It’s been a week since baseball execs left the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, and much like last year, there was a decent amount of talk surrounding the Baltimore Orioles.
In light of that, this is a great opportunity to give an update of what has happened surrounding the club, and give you my guesses as to what could happen.
* The biggest and best move the O’s have made thus far was re-signing their star reliever Darren O’Day. Baltimore gave O’Day a four-year deal, meaning he will be continue to be the anchor and leader of the bullpen for the foreseeable future.
Even better is the fact that Baltimore paid him between $1-3 Million less than what MLBtraderumors.com projected O’Day to get.
* Baltimore has yet to address its need for starting pitching, however, it has addressed its needs for both hitters and outfielders.
Prior to the Winter Meetings getting underway, the Orioles traded for Mariners slugger Mark Trumbo – the trade was a total steal in the O’s favor: gave up little; BIG upside. Baltimore fans should be very happy that Trumbo, who made a name for himself during his days with the Angels, will be donning the orange and black in 2016.
He adds a power bat to the lineup, and versatility in the field, as he can play either corner outfield spot, first base, or even DH when/if necessary.
On top of acquiring Trumbo, the Orioles also signed the power-hitting Korean outfielder Hyun-soo Kim to a two-year, $7 Million deal.
Personally I am always weary of hitters coming to the MLB from either the Japanese or Korean leagues. More times than not, the power doesn’t translate (no pun intended) from the international leagues to the MLB.
However, the contract is pretty small, so it’s worth a shot.
Baltimore has also checked in on other outfielders, both free agents and players currently under contracts with other teams, but haven’t gained much traction.
* With both Matt Wieters and O’Day choosing to return to Baltimore, that means two of the Orioles’ four major free agents will be back for 2016.
– Talks with Davis and agent Scott Boras have been on-again-off-again.
Baltimore has shown strong intentions to re-sign him by bringing in owner Peter Angelos into meetings, as well as offering him what would be the largest contract in team history at seven years, $150 Million.
However, that offer has since been pulled from the table, with the team basically saying, “We’d be happy to have you back, but there are other fish in the sea.”
– The Orioles haven’t had much reported talks with Chen, as he has been talked about more with other teams.
* I don’t see Baltimore making any big trades between now and the trade deadline due to the fact that any trade proposal will involve a combination of Kevin Gausman, and/or Baltimore’s other top pitching prospects, all who GM Dan Duquette have basically labeled as “untouchable.”
In other words, despite the rumors, the Orioles will not trade for the Rockies Carlos Gonzalez.
* With the very limited talks with Chen and his representatives, I sadly don’t see the O’s bringing him back.
* The Orioles will win a bidding war for Gallardo.
Kazmir, I believe, will command a little more than what the O’s will be willing to pay. Also, it is some of the same teams that are interested in both pitchers; this list includes the O’s, Royals, and Astros.
Being a lefty Kazmir is the more-ideal signing for Baltimore, however, he will also attract more offers. This gives the Orioles the opportunity to fly in a bit under the radar and make the signing.
My guess is the contract would be in the neighborhood of three years, $30 Million.
* Chris Davis re-signs with Baltimore.
Granted, this seems a little far-fetched given all the money that Baltimore has spent this offseason, which includes nearly $43 million that the Orioles are expected to spend in arbitration. But Davis may have no other choice.
Since pulling its offer off the table, there hasn’t been much talk surrounding the slugger. In fact, while talks with Davis have cooled down, more attention has been concentrated on other top-notch free agents Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon.
I think Davis will notice the lack of attention, and go back to Baltimore. It will cost him some money, though.
Davis is looking for at least $175 million, and after Baltimore pulled its $150 Million offer off the table it may not ever offer that much a second time around.