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LF Nate McLouth
Re-Sign Nate McLouth
The Baltimore Orioles freed up some money with their trade of closer Jim Johnson, and they have been rumored to be kicking the tires on various outfield bats this offseason, but that money would be best spent on the starting rotation.
Re-signing Nate McLouth, who hit .258/.329/.399 with 12 home runs and 30 steals last season, still looks like their best to shore up left field. He made $2 million last season and was projected to earn a reasonable two-year, $10 million deal by Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.
Sign a veteran innings-eater
While they are not likely to make a play for the likes of Matt Garza or Ervin Santana, given their expected asking price, the Orioles are in the market to add a starter who can eat innings and help lead their young rotation.
Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun pointed to the veteran duo of Bronson Arroyo and A.J. Burnett as potential targets, as well as a possible reunion with deadline acquisition Scott Feldman perhaps in the cards. Signing someone to add to their incumbent staff at the winter meetings would be a nice step toward being ready for 2014.
Sign a setup reliever, not a closer
With the trade of Johnson, the Orioles now have a hole at the back end of their bullpen, and there are options on the market that can be had for less than the $10-plus million Johnson was projected to earn in arbitration. Edward Mujica, Joaquin Benoit and Grant Balfour could all come at a cheaper annual price.
However, the better option looks to be for the team to move Tommy Hunter, who had a 2.81 ERA and 0.985 WHIP in his first full season as a reliever, into the role where his power stuff should play well, then signing a low-cost, high-upside relief option like Joel Hanrahan or John Axford to fill out the setup role.