Ranking the Best Value Signing of the Baltimore Orioles Offseason
The Baltimore Orioles were rather quiet this offseason. While AL East rivals like the Toronto Blue Jays made major, high profile moves to revamp their lineup, the O's flew under the radar, only acquiring players for depth.
That being said, the Orioles' new acquisitions really can't disappoint, as none of them have high expectations. No new players are slated to be in the starting lineup, and only a few have a real shot of making the club.
However, just because the Orioles didn't make any high profile moves doesn't mean they didn't have a successful offseason. With every transaction they made, they took little risk and could possibly find some value very cheaply.
Almost every player the O's signed agreed to a minor league deal. This includes veterans like Jair Jurrjens, Chris Dickerson and Conor Jackson, as well as solid prospects like Daniel Schlereth and Kyle Mertins.
Out of all the minor league deals, Jurrjens may have the best value. Despite struggling with injuries, the 27-year-old Curacaoan used to be an All-Star pitcher in Atlanta, and he will get a shot at making the rotation in spring training.
The only signing the Orioles made that surely effects their lineup was the re-signing of Nate McLouth, who was officially a free agent at the time of his signing. The speedy outfielder, who was brilliant late in the season for the O's, agreed to a one-year, two million dollar deal back in December.
What was the best signing the Orioles made this offseason?
The Nate McLouth deal, despite being only two million dollars, was the most expensive signing for the O's this offseason. The O's did spend some money avoiding arbitration with a few players, including Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold and Darren O'Day—but that money was expected to be spent anyway.
Being happy with the team he helped put together, Orioles' GM Dan Duquette went the low-risk, high-reward route this offseason. Even if the moves the O's made this offseason prove to be useless, Baltimore still have a solid core that remained untouched.
Perhaps now that they didn't spend very much this offseason (if the O's are in the race for the division come the trade deadline) they will make a move bringing in a big name or someone who can help the team reach their ultimate goal.
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