Baltimore Orioles

Orioles' shopping list shrinking, but not finished as spring training approaches

Even while still basking in the glow of last week's agreement with Mark Trumbo, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the team's offseason business wasn't finished.

"We're still looking to fill out our team," Duquette said. "We have some more work to do between now and spring training, so we'll continue to add."


Even as they've made moves to bolster their lineup this winter, the Orioles' shopping list hasn't really changed, save for at the catcher position.

With a few weeks to go before the Orioles report to spring training, here's a new list of what they could still require to be ready for another season of hopeful contention.


One final outfield piece

With a current corner outfield set of Hyun Soo Kim, Joey Rickard, Seth Smith, and Trumbo, the Orioles seem to hope to add one more piece to that platoon mix that will allow Trumbo to be designated hitter full time.

This piece, in addition to hitting left-handers well enough to justify the starts that would come with the corresponding role, would be helpful if he brought speed and defense to the table a la Rickard and Michael Bourn a year ago.

The candidates to fill such a role are drying up a bit, but one from earlier in the offseason, Angel Pagan, could fit. He's a switch hitter with a lifetime .267 average against left-handers, which isn't world-beating, but he could be versatile enough defensively to warrant a spot on a roster that won't be very versatile in 2017.

All told, however, the Orioles' player pool for this role is diminished by the fact they need someone who can hit lefties. Even the team's desire to be more balanced in handedness can't hide the fact that there are a lot of players who struggle against lefties in the lineup.

A veteran swingman

As someone who never saw the wisdom in jettisoning Vance Worley for his price tag, this role is one that could be easy to fill. It comes down to this: does pitching once a week for maybe an inning, or maybe three, help Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Logan Verrett, or any of the other candidates for this role better as starters going forward? If the answer is no, which I believe it is, then a veteran should fill this role from the outside.

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That comes with its drawbacks, like the inability to option that veteran to the minors, but that's a small price to pay with a flexible bullpen otherwise for the development of your pitching depth.


A cut-price return for Worley would probably be best for all involved, but other candidates for a role like this, albeit more expensively, are Jason Hammel, Travis Wood, Brett Anderson, Doug Fister, Kris Medlen, and Colby Lewis, to name a few.

A veteran left-handed reliever

This would be more of a luxury, especially with all signs pointing to Donnie Hart being a written-in-pen part of the Opening Day roster. But every bit of depth helps, and the Orioles lost a good few ballgames last year during the stretches where they didn't have a left-handed reliever they could rely on simply for that fact alone.

A name frequently connected to the Orioles in trade talks, Boone Logan, is the top of that market at this point, with others such as Jerry Blevins and J.P. Howell also still waiting to find a team. A second lefty could take some pressure off Hart and help him tinker with new ideas to face right-handed hitters with, as well.