Orioles' DH possibilities are almost endless

The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles have a lot of players on their spring training roster who might compete for at-bats in the designated hitter role, but manager Buck Showalter would not
rule out a late-spring acquisition to bolster the position.

"There's always that possibility,'' he said. "It's one thing to have the ability to acquire players during the offseason whether it be monetarily or whatever, but it's also a big feather in your hat to have the ability to do it later in the spring. When we're [in March], a lot of people are seeing what they're club looks like and they realize they have some excess.

"I can't tell you how many times over the years -- not just here -- that there's been somebody like that available but it didn't fit into your payroll. So there's always an advantage to having some flexibility with that."

Of course, the name that stands out among the unsigned free agent hitters is Kendrys  Morales, but he is one of those players who would require the Orioles to give up their first-round pick in the upcoming June draft.

The Orioles probably could afford Morales' salary, as Dan Duquette has said over the past few weeks that they still have payroll available if the right deal comes along. But Showalter said he had not been to told whether a deal of that magnitude was a real possibility.

Showalter doesn't mind using the DH slot as a place to rotate full-time players to get time a day off in the field, but he said that he would have no problem going with a full-time guy who plays against both right-handed and left-handed pitching. He says that player might already be here.

"Could be,'' he said. "I'm not going to tell somebody they can't do something. You always try to create a role where everybody knows that, in this situation, I'm going to be asked to contribute. That's the one reason why it kind of works out that way in a lot of places. But, for instance, Delmon Young, this guy has hit right-handed and left-handed pitchers. I can come up with three or four. If you look at Henry [Urrutia] in the minor leagues. Look at Steve Pearce among the seven or eight others we're considering."

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