11 November 2016

The Orioles Need An Outfielder, But It Probably Won't Be The One You Want

Here's something that won't come as a surprise to any Orioles fan: the team needs to add an outfielder. And as the Orioles are wont to do, they're expressing interest in a wide group of players.

MLB's General Manager meetings recently took place in Arizona, and that means plenty of hot stove rumors were dished out. Free agent wise, the O's are apparently fond of Ian Desmond and most recently Josh Reddick. How about a trade? The names of Ender Inciarte and Brett Gardner were floated. Less specifically, the Orioles covet a left-handed-hitting outfielder

There are lots of other outfielders out there, too: Yoenis Cespedes, Dexter Fowler, Jose Bautista, Carlos Gomez, Michael Saunders, Jon Jay, Brandon Moss, and more. In the near future, the O's could express some level of interest in any of those players. And most of them would present a significant upgrade in either left or right field. Some of them are better with their bat; some are better with their glove. But none of them are as bad with the glove as Mark Trumbo (and maybe even Hyun Soo Kim).

You could argue that the Orioles don't have a single strong defensive corner outfielder on their roster. Advanced numbers certainly weren't kind to Kim and Joey Rickard last year. There's probably still some hope out there that Rickard could progress to "decent" if or when he receives more playing time. He has the early reputation of being thought of as better than he really is, thanks in part to 1) some positive spin coaches and overly excited scouts fed beat reporters, and 2) that he's fast and has made a couple of flashy catches.

If you want to go deeper -- that the Orioles don't have a single really good defensive outfielder, period -- then that's fine. There will always be a group of fans calling for Adam Jones to move to a corner outfield spot. At some point he should, and he will. But that's far from the Orioles' biggest need right now. Adding someone with a more competent glove than Trumbo (no difficult feat) is clearly on Dan Duquette's to-do list.

Lots of outfielders are on the Orioles' radar. More names will be floated, and the O's will leave no stone unturned. You should know the drill by now. Just don't be surprised if the outfield addition ends up being Michael Bourn. Considering the likely lack of payroll flexibility and the other holes on the roster to fill, maybe it should be. But that's not nearly as exciting as a Cespedes or Fowler rumor. 

13 comments:

Mike Bonsiero said...

Looks like the Orioles typical approach. They don't target a particular favorite they like better than the others. They make a list and see who is left without a chair when the music stops.

Anonymous said...

Get dexter fowler

Anonymous said...

I'd prefer Dexter Morgan!

Pip said...

Mike is correct. In the past, Dan picks through the trash when dinner is done and chooses scraps...and pays way too much for them.
And he doesn't seem like a man who is humble enough to admit he should change his methods.
However....
How about Reddick? Can we still expect to get him?

tony2302 said...

I don't think they would go after Fowler after last year or that Fowler would want to come here. but man what could Cespedes do at Camden Yards?

vilnius b. said...

Of course neither Fowler or the Orioles will want to talk to each other after last year. He'd be useful but there's too much bad blood after the accusations and counter-accusations that followed the surprise announcement that he wasn't coming to Baltimore.

Cespedes: forget it! The money simply isn't there. We're burdened by the bad Davis contract and Britton will get a substantial raise through the arbitration process. Obviously, Machado will too. To get Cespedes you'd have to trade somebody like Adam Jones to free cash and then you've solved one problem and created another.

I'm with Pip (again). Let's see if we can get Reddick on the cheap (3/35?) since he's coming off a statistically poor season, esp. during his tenure with the Dodgers. But he's only one season removed from a 20 HR season. Being a LHB, he should enjoy playing half of his games in Camden Yards. And if he can stay healthy he'd be an upgrade defensively in RF over what we've had the last couple of seasons. He's not a GG candidate anymore but he can still cover a fair amount of ground. And he's a decent base runner. Failing that, we should look at Saunders. He's more injury prone than Reddick but he's an athlete and has more power than Reddick. Otherwise, it's Bourn again in RF. No power but he can run the bases and when the O's feel like playing small ball, he can bunt---unlike so many others on the team.

afarelli;s baseball said...

Yoshio Itoi would be the best, and cheapest option for baltmore at a likely price of 3/27 million (total contract) he'd provide good defense, and be an excellent leadoff hitter

Anonymous said...

Saying the O's do not have a single really good defensive OFer is a ridiculous thing to say.....big time.....your posts are starting to get way off more and more....

Matt Kremnitzer said...

Who would you say is that really good defensive outfielder, then?

Jon Shepherd said...

Anon - You might want to read some of Duquette's recent comments because he thinks the same thing. One of his major points he expressed to the press is a desire to get back to having an outfield that performs above average. He thought Rickard and Kim were OK. That Kim was better than advertised, but when you call those two OK when you are the team's GM...well, that says something. It is also well understood that Jones is entering his post prime stage.

So...maybe listen to the team or listen to us. We do not know everything, but we tend to be close to reality.

Anonymous said...

If they sign Bautista, I will never watch another game.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

Yes, you will.

Pip said...

They won't.