Tap-In Question (for a prize): Who will be the Orioles' first free agent signing of 2018? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Connolly's Tap Room

Tap-In Question (for a prize): Who will be the Orioles’ first free agent signing of 2018?

OK, I’m sorry. There I said it.

And it has nothing to do with the hike in fake drink prices. I was hoping you wouldn’t pick up on that. No, I’m apologizing for the baseball industry and us supposedly tapped-in scribes. I thought this offseason would have a little more action. So did, well, everyone else. We were wrong.

Here we are 10 days into January and the majority of free agents are still waiting on jobs. This keeps up, I’m gonna have to start waiting fake tables. Along with fake barkeeping.

I promise you this: The Orioles will add a free agent at some point this winter. It may not be flashy – in fact, it won’t be – but it will happen.

I’m keeping tabs on the organization and talking to agents, and the sense I am getting is that there is plenty of talk going on industry-wide and players are starting to narrow down their choices. But not a lot of concrete numbers are being thrown around – yet.

A flurry is coming to break the thaw. Or something like that.

So, let’s have a little fun with this slow market.

Not only is this your Tap-In Question for the day, it’s also a contest.

I want you to predict who will be the Orioles’ first free agent signing of 2018. It has to be a big league deal. It has to be someone who is presumed to be a contributing member of the 25-man roster in 2018.


The winner or winners will get a prize from the Tap Room closet (maybe a shirt, maybe a book, maybe a melted mug from 1978’s tankard night. I’m kidding about that last part. I think).

Anyway, answer the question and then keep your fingers crossed, you may be a winner. And winning is what it’s all about here in Baltimore … So …

It’d be nice if you explained your reasoning, too. But a name is all I need. And, again, it has to be the Orioles’ first signing of this calendar year – doesn’t count if Dan Duquette rescues the guy from the abyss in late February after the club has already signed others. First come, first served. All the rest are losers.

Tap-In Question (and contest): Who will be the Orioles’ first free-agent signing of 2018?




  1. TheWalkingEd

    January 10, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Chris Tillman. Holes need to be filled in the rotation. The orioles are intimately familiar with his body of work. And, he’s accessible to them as he is working out at their facilities in Sarasota.

    Just throwing a dart at a dartboard here but feel this is an obvious and safe choice.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Solid dart

    • Buzz1979

      January 10, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      The LEAGUE! hit 321! against Tillman last year, NO! Try Jaime Garcia.No to little Gonzo.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 10, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Jae-Gyun Hwang

    Reason? This guy’s name would make for a really cool T-shirt promotional night at the yard.

    Bartender … what’s this I hear about a price hike? hicº

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:03 am

      You are grandfathered in Boog.

  3. general81

    January 10, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Andrew Cashner. DD reaches beyond the known (Tillman) to the less-known.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:03 am

      I know they have legitimate interest.

  4. deqalt

    January 10, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Craig Gentry

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:04 am

      Wouldn’t rule it out. Tho the big league deal in this market may be a stretch. Which would disqualify you.

    • Buzz1979

      January 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      Ouch, no.

  5. 5brooks5

    January 10, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Alex Cobb, because I can dream can’t I? Look it, a pitcher that would make sense. Oh sorry, that’s the wrong team!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:04 am

      Dream Brooks, dream

  6. Orial

    January 10, 2018 at 8:28 am

    There are priorities and there are realities. That being said. The priority is Cashner and the reality is John Jay. I’m ok with both but think the unpopular signing of John Jay will be the first move. BUT Cashner or somebody similar has to be close behind.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:05 am

      I don’t understand why Jay would be unpopular. Not sexy, but serves a purpose.

  7. Johntr1984

    January 10, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Chris Tillman.
    Not a sexy pick, but a logical one. He’s working out with the orioles right now in Florida, there is a comfort level on both sides. Could definitely see a 1 year $6-8million dollar contract with incentives working for both sides.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:06 am

      Again. Solid dart

  8. Creatively_19

    January 10, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Practical, but probably not the first move made, but could be: Ryan Flaherty
    The Orioles aren’t sold on the capabilities on any of their INF backups at the moment. They don’t even have an extra infielder for the left side of the infield on the 40 man roster right now. You know the O’s are getting one, and it’s just a matter of time. Flaherty is a known and trusted commodity in the field, and also a potential 3rd catcher in an emergency situation. I think he’s back for another year and it’s only a matter of time.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:06 am

      Been quiet in the world of Flash.

      • Creatively_19

        January 10, 2018 at 9:20 am

        Quiet is the sound of a lot of moves DD makes though…

  9. SamAbate

    January 10, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Chris Tillman

  10. Gus Skronsky

    January 10, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Chris Tillman. As the song says, the more things change the more they stay the same… or something like that.

  11. Dblack2508

    January 10, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Miguel Gonzalez, a typical Orioles move.

  12. JoeFundo

    January 10, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Mike Moustakas…then everyone thinks Manny will be our Opening Day SS…then Manny gets traded to the White Sox.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 9:08 am

      You call that complete scenario and we give you multiple prizes.

  13. bickel57

    January 10, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Jose Vargas,P why he is a pitcher and he is a lefty.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:07 am

      I’ll take this one as Jason Vargas. Or you are digging deeper than Duquette.

  14. bthomas

    January 10, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Miguel Gonzalez with Dan saying “We are bringing back a guy with a good track record of pitching in the AL East. He knows our coaching staff. We are glad to have him back.”

  15. NickStevens

    January 10, 2018 at 9:22 am

    My gut says a left-handed outfielder who doesn’t make an impact. My heart says pitching…I’ll go with Jason Vargas.

  16. steveboothe12

    January 10, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Craig Gentry will be first signing

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Ok but it has to be a major league deal.

  17. DPG0124

    January 10, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I’ll say Lance Lynn because I think he’s better than Cashner/Vargas but the Orioles won’t pony up for Alex Cobb.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:22 am

      I don’t think they will pony up for Lynn either. But that’s why they call these predictions.

  18. phildell

    January 10, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Chris Tillman. At least I hope so. When you first mentioned it during last season I thought it made so much sense to do it then and it makes even more sense now. I really believe a one year deal will give him the opportunity to prove last year was a fluke and set himself up for a more lucrative deal.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:22 am

      It all makes sense.

  19. ricksjr123

    January 10, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Tilly Tilly! To the Pit of Misery! O’s sign Chris Tillman. He is at the mini camp, They need an arm and the cost should be low. Here’s to hoping for a bounce back season. 2 years ago with a month to go we were talking about Tillman winning 20 games. Last year he won 2. I don’t expect a repeat of either. Hoping to be somewhere in between.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:23 am

      He’s technically not at the minicamp. He is working out at the facility when the main group isn’t there because he lives in Sarasota. But I hear ya.

  20. OsBeforeBros

    January 10, 2018 at 10:40 am

    While I’m hoping for a couple of solid pitching signings, I think the first major league signing is CarGo.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Interesting. And noted

  21. LanceK

    January 10, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Jason Vargas. And a “hat tip” to you to energize readers to have to formally register to the website!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:55 am

      It’s a win-win. And we keep all registrants confidential. So no list is being sold or anything.

  22. OsBeforeBros

    January 10, 2018 at 10:55 am

    …and just for fun, I am predicting a reunion with Scott Feldman

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Not a bad name to throw in there.

    • Raymo

      January 11, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      Pleas NO!! Anybody but him. The Arrieta trade still hurts too much. .

  23. Mark126

    January 10, 2018 at 10:56 am

    RA Dickey. Would be fun to watch a knuckler!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 11:16 am

      Buck is a big fan of Dickey the person

  24. LanceK

    January 10, 2018 at 10:57 am

    But since no one else has mentioned him, I’ll go with Jaime Garcia.

  25. keller2198

    January 10, 2018 at 11:07 am

    J J Hardy 2018 utlity guy

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Stranger things … I suppose.

  26. boss61

    January 10, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Miquel Gonzalez. Affordable, 1.2 WAR/year over the last three, durable, not possessed of the conditioning and work ethic issues that seem to concern the O’s with respect to Tillman, old uniform number available.

  27. dap1285

    January 10, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I think Tillman, but to increase my odds of a sweet melted tumbler I’ll say Trevor Cahill. I think it’s going to be something random. Or Fernando Abad. Or Ben Revere.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Like the out-of-the-box thinking.

  28. 66OsFan

    January 10, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Andrew Cashner, mainly ’cause the O’s aren’t going to give Tillman a multi-year deal that has been rumored to have been talked about from the Twins, and well, Dan won’t Dumpster dive for Miguel Gonzales until just about the start of spring training….

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Gonzo will be gone by then.

      • Buzz1979

        January 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

        He is now, glad we dodged that bullet!

  29. brooks.pryor

    January 10, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Chris Tillman. I predicted before the end of last season that would be the best thing for both parties, Tillman gets one last year to truly show his talent for a bigger contract in 2019.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Makes some sense.

  30. Birdwatcher59

    January 10, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Chris Tillman.
    After his disaster season in 2017, he should be glad to accept even a minimal offer from the O’s. Any other team will offer a minor league deal with incentives. At least he is familiar with the O’s and how the team operates. His teammates respect him. Seems like the best fit for Chris.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      Ok. You’re down for Tillman.

  31. Br10n

    January 10, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    I think it will be Tilly but to be different I will say Jason Vargas.

  32. Ben1

    January 10, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Gerrit Cole. Because why not.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      Can’t approve. Not a free agent.

  33. plucknstrum

    January 10, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    An as yet unknown pitcher from the Japan or Korean league.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 10, 2018 at 10:33 pm

      If it happens we’ll have to run this guess past the strict rules committee.

  34. Apple1972

    January 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    John Jay

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      Ok. But we’re gonna start taking points from all you Jay guessers until you spell it Jon. Tho you may have meant the actual Federalist John Jay, who reportedly had a good cutter.

      • Apple1972

        January 11, 2018 at 5:12 pm

        Lol. I’m blaming auto-correct.

  35. TxBirdFan

    January 11, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Todd Frazier (after Manny goes to Arizona), because we’ll need a 3rd baseman and Frazier has winning World Series experience (Little League WS with NJ).

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Extra points for some Williamsport Love.

  36. Homerago

    January 11, 2018 at 12:04 am

    Alex Cobb

  37. Nottingham Pat

    January 11, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Carlos Gonzalez. What better place to re-establish your value than hitting in Camden Yards

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Yep. He wouldn’t be the first to do that — or try to do that.

  38. OsFanStuckInNY

    January 11, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Unless he mysteriously can return to pre-2017 form after failing so miserably last year — in spite of all the head scratching etc.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      If he does, the mystery is solved. The shoulder was the culprit.

  39. Bancells Moustache

    January 11, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Jake Arrieta Yu Darvish and Lorenzo Cain, all in the same afternoon, all happening while Peter Angelos is on a plane with no cell or Wi-Fi service. A few days later, Dan Duquette is seen boarding the Angelos family Yacht in Ocean City which sails out into the mid- Atlantic under the dark of night. The next day Brady Anderson is promoted to VP of baseball operations after Duquette is tragically lost in a “fishing accident”.

    Daniel Duquette

    • Raymo

      January 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Good drama BanMo, but if this comes through, expect the FBI to come knocking.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      You always entertain, Stache. Laughs always appreciated.

  40. Apple1972

    January 11, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Take Miggy G off the board.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      Yup. We’ve got ourselves some losers. Contest-speaking anyway.

  41. JayP84

    January 11, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Trevor Cahill. Sounds like the type of bargain bin signing where they praise his first-half numbers and hope he can carry it into a full season.

  42. JayP84

    January 11, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Also, wouldn’t be surprised to see Derek Holland be the first sign.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      I’d guess he’d be more of a late Feb guy. But solid name.

    • TxBirdFan

      January 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      Holland really didn’t pitch well in his final months with the Rangers. I hope he doesn’t land with the O’s. Darn – I probably just jinxed it.

  43. ZantiGM

    January 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm


    • Dan Connolly

      January 11, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      The aisle where they are shopping.

  44. Dj Tic Tac

    January 11, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Koji Uehara. With Britton being out for at least half the year, it would be a nice set up man or closer to support Brad Brach and would be very cap friendly.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2018 at 9:07 am

      Interesting take. His family still lives here I believe.

  45. Booger McRobinson

    January 11, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Ruben Tejada….let’s keep that infield shored up…then Giavotella and Janish.. Manny will be gone…Pedro Alvarez to 3rd base..with 500 AB’s I see him 25-35 hrs…Trumbo’s money hopefully will be freed up as well. Let’s bring some young O’s talent up and rebuild like they did in the 60’s and 70’s. 2016 was an anomaly for Trumbo….he’ll prob never hit 30+ homers ever again…unless he plays in Colorado…should be some money freed up with the departure of Jimenez…Tillman…Helickson and Trumbo for some starting pitching. Carry 3 catchers with Castillo…Joseph and Cisco…as Castillo and Sisco could share DH duties to keep their bats hot when either is catching or rest one when Joseph is catching. Each could handle 100+ appearances behind the plate in split roles

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Lots of stuff here. One thing: Castillo has already signed with the CWS

  46. Kbrown119

    January 11, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Tempted to say arismendy alcantara as he hit 111 last year , but I’ll go with bud Norris

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2018 at 9:10 am

      A Norris reunion would very much surprise me.

  47. Os_fan

    January 11, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    James Alvin Palmer. He’ll give ’em a hometown discount and even at 70+, he’s better than most of their starting pitching options!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

      Well, he does keep himself in great shape.

      • bigdaddydk

        January 13, 2018 at 9:10 am

        And he’d be an instant front runner for best hair in MLB.

  48. Sizemo

    January 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    One of the most consistently successful pitchers since 2012, Lance Lynn.
    Bare wit me: Dude owns career
    3.33 ERA and has never posted an ERA north of 4.00 (O’s reverse Mendoza pitching line) in any of his five full seasons in the Majors.
    Lynn has rebounded nicely from his Tommy John surgery, and he should be even better after another offseason away from it. A 3.20 ERA at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, including a miniscule 1.47 ERA in July, made Lynn a hot potato but the Cards chose to battle for a wild card & in the Lou to influence a re-sign.
    Swoop in and steal a Bonafide top rotation Bird from their nest and plop him atop our crest, he’s the best of the rest after Darvish & Arieta. 4 years, 70M outa get r done.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 12, 2018 at 9:12 am

      I see worth there. I do. I just don’t see Os winning a pitching bidding war or going 4 years on a pitcher.

  49. BmoreBullets

    January 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Ben Revere

    • Dan Connolly

      January 13, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Interesting name.


    January 12, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Alex Cobb

  51. OrangeBird21

    January 13, 2018 at 12:48 am

    Ryan Flaherty, Buck Showalter’s favorite son.

  52. Birdsncrabs

    January 13, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Ubaldo Jimenez 😉

    • Dan Connolly

      January 13, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      You’re just being silly.

  53. Eldersburg Enigma

    January 15, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Jorge De La Rosa. Only because Raffy’s deal is a minor league deal haha.

  54. Rambojr03

    January 17, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I’d love a 1 year deal with Mike Moustakas (for $15-17 Million), meaning we deal Manny in the process. My prediction is Jason Vargas though.

  55. Zoey Dog Says Throw Strikes

    January 22, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Late entry, just seeing this post. I’m saying Dyson.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login or Register Here

Leave a Reply

To Top