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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Other pitchers to keep an eye on
Unrestricted free agent starters: Ryan Dempster, Hiroki Kuroda, Shaun Marcum, Anibal Sanchez, Joe Blanton and Kyle Lohse.
Starters with team options: R.A. Dickey, Jake Peavy, Dan Haren and James Shields.
Orioles' bottom line: The club will always be in search of improving its starting pitching. And there are plenty of names out there that could be available. But since the team has always steered away from contracts of four years or more for free-agent pitchers, most of these guys likely will end up elsewhere.