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Examining the Orioles' waiver wire options as Opening Day looms

With the every comment about the roster made by the Orioles front office and manager Brandon Hyde over the past week or so, there's been a caveat that plenty can change because of the team's quest to add talent through the waiver process.

As teams pare down their rosters to 25 ahead of Thursday's deadline, some players have already shaken through, with more to come. The Orioles have the first claim on the American League side, giving them first dibs on any player designated for assignment and sent through waivers in their own league, and first choice on any player who clears the 15 National League clubs, too.

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There are plenty of areas they could decide to address, and some could involve players that will hit the waiver wire soon (if they haven't already). Here's a rundown of who's available this week, and how they could fit with the Orioles — though some were released and are free to sign with any team.

Outfielder Brian Goodwin
Outfielder Brian Goodwin (John Sleezer / TNS)
Outfielder Brian Goodwin

The Kansas City Royals released the 28-year-old former Washington Nationals prospect at the end of camp, and while it's not a perfect fit for the Orioles, it wouldn't be unusual to see some interest. Goodwin can play all three outfield spots, and it'd be a quick tryout considering he doesn't have any minor league options. However, he doesn't exactly fit the mold of good minor league stats without major league performance. He's played 171 games in the big leagues with similar rate stats as he had in the minors.

Right-hander Merandy González
Right-hander Merandy González (Jeff Roberson / AP)
Right-hander Merandy González

Rarely do 23-year-old right-handers with mid-90s fastballs become available on the waiver wire, but the San Francisco Giants are the second team to try to slip him through waivers after the Miami Marlins lost him to the Giants earlier this month. He didn't make it far on the National League waiver wire, and might not make it far if he makes it to the American League side. The Orioles will like that his curveball spin rate is in the 75th percentile, according to MLB Statcast data on Baseball Savant.

Right-hander José López
Right-hander José López (Chris Carlson / AP)
Right-hander José López

Like González, the Giants claimed the 25-year-old López late in the spring to get a look with their first waiver claim spot, but weren't going to keep him. He fits the mold of having interesting minor league stats without getting a big league look, having a 3.63 ERA in the minors, albeit with a career-worst 4.47 ERA last year at Triple-A Louisville. It's the type of profile that would fit if the Orioles look at his pitch data and see something they like — and the two minor league options wouldn't hurt.

Left-hander Steven Okert
Left-hander Steven Okert (Ross D. Franklin / AP)
Left-hander Steven Okert

Okert, 27, is different as he's a homegrown pitcher the Giants decided not to keep around this offseason. He’s out of options, which means he might be destined to bounce around from team to team this summer. There's plenty to like, as a left-hander who can get righties out and has a high-spin (albeit low-velocity) fastball. He might be particularly useful when the proposed three-batter minimum comes into play in 2020, so because of that, he might not make it to the AL side on the waiver wire.

Left-hander Chasen Shreve
Left-hander Chasen Shreve (Jeff Roberson / AP)
Left-hander Chasen Shreve

As a left-handed reliever, Shreve — who lost his roster spot when the St. Louis Cardinals added former Oriole Matt Wieters — might be a luxury the Orioles don't exactly need. But the 28-year-old has got all the markers for a target, with a high-spin fastball, a solid track record of success and, most importantly, the idea that if he's good for three months, the Orioles will be able to trade him come July 31 for a decent haul.

Right-hander Dan Straily
Right-hander Dan Straily (Brynn Anderson / AP)
Right-hander Dan Straily

Released this week by the Marlins despite making 56 starts for them the past two seasons, the 30-year-old Straily could be an inexpensive option for the Orioles to fill out their early-season rotation instead of complicating things with bullpen games. Of course, he'd have to choose to sign with them, which would require an expense for the club and an understanding that he'd probably not be an Oriole for long.

First baseman Allen Craig
First baseman Allen Craig (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)
First baseman Allen Craig

We've learned that sentiment doesn't drive anything this Orioles front office does, but Craig, who was released by the San Diego Padres on March 19, would be a sentimental add. When assistant general manager Sig Mejdal was asked at FanFest about a player he was proud of identifying and signing through analytics, he said Craig provided the best memory by virtue of his helping the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series. The 34-year-old would be completely redundant in the Orioles' organization, but it's a nice thought.

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