After picking up outfielder Seth Smith from the Mariners in a deal that sent Yovani Gallardo to Seattle, Orioles VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told the media that his organization still wants to add to its outfield mix, as Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com was among those to report. Baltimore is also interested in adding some pitching depth with Gallardo leaving town.
Duquette seemingly framed the approach as one of seeking depth, but presumably the O’s will at least consider something more. It probably doesn’t hurt that turning Gallardo into Smith also freed up a bit of financial flexibility. The organization would surely like to add some more thump to its lineup, which no longer includes Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez.
Currently, Jason Martinez of MLBTR and Roster Resource projects Trey Mancini to take DH duties. But while the 24-year-old had a solid season in the upper minors last year, he only made it to the majors for five games of action. And though it’s nice that he hit three home runs in his 15 MLB plate appearances, Mancini hit a relatively unexceptional twenty long balls and slugged. 458 in 611 trips to the plate in the minors. Point being: despite his promise, there’s reason to believe the O’s ought to seek a near-term upgrade.
Of course, both Trumbo and Alvarez are still available via free agency. The former is at least capable of playing the outfield, though defensive metrics have long cast doubt on that characterization. Among the free agent outfielders still available are Brandon Moss, Michael Saunders, Colby Rasmus, and longtime O’s nemesis Jose Bautista.
As for the rotation, Duqutte said that he felt the club was in a good position to move a starter. “We dealt from an area of surplus – we had six starters – to fill an area of need and that was left-handed hitting, on-base capability and an outfielder,” he said. “So, we liked the trade from that perspective. We reallocated some of our resources and I think, in the process, we strengthened our team.”
Given that assessment, it certainly sounds as if Baltimore will limit itself to swingman types or minor-league free agents. There are quite a few possible candidates still remaining that could meet that general description, so it’s all but impossible to assess where the team’s gaze might end up landing. Given Duquette’s propensity for waiting out the market, it could well be some time before we find out the full slate of arms that the O’s will have on hand this spring.