaron Hill.

SS: Alexi Ramirez, Erick Aybar, Stephen Drew.

3B: Luis Valbuena, Chris Johnson, Daniel Delcaso.


OF: Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista, Angel Pagan, Brandon Moss, Michael Saunders (pictured above), Michael Bourn, Austin Jackson, Desmond Jennings, Franklin Gutierrez, Coco Crisp, Peter Bourjos, Chris Coghlan.

DH: Mike Napoli, Chris Carter, Pedro Alvarez, Adam Lind, Ryan Howard, Logan Morrison.

SP: Jason Hammel, Doug Fister, Tyson Ross, Jake Peavy, Jered Weaver, Scott Feldman, Jorge De La Rosa, Colby Lewis.

RP: Boone Logan, Vance Worley, Tommy Hunter, Neftali Feliz, David Hernandez, Matt Albers, Luke Hochevar, Kevin Jepsen, Santiago Casilla, Jonathan Papelbon.

Tap-In Question: Which remaining free agent is the best fit for the Orioles?



  1. jonniebmore

    January 11, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Hey Dan,
    I think they should bring in Pagan. Plays good D, has some speed, could lead-off, switch hits, hits for a decent average and OBP. Has some pop too. Probably would not cost much either. Stick him in right field, platoon Kim and Ricard in left, and have Smith and Mancini share the DH spot. He’s an older guy, so Buck would have options to give him a day off now and then. A good fit.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2017 at 11:03 am

      I’m in 100 percent agreement with everything you detailed. Great fit. Shouldn’t be too expensive.

    • bigdaddydk

      January 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Totally agree. Without a ton of money to spend, at least assuming that Angelos isn’t going to open up the checkbook and start writing checks with reckless abandon, Pagan provides plenty of options. He’s a better leadoff option than the O’s have on the roster, and plays good defense.

    • Dpsmith22

      January 12, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Don’t forget 1 very important detail about Pagan, he can play CF in a pinch.

      Jones played hurt MUCH of last year because when Rickard went down, Duquette didn’t acquire someone to play center to spell Jones. He did get Stubbs..if you wanna call him a big league outfielder.

  2. Steve Cockey

    January 11, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Okay, I’m going there: Joey Bats.

    He could DH vs. RHP. He could play RF vs. LHP in a platoon with Smith. And, when he’s right, he’s the only real impact bat left on the market.

    Of course he’s risky. He’ll cost a first round draft pick, might not mesh well in the clubhouse, and is aging. He has warts — like every other free agent still available this time of year — and maybe more than most.

    But he also provides the biggest potential reward. And given the O’s narrowing window and refusal to talk about Manny or Britton in trades, they should be chasing the biggest potential impact. It’s now or never with trying to make a deep playoff run with this group. Adding Bautista brings the biggest potential reward.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2017 at 11:05 am

      What? What? What, what? Mark it down people. Jan. 11, 2017. Steve Cockey advocates giving up a draft pick for an aging free agent. My head is spinning. :).

    • Steve Cockey

      January 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Mine is too. Trust me.

      They’re just so far down this road that I think it makes sense, IF the player coming back has a chance to make a real impact. And Bautista, despite his age, is just one year removed from slashing .250/.377/.536. Add that to Machado and a Davis rebound, and there’s an offense that can hit with anyone. And good enough to make a deep playoff run if the pitching holds up.

      Plus, you’d get a pick back for Trumbo.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      January 11, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Blasphemer. You obviously have no shame.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Easy peasy … bring back Matty Weiters. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Logic and reason be danged.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      I’m thinking your way. A little bit anyway.

      • John in Cincy

        January 11, 2017 at 1:59 pm

        Is it really that tough to spell Wieters correctly? I’m constantly amazed at how many Oriole fans keep getting it wrong.

        Spelling rant aside, I’m a little with Boog, too. I gut feeling is that Matt’s going to have a comeback type season & the only question is for what team.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          January 11, 2017 at 2:22 pm

          I’m so ashamed. Nailed by the spelling police.

          And here (or is it hear?) I was thinking it’s I before E except after W?

          I blame this all on my Texas high school education.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          January 11, 2017 at 2:28 pm

          “I gut feeling”? Glass houses and all that …

          • John in Cincy

            January 12, 2017 at 12:22 am

            Nope, no glass house, Boog. You’ve never heard of the phrase, “I gut feeling”? Seriously?

            I guess the next thing you’re going to tell me is that you’ve also never heard of the famous song from back in the day, “I Gut Rhythm”. lol

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            January 12, 2017 at 7:27 am

            It’s all good my friend, after all, we’re all birds of a feather around here right?

            Who could ask for anything more?

          • John in Cincy

            January 12, 2017 at 6:28 pm

            All good, indeed, Boog, but it would be even better with another World Championship this year!

    • Steve Cockey

      January 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      I’m glad you guys made up. Grammar should never come between O’s fans.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 12, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        I dezerved it Steave. With all my insescent demanding to bring back “Weiters” … You’d think I’d at least no how to spill his name wright!

  4. ZantiGM

    January 11, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Hammell, Valbuena, Pagan and Colby Lewis, Jennings and Jepsen as 3 non-roster invitees

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Wow. That’s a whole lot of work to do. There are other teams with holes, too.

  5. amiezin

    January 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Could use a 2nd lefty in the pen. Logan seems like a fit. Not sure if they can put it all on Hart.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2017 at 11:36 am

      I agree. Maybe Hart can do it. But if not, then what?

  6. OsFanStuckInNY

    January 11, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Pedro Alvarez and call it a day.
    I like the Mancini/Alvarez DH platoon.
    I expect Kim to prove he can handle LH pitching well enough. Joey Rickard can platoon with Smith in RF and spell Jones in CF. Rule 5 or current prospect to spell Kim in LF against toughest lefties.

    • OsFanStuckInNY

      January 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      And save $$ for mandatory career contract for Manny

    • Dpsmith22

      January 12, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Tavarez, the Rule 5 guy is a lefty as well.

      I like Alvarez too. Off the bench late, when not starting and isn’t afraid to take a walk. Price will be right as opposed to Trumbo.

      Not sure what smart organization would pay a DH 4/50. Not to mention their marquee player is coming up for free agency in 2 years.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Bringing back Pedro makes some sense. But I still think you need another OF with OBP skills on this roster.

  7. HOF19

    January 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Do you think the O’s would give an interview to Colby Lewis ?…..GO O’s

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2017 at 11:38 am

      I’d give him an interview. And I would assume the Os would have some interest if the price is right.

  8. Alg0nqu1n

    January 11, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Doug Fister. Even with a finger blister.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2017 at 11:39 am

      I’m buying what you’re selling, mister

    • Steve Cockey

      January 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Random trivia time: Name the former Oriole whose walk-up song was by Mr. Mister?

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 12, 2017 at 1:16 pm

        Nate McClouth ?

        OK I admit … I googled. (I’m so ashamed)

        • Alg0nqu1n

          January 13, 2017 at 12:00 am

          Nate McClouth. He really hustled & made some great catches in LF and cracked out a lot of key hits.

    • Steve Cockey

      January 12, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      You’ve got it, Boog. “Kyrie” was the song. Came on the other day in the grocery store, and many fun ‘Nate the Great’ memories came flooding back 🙂 haha.

  9. HakunaMachado

    January 12, 2017 at 9:40 am

    The Orioles are almost in a win now mode but also need to plan for the future, which is a tough place to be in. I think they need 4 more players that aren’t going to be too pricey. I love the idea of adding Pagan, because he fits the mold they most notably need to fill. Buck wantso another lefty for the OF which Pagan is a switch hitter, so he fits there. He can also play in the OF consistently with Smith relieving him at times. He can also be the leadoff hitter that the Orioles need. Jonesy is better served with runners in scoring position more often.
    I would also add a power bat. I like Carter for his price here. Bautista is the best available, but with Pagan and Smith, wouldn’t be needed as much and he’d be more expensive and comes with a lot of baggage. Carter belted over 40 HR’so which could be huge in Camden Yards.
    I also think one more RP could be useful. I would choose Boone here as I think he’s the best available but still wouldn’t be much.
    Finally, I think one more SP would be perfect. I like Hammel a lot here. He has a history with the team and division and will fill the rotation in nicely.

    Thone are my ideal additions. I also wouldn’t be opposed to Bourne for the OF. I’m also intrigued by Tyson Ross for SP. He could be an ace that will come cheap on a 1 year deal.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Good stuff. But as I said earlier. That’s a lot of remaining work and there are other teams with holes too.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      January 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Awesome site name friend. Bartender, set this man up with a drink on me.

  10. jennings312913

    January 12, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    I say pick up Brandon Moss. While he is 33 the Orioles should be able to get him relatively cheap. No qualifying offer to worry about. He’s a lefty bat which plays well at Camden Yards. While he does hit right handed pitching a little bit better his numbers against south paws are still respectable.

    He even has some lead off potential. With the current Orioles around him I think he could have a good few seasons with the Orioles. His averaging 24 home runs a season the past 5 years helps too.

    • Steve Cockey

      January 12, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Welcome, Jennings. Moss is a name that definitely makes some sense, and the O’s reportedly have at least some interest in him. I’m not sure about him leading off (career .319 OBP), but a LH bat with power that can play corner OF and DH some definitely fits. And, like you mentioned, he shouldn’t cost a ton.

  11. Alg0nqu1n

    January 13, 2017 at 12:14 am

    If no winning starting pitchers are picked up, we are likely to have the recurring nightmare of Ubaldo Jimenez & Miley blowing a huge number of games. Does my memory serve me correctly that Duquette has said that, in so many words, the Orioles will not pay competitive amounts for top-tier starting pitchers?

    • Dan Connolly

      January 13, 2017 at 1:19 am

      Hasn’t really said that. But Os have never given a free agent pitcher more than 4 years. And that was 4-$50 to Jimenez. Long-term deals to pitchers are not often good investments and that’s a stance the O’s have adopted — even before Duquette.

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