Monday, May 28, 2012

2013 Free Agency Targets

Cost of Winning

To this point in the season, the Baltimore Orioles have spent $859,283.10 per victory.  This compares favorably to others in the AL East as you can see in the graphic below:
Only the Rays have paid less money per victory than the Orioles to this point in the season.  Expect those numbers to come down for the Red Sox and Yankees however, unless you expect them to finish right around .500 on the season.

2013 Free Agency

With that said, let's figure out how to spend more of the Orioles' money.  MLBTradeRumors assessed the O's 2013 contract situation, and we can see that there aren't a lot of core players that should be leaving the team, so there's definitely the opportunity to make the team better for 2013.  MLBTradeRumors has also supplied us with a list of 2013 free agents, so we have an idea of who is going to be available.  Remember that some players could be DFA'd by their teams resulting in a larger free agent pool.

Positions We Don't Need

Catcher, First Base, Shortstop, Center Field and Right Field are probably locks for 2013, meaning we will likely only potentially be targeting backups at those positions.  There are some intriguing names at those positions, so we shouldn't dismiss them off-hand given we still have almost 70% of the season left to go.

Second Base

Cano won't see the light of day as far as the free agent market goes, and there really aren't any other intriguing options outside of him.  The O's will go in-house for a second baseman if Brian Roberts can't play the positions full time next season.

Third Base

There are really only two interesting options here and they are Kevin Youkilis and Mark Reynolds.  Everyone else is either under-performing or on the wrong side of 35.  The O's will almost certainly decline Reynolds' option but could pursue him on a cheaper deal.  Similarly, the team could opt to use him almost exclusively as a DH, replcaing him at 3B with an internal option like Robert Andino.

Left Field

Interesting players here are (obviously) Hamilton, Bourn, Upton, Victorino, Sizemore, and Torii Hunter.  Hunter and Sizemore would be upside plays, while Victorino, Bourn and Upton are more known quantities that will require long-term commitments.  On the other side of the coin, Josh Hamilton is a superstar, and would likely require a commitment north of $100 Million.  Realistically I think Reimold might be the best value for us, and we could always let Xavier Avery get full time ABs in left field next season.


There are honestly too many targets to consider, especially since good pitching will always be in demand for the Orioles.  I just want to take a moment to bring up Brandon McCarthy, my favorite non-Oriole right now.  McCarthy has an ERA of 2.95 this season.  McCarthy has seen a career resurgence in Oakland, and seems to be aa generally good guy.  Just me being selfish here, but I defy you to tell me he can't help this team.  It should be noted that McCarthy is a ground ball pitcher, so he could be successful in Oriole Park, he isn't being buoyed by the massive confines in Oakland.

At some point in later in the season I'll break down specifically, by position the potential free agents the O's could pursue.  The point of this post is really to just get everyone to start thinking about the options on the market and the direction the birds could take.  We'd love to hear the players you think the O's should keep an eye on for the rest of the season.


  1. I'd like to see Reynolds walk...he has too much baggage in terms of strike outs and bad defense. Walks and homers alone do not make think differently. In place of him at 3B I'd like to see some above average defense. Even at the cost of offense.

    I'd like to see a run at Bourn...solid player and fast...speed is needed so sorely on this team.

  2. Where is Manny Machado in your analysis? He's a lock at third because JJ Hardy has another year remaining on his contract at shortstop. They need to re-sign Nate McLouth for LF as he provides them with their only natural leadoff hitter and his is a gold glove defensively. That would
    allow them to use Markakis in the #2 spot and then have Adam Jones bat third. They could sign Hamilton and have him play first. Hamilton would give them the cleanup hitter they have been sorely missing. Then Chris Davis/Nolan Reimold platoon at DH and bat 5, Machado bats 6, Weiters bats 7, Hardy bats 8, and the new 2nd baseman bats 9. I would suggest Jeff Keppinger. He hits for average, does not strike out alot and has a good on base percentage. He is also a solid fielder and he would come cheap as he only makes $1.5 million now. The Orioles hit plenty of homeruns. Their problem is they don't get enough runners on base for when the big fly come. Markakis is a natural # 2 hitter as he pulls into the hole between 1st and 2nd which would be open if McLouth is on base. He also hits lots of line drives. They can also use an ace starter, but they have a lot of options here. Pitching wasn't exactly the Orioles' weak suit. McCarthy would be a solid choice and knowing how Oakland is reluctant to pay big dollars to their pitchers, he is probably gettable.