The first thing I had to figure out was the payroll of the team. That will often decide the moves a team can make. I assumed that there would be no decrease from the 2012 payroll of 81MM. I am further assuming that the success of the team enabled an increase in payroll of 15MM to 96MM. I also assume that due to the Orioles short term of being a successful team that the payroll increase is a tentative increase. Of course, that means I have to construct a team for 86MM because Brian Roberts holds up 10MM.
Mark Reynolds - it is uncertain if anyone is willing to give anything up for him if they have to go to arbitration, so it may well be that the team will have to release him. This move should free up 8.9MM.
Jim Johnson - Johnson is not an elite closer and he stands to be awarded 6.9MM in arbitration. With the bounty of success the pen has had this past year, there is surely a much cheaper option to send to the pen. Johnson should be tradeable.
Robert Andino - Andino stands to earn 1.8MM in arbitration. I decided that there were easier ways to find a useful backup infielder. Ditto for Alexi Casilla who would also cost 1.8MM in arbitration.
Omar Quintanilla - Due to earn ~800k, there simply is no room for him on my team.
Steve Pearce - Also due ~800k, he just is not valuable enough to keep him on the squad.
Unaware of what these players will fetch in a trade, I will simply assume "prospects." To construct a team, I will need to build the rest of the team through free agency.
Melky Cabrera (1 yr, 10 MM) - Melky is not as good as he was in 2012. His slap sticking 346/390/516 line was fueled not by PEDs (as many choose to believe), but rather a .379 BABIP. He has average defense from left field and should hit enough to be around a 3.5 WAR hitter. With a one year deal, Melky can regain value and the Orioles may be able to spring a draft pick in 2014.
Jeff Keppinger (2 yr, 5 MM) - Keppinger should earn a 1 MM per year raise from his salary last year. If properly deployed, he could earn 1.5 MM. He can make due at second against southpaw starters with Alexi Casilla coming in as a late inning replacement. Keppinger also provides standing depth at third and left field.
Ronny Cedeno (1 yr, 1.5 MM) - Cedeno is only slightly cheaper than Andino and Casilla. However, he plays a decent second and hits righthanders better than either of them. Used effectively as he was with the Mets last year, he could prove to be worth a half win or so. This is not a flashy selection, but it does not have to be.
Joakim Soria (1 yr, 4 MM) - A short term deal with the potential to bring the total up to 7 MM should be enticing for Soria. He did not pitch last year, but he should provide competition for the 5 slot in the rotation or fit smoothly in to the back end of the bullpen. He represents a potential big value win here.
Ryu Hyun-jin (3 yr, 9 MM) - If the team can win the posting, the South Korean could provide another arm that could work at the back end of the rotation or as another lefty arm in the pen.
My loose projection has these moves placing the Orioles as an 89.6 win team on a 91.62MM club (+3 with Soria incentives
Po Salary WAR C Matt Wieters 4.6 4.4 1 Chris Davis 3.3 2.1 2 Jeff Keppinger 2.5 1.5 3 Manny Machado 0.4 2.6 S JJ Hardy 7 2.8 L Melky Cabrera 10 3.5 C Adam Jones 8.5 3.5 R Nick Markakis 15 2.4 D Wilson Betemit 1.75 2 BC Taylor Teagarden 0.8 0.2 BI Ronny Cedeno 1.5 0.5 BO Nolan Reimold 1 0.7 BO Xavier Avery 0.48 0.2 S WeiYin Chen 3.57 2.5 S Jason Hammel 6.5 2.5 S Chris Tillman 0.48 2.5 S Miguel Gonzalez 0.48 1.5 S Joakim Soria 4 1 R Darren O'Day 2.2 1 R Troy Patton 0.8 0.8 R Tommy Hunter 1.8 1 R Brian Matusz 1 0.7 R Pedro Strop 0.48 0.5 R Jake Arrieta 0.48 0.8 R Ryu Hyun-Jin 3 0.8 DL Brian Roberts 10 91.62 89.6