It usually isn’t a good tactic for free agents to accept the first offer that comes their way, yet this past offseason, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman notes that several players would have been better served by accepting deals before the new collective bargaining agreement was finalized. Many free agents, particularly sluggers like Mark Trumbo, saw their offers drop after the new CBA was settled in early December, as teams were suddenly more wary about spending in the wake of more punitive luxury tax rules. Trumbo tells Heyman that he doesn’t regret returning to the Orioles on a three-year, $37.5MM deal, though the implication was that a larger offer was on the table for an undetermined amount. Reports from earlier this winter indicated that the Orioles themselves initially offered Trumbo a larger deal in the four-year, $52MM range.
- The Blue Jays talked to Pedro Alvarez before the slugger re-signed with the Orioles on a minor league deal. Toronto has switch-hitters Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak slated for DH and first base, respectively, though Steve Pearce and possibly Jose Bautista will get some time at both positions as well. Alvarez would have brought some needed left-handed pop to a Jays lineup that is heavy on right-handed bats, and he could’ve also maybe helped out in left field given how Alvarez has been working out as an outfielder this winter.
- Craig Gentry, who signed a minor league deal with the Orioles last month, “has impressed Buck Showalter” and is looking in good position to break camp with the team. The O’s could use platoons in both left and right field, with Hyun Soo Kim and Seth Smith as the left-handed bats and Gentry and Joey Rickard providing the right-handed hitting support. This could mean that Rule 5 picks Anthony Santander and Aneury Tavarez may end up back with their old clubs, though Santander could be saved on the DL as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery, as well as elbow and neck issues this spring.