Latest On Orioles’ Free Agent Pursuits

12:17pm: Two organizational sources downplayed the possibility of serious talks between Santana and the Orioles to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. She writes that multiple sources have indicated to her that the Orioles' primary focus is on adding a hitter to the lineup at this time.

9:19am: The Orioles made Ubaldo Jimenez the highest-paid free-agent pitcher in franchise history earlier this week by signing him to a four-year, $50MM contract, and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports now reports that the Jimenez signing hasn't precluded the Orioles from pursuing Ervin Santana. According to Heyman, Baltimore has maintained a dialogue with Santana and his representatives at Proformance even after adding Jimenez to the fold.

Heyman writes that Santana's asking price remains high, speculating that he could be looking to match or top Jimenez's contract despite the late stage of the offseason. For most teams, the draft pick compensation attached to Santana has been the primary deterrent, but that negative is less significant to the Orioles at this point. Baltimore forfeited the No. 17 overall pick to sign Jimenez, and they traded their Competitive Balance pick to the Astros in last summer's Bud Norris trade. At this point, the top draft pick they would have to cede in order to ink Santana would be No. 55 overall.

Heyman notes that if Baltimore were to successfully sign Santana, the aforementioned Norris could transition to the closer's role for manager Buck Showalter — a role that some have speculated in the past may suit him better than the rotation.

The Orioles clearly don't view Jimenez as the final piece to their offseason, as they're reportedly still interested in sluggers Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales and are one of two teams said to have maintained interest in Ike Davis earlier this week. With Chris Davis and Matt Wieters each set to hit free agency following the 2015 campaign and J.J. Hardy set to hit the open market at the end of the 2014 season, the Orioles may feel that this season is their best chance to make a big push for contention.


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37 Comments on "Latest On Orioles’ Free Agent Pursuits"


Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

I’d rather put whatever money is left towards signing Morales. Then take a flyer on Johan Santana and a rehabbing closer like Andrew Bailey, Madson, or Hanahan. Also still really want the O’s to sign Bello, need a back up catcher!

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Nope. Y’all need Cruz- Ranger Fan

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

Ha! Cruz is going to Seattle

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

you think??? I think he knows he won’t put up numbers there….i honestly see him taking a 1 year deal with us or an incentives based 2-3 year.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

Seems like a Jack Z move, and I agree his number will plummet…. but I think his numbers are going to plummet anywhere he goes.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

i sure am glad you guys have been competitive. I’ve always pulled for you guys, other than Texas…Y’all are my 2nd AL team. If Crush has another good season….they better sign him QUICK.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

We need Morales : P

Karkat
1 year 6 months ago

Morales would be a really important addition. He would have an easy shot at 30+ homers playing half his games in that ballpark, and the additional power threat would slot in nicely with Chris Davis.

truroyal15
truroyal15
1 year 6 months ago

Not sure if they should take a chance on spending another 40-50 million on a guy who is so inconsistent. But at the same time could end up being a solid move. Talk about rolling the dice.

Tigers72
1 year 6 months ago

In that little ballpark that is a terrible idea. They need ground ball pitchers and Santana last season benefited from a great defense and even though the orioles have that the Royals have a huge stadium.

1 year 6 months ago

Actually, Santana was significantly better on the road than he was at home last season. Batters had a .740 OPS against him at home and .582 on the road.

Christopher J. Mills
1 year 6 months ago

Santana’s HRs went down last season and I think his GBs went up. He had a two-seamer that really started working for him. I’d be a bit nervous with him at the Yard, but he doesn’t walk guys and they have rangy OFers.

mrnatewalter
mrnatewalter
1 year 6 months ago

Could his low HRs numbers be a factor of the ballpark he was in? KC has one of the lowest ballpark factors when it comes to home runs.

Christopher J. Mills
1 year 6 months ago

Angels Stadium has a low HR factor and he got lit up there.

TheRealRyan
1 year 6 months ago

Santana is an average GB pitcher. The ML average the last 3 years is 44.7% GB% and Santana’s GB% has been 44.3%. He has been a better GB pitcher the last 3 years than other Oriole’s SP Chen(36.0%), Tillman(37.4%), Norris(39.7%) and Jimenez(43.1%).

daveineg
1 year 6 months ago

I think the O’s are sensing there are flaws in all the teams in their division. I think they are right. So why not go for it?

Scott from Newport News
1 year 6 months ago

It’s not just that. The Os think they are primed to win regardless of the perceived strengths or weaknesses of others in the division. With Wieters and Davis heading to free agency in a couple years and Hardy in the last year of his contract (although I expect the Os to extend him), NOW is the time to make a run.

ziggy13
1 year 6 months ago

That line of thought worked out great for Toronto last year

Mike3764
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t understand this constant talk about Ike Davis. Trading for him would be a mistake.

John Kreese
1 year 6 months ago

Good for the O’s. That division is loaded but the O’s window is right now.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 6 months ago

Santana would be interesting.
I just always felt he should go back to the Royals.
Morales go back to Seattle.
Cruz to ‘Charm City’
Lastly, the O’s consider Drew for 2nd and 3rd.

Meh Sheep
1 year 6 months ago

There isn’t an open spot at 3rd for more than maybe a few weeks and the number one position prospect in the organization plays 2nd base.

wileydsp
1 year 6 months ago

Pretty sure this complete conjecture. The O’s wanted to be at or close to 100 mil as a final payroll figure, and they are. They still have to extend Hardy, Davis, and maybe Weiters if that’s possible. There’s just no way this happens. Now, if the extensions were ALREADY done, ok then it might be a bit more realistic. I just don’t see how this is anything but Heyman doing his typical “let’s help the agent out” thing.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think any extensions are going to happen. The only possible extension is Hardy and he is probably waiting to see what Drew signs for before ultimately making the decision.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

The O’s need more pitching but Santana is not the answer all his bad seasons (2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012) have come when his HR/9 exceeded 1.1. Moving him from Kaufman, 22nd best HR park, to Camden, 4th best HR park, would be a mistake.

ztoa
1 year 6 months ago

Yolo right?

publius varrus
1 year 6 months ago

Sheesh, the Jays are REALLY gambling on a return to form and/or growth in their rotation. Every other team in the ALE has either made significant additions (NYY, BAL) or already has a strong staff (TBR, BOS). It’s a gutsy gamble, Mr. Anthopoulos, and I’m eager to see how it works.

kcpaul
1 year 6 months ago

Santana should have taken the $14.1M qualifying offer from the Royals. His agent overplayed their hand and is being left behind. Could have signed for 4/$40 before the Royals went with Vargas. Who could blame them from moving on with Santana asking for $100m!

truroyal15
truroyal15
1 year 6 months ago

Totally agree. Anyone who plays for the Royals knows they have to take a discount in order for them to still be financially flexible. If you get greedy the Royals just move on. Hoping that Shields decides to give them that break and stay with them!!!

1 year 6 months ago

It’s not like the Royals were the only team interested in his services. He just wants way too much money, but I wouldn’t have taken 4/40 if I were him.

Comfy_Wastelander
1 year 6 months ago

I think you’re right. Erv had a great year last year, but I don’t think it was enough to warrant the type of deal he is looking for – especially considering how up & down he has been throughout his career. One more year in a big park with a great defense AND getting $14 million for his trouble? Yeah, he probably should have taken the deal and built his value up even more for 2015.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

“The Orioles made Ubaldo Jimenez the highest-paid free-agent pitcher in franchise history earlier this week by signing him to a four-year, $50MM contract”…… seems so funny in todays MLB

Wooooooo
1 year 6 months ago

Sad thing is, it was a pretty solid deal for the O’s.

Meh Sheep
1 year 6 months ago

There a plenty of other teams that haven’t gone that high. Only 23 Starting pitchers in all of baseball made 12.5 million or more in 2013 and a bunch of them were on teams that you can easily guess: NYY, BOS, LAD, PHI and some of them are now retired or taking salary cuts to below that number.

Wilt
1 year 6 months ago

“Taking a flyer” on guys does not work. Rehab projects don’t work. Better to get one quality guy. Orioles are having a good offseason now.