Orioles executive VP of baseball ops Dan Duquette has a long history of making significant roster moves late in the offseason, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. It certainly seems that the stage is set yet again for the O’s to round out their 2017 mix in the new year, as the team is still looking to fill a need in right field and perhaps add one more power bat to the lineup. Here’s the latest out of Baltimore:
- There’s nothing new to report on Mark Trumbo, who remains a seeming match to return to the O’s, but Kubatko notes that the club has remain engaged with lefty slugger Pedro Alvarez. Price will be a factor, of course, and it seems the organization may prefer to pursue some other opportunities before committing. But Alvarez would represent a solid platoon option at the DH slot and could conceivably even give the outfield a try, Kubatko suggests.
- Baltimore also remains willing to deal set-up man Brad Brach, Kubatko notes. The 30-year-old entrenched himself as a key part of the O’s pen last year, throwing at least 79 innings for the second consecutive season and locking down a 2.05 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. Even after that impressive showing, MLBTR gives Brach a $2.9MM arb projection in his second season of eligibility, making him an affordable asset. Just what the Orioles are willing to consider with regard to a trade remains unclear; presumably, he’ll only be moved for a significant return.
- While the O’s have more prominent extension candidates, the team would be wise to explore a deal with second baseman Jonathan Schoop, Rich Dubroff opines for PressBoxOnline.com. With three years of control remaining, now may be the optimal time to find value, he suggests. Even if Schoop isn’t a superstar, he’s a significant power threat and only just turned 25. It’s worth noting, though, that Schoop is already projected to earn $3.4MM through arbitration, and also is set to protect his downside through an agreement with Fantex. Those earning opportunities could certainly impact his willingness to take a discount.
- The Orioles took a hard look at Nick Hundley before deciding instead to go with Welington Castillo behind the plate, Hundley tells MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter links). Hundley, who says he still views himself as a regular catching option, says that his camp “talked to the Orioles a lot” before Castillo became available.
- In other recent news out of Baltimore, the club has been mentioned as a possible suitor for Mike Napoli and Kubatko recently broke down the possibilities in right field.