Possible Orioles free agent targets
Let's face it, you like speculation. We like speculation.
And, at this point in the baseball calendar, all we can provide you is speculation -- we like to call it an educated guess -- as to whom the Orioles may target this offseason.
So take this list for what it is worth: an early look at some of the more intriguing names that are or could be available. (A new group of players will enter the market after Nov. 30, when clubs choose whether to tender contracts to their arbitration eligible players)
Also, keep in mind that Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette prefers to build from the bottom up, so he's more focused on strengthening the farm system and club depth than he is buying high-ticket items.
But this is the first time in a decade-plus that Baltimore is a somewhat desirable destination. And surely the Orioles will do their due diligence in free agency, even if ultimately they don't make a splash.
Here are some names to keep in mind. There surely will be more to consider as the hot stove season progresses. The Orioles own free agents, such as pitcher Joe Saunders and outfielder Nate McLouth, are not included. But you can assume the club will make a run at those two.
No specific dollar figures or contract lengths are mentioned at this point. Even we think that speculation is too early.
-- Dan Connolly
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B.J. Upton( J. Meric, Getty Images / September 23, 2012 )
Upton, 28, is enigmatic, but undoubtedly talented. He's also playoff tested. The Orioles could use another quality outfielder -- a left fielder (while Nolan Reimold attempts to come back from neck surgery) who could play center if something happened to Adam Jones -- with pop in his bat. He's also a Norfolk, Va., native and former travel team buddy of Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds.
Orioles' bottom line: Upton is another big-swinging, high strikeout, low on-base percentage player. The Orioles likely will pass given the expected price tag.