The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly ready to make a splash in free agency this offseason and are going after outfielders Josh Hamilton and Cody Ross.
Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reported the following about the Orioles' offseason plans:
The Baltimore Orioles aren’t content with being one of baseball’s most surprising stories of 2012. This winter, they plan to pursue the biggest free agent hitter: Josh Hamilton…
Baltimore also has some interest in free-agent outfielder Cody Ross, the source said. Ross would be a cheaper option than Hamilton and had success in the American League East with the Boston Red Sox this year.
Baltimore is coming off a season in which it reached the playoffs for the first time since 1997. The Orioles went 93-69 and finished second in the AL East.
Morosi notes the team’s commitment to continue improving, and that left field is a position of need for them. This makes Hamilton and Ross attractive options.
While Hamilton played center field during his time with the Texas Rangers, he certainly has the skill set to still be effective defensively in left. In addition, the 31-year-old’s main contribution will come at the plate, where he is coming off a season in which he hit 43 home runs and batted .285.
Ross, also 31, will undoubtedly be the cheaper of the two targets. Last season with Boston, Ross hit 22 home runs and batted .267.
Ultimately, both players would fit well in Baltimore as the team tries to build upon its success from last season.