The Orioles still appear likely to enhance their outfield depth, which should be less complicated now that there are no more free agents tied to draft-pick compensation.
Manager Buck Showalter was noncommittal when asked Sunday whether there is a sense of urgency within the organization to acquire another player, but it has become fairly obvious that club officials are discussing which of the remaining players available would fit best.
“I think it’s player-exclusive,’’ Showalter said. “There’s only a sense of urgency if you feel like it upgrades your club. Then you’d like to, but I think it depends on what player it is.”
The most prominent names attached to the Orioles’ search are free-agent first baseman Pedro Alvarez, free-agent outfielder Austin Jackson and trade-available Cincinnati Reds slugger Jay Bruce, all players with different skills who would fit on the Orioles in different ways.
Alvarez, for instance, is not an outfielder, and would be signed only if the Orioles intend to play Mark Trumbo regularly in right field. Even if they do, it’s problematic because the team cannot be certain that Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim will be able to hold the starting job in left field.
Bruce is intriguing, because the Reds appear eager to shed the $12.5 million owed to him this year. He’s a proven left-handed power hitter who has averaged 26 homers over his eight major league seasons and can be retained on a club option in 2017. The downside is that his batting average and on-base percentage have dropped off the past two seasons.
Jackson might be the best fit because Showalter typically prefers players versatile enough to play all outfield positions, particularly center field.
If the Orioles don’t go outside the organization, Nolan Reimold and Rule 5 draft pick Joey Rickard have the speed and range to relieve Adam Jones occasionally.