NOV. 10: Josh Reddick is one potential target, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Baltimore is “pursuing” Reddick, according to Morosi, though there are no indications that the team is in any type of serious negotiations this early in the offseason. Reddick has, in the past, carried a strong defensive reputation, though metrics on him took a step back in 2016. Nonetheless, his left-handed bat would fit the Orioles’ previously reported desire. Reddick should cost less than Trumbo, whom Duquette noted may be too expensive to retain (see below), but he could still command somewhere in the vicinity of $10-12MM per season, so he may not be that much more affordable on an annual basis.
NOV. 9: Ghiroli tweets today that Duquette said he’s already had multiple trade discussions at the GM Meetings and is seeking a left-handed-hitting outfielder. FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets that their ideal target would also be a defensive upgrade, citing Brett Gardner and Ender Inciarte as the type of outfielder the O’s would like to acquire (though not specifically linking the Orioles to either outfielder).
NOV. 8: The Orioles’ top priority this winter will be adding outfield help, general manager Dan Duquette told reporters at the GM Meetings today (Twitter links via MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli). While the team’s rotation was clearly its primary downfall in 2016, Duquette said he’s comfortable heading into 2017 with the current depth he has. That includes right-handers Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Yovani Gallardo and Ubaldo Jimenez as well as left-hander Wade Miley. Additionally, the team has some safety nets in the form of righties Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright and the arbitration-eligible Vance Worley.
Baltimore’s outfield picture is decidedly less certain at the moment. Adam Jones, of course, will reprise his role as the Orioles’ center fielder next year, but the corner picture is murkier. Hyun Soo Kim showed rell enough in his rookie season to see an increased number of at-bats in 2017, but the O’s didn’t seem to feel remotely comfortable letting Kim face lefties, as the former Korea Baseball Organization star recorded just 22 of his 345 plate appearances against a southpaw pitcher. Kim, it would seem, required a platoon partner at the very least, and other corner is even more wide open.
Mark Trumbo served as Baltimore’s primary right fielder in 2016, but Duquette suggested today that the team might not be able to afford to retain Trumbo following last offseason’s aggressive spending on the likes of Chris Davis, Darren O’Day and Gallardo (plus the trade-deadline addition of Miley). Baltimore is also facing sizable arbitration raises for Manny Machado and Zach Britton, among others, so it’s not necessarily surprising that Duquette’s resources could be limited this winter. And, if that’s the case, then the report of Baltimore’s interest in Ian Desmond from earlier this morning may be largely inconsequential, as Desmond figures to be in the same financial stratosphere as Trumbo — if not an even higher one.
Trumbo is one of many corner outfield options on the market this winter, though many teams figure to look at him as a first baseman. If the Orioles need to add a more affordable outfielder to their 2017 mix, the likes of Michael Saunders, Jon Jay and Matt Joyce are among the players that landed on MLBTR’s list of top 50 free agents yesterday, though Joyce and Saunders could present similar platoon issues to Kim. Jay, meanwhile, has fairly even platoon splits throughout his career, although his ability to play center field could lead to some competition for his services.