Potential Deals the Orioles Could Still Make Before the Season Starts
They have made a few minor signings, but nothing noteworthy other than their re-signing of outfielder Nate McLouth. However, there are a couple months until spring training, so the O's will surely make some more transactions. It's unknown how noteworthy these transactions will be, but why not speculate?
Here are a few deals that the Orioles could still make before the season starts.
Sign Joe Saunders
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There aren't many free-agents that the Baltimore Orioles are favorites for, but they are favorites in getting starter Joe Saunders.
Last year's Wild Card game hero wants to come back to Baltimore and the Orioles have been in contact with him. However, Saunders wants a multi-year deal and the Orioles, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, are unwilling to make that offer.
The crafty lefty, acquired via trade with Arizona in August of last year, pitched well with the O's, going 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA in seven starts. His performance in the AL Wild Card Game is what Saunders will be remembered for, as he went 5.2 innings while only allowing one run and picking up the win.
If the O's do end up getting Saunders, he'll likely be the fifth starter in their rotation. But if the two sides don't agree to a deal soon, Saunders may end up with a team willing to give him the years he wants.
Sign Matt Lindstrom
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Interestingly enough, the Baltimore Orioles are interested in signing the player they traded for Saunders back in August, reliever Matt Lindstrom.
The 32-year-old righty was originally acquired last February, along with starter Jason Hammel, from the Colorado Rockies for starter Jeremy Guthrie. Lindstrom was originally considered to be a potential closing option, but the job was quickly handed to Jim Johnson.
As a part of the O's bullpen last season, Lindstrom pitched very well when he was called on. In his 34 appearances as an Oriole, he went 36.1 innings and had a very respectable 2.72 ERA.
If re-acquired, Lindstrom would add more bullpen depth to an already stellar bullpen.
A Big Name Signing
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Nate McLouth does not count as a big name. But there are still a few noteworthy free-agents that the Baltimore Orioles could go after, even though signing any would be unlikely.
If they are willing to spend the money, first-baseman Adam LaRoche is still an option. The Orioles have shown interest in the slugger, however it would be at a high price. Not only would LaRoche demand a lot of money, but according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, it would also cost them their first round pick.
**Update** The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms with Adam LaRoche.
Other potential targets could be Michael Bourn and Justin Upton. Bourn's speed would fit nicely in the leadoff spot for the O's, while Upton's power could also help boost the Orioles' offense. However with the signing of Nate McLouth, the Orioles outfield is full and the Orioles haven't, and probably won't show any interest in signing Bourn, while talks with Upton haven't gone anywhere.
There are also a few pitchers the O's could target, including big names like Kyle Lohse and Shaun Marcum. However, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN, the Orioles have little interest in spending a lot of money for a free-agent pitcher, especially if they lose a draft pick due to compensation. Perhaps if they are unable to sign Joe Saunders, the O's may become more interested in a higher-priced starter.
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The Orioles do have a decent amount of trade-bait, including young arms, like Jake Arrieta or Zach Britton, and veteran hitters, like J.J. Hardy or Wilson Betemit. So, trades, not necessarily for Kubel, Butler, Morse, or Porcello, could possibly take place.
It's hard to tell which trade rumors have serious validity and which are just hogwash. But it's pretty safe to say the Orioles' general manager Dan Duquette likes the team he's put together and he's not going to go trade the farm for a superstar. However, if a good deal comes over the phone, the Orioles will surely listen.