10 Most Important Orioles Heading into the 2014 Season

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10 Most Important Orioles Heading into the 2014 Season
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

While the front office still seems to think that the Baltimore Orioles will field a competitive team in 2014, there's no denying the impact players the team lost this offseason.

Jim Johnson, dealt to the Oakland A's in exchange for a couple of minor leaguers and some financial relief, racked up 101 saves the past two seasons.

Jason Hammel, who departed via free agency, was the team's most electric starter during the 2012 campaign and, despite his struggles in 2013, was a leader in the clubhouse and in a very young rotation. 

Brian Roberts, who signed with the division-rival New York Yankees, hadn't played too much the past few years, but there's no doubt he was an exceptional veteran presence in the clubhouse.

Nate McLouth, who signed with neighboring rival Washington Nationals, was a spark plug for the offense in both 2012 and 2013 and was one of manager Buck Showalter's favorite players.

Scott Feldman, who signed with the Houston Astros, was the team's most consistent starter down the stretch last year.

So who will step up and replace these players in 2014?

On the surface, the front office, led by general manager Dan Duquette, hasn't done much aside from add a few bench players and relief pitchers, such as Delmon Young, Tyler Colvin, David Lough, Alfredo Aceves and Ryan Webb.

Without a doubt, though, the most important players heading into the 2014 season will be those who were with the team last year.

For the Orioles to be competitive and have a chance at winning the division, they'll need huge campaigns from just about every player on their active roster. The 10 players on this list, though, are the ones the squad will be the most dependent on.

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