Baseball experts weigh in about the Orioles heading into the 2014 season

A look at some baseball experts' observations about the Orioles as they prepare for the start of the 2014 season.

"This division, you can flip a coin and say who's going to win. But I'm flipping my coin towards the Orioles being a postseason team." — Harold Reynolds, MLB Network


"This team is going to be fun to watch offensively. A lot of power in that lineup, with [Nelson] Cruz, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and, of course, [Chris] "Crush" Davis at first base, who I think is the real deal and will repeat his year from 2013." — Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated

"I was critical of the Orioles for most of the offseason because their window with Chris Davis and Matt Wieters remains perilously small, and nothing short of a miracle contract extension will change that. So to finally fortify the roster with Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz -- at bargain prices no less -- flipped their winter from failed to opportunistic. Whether it's enough to merit a playoff spot depends on two things: Manny Machado's return and the success of their back-end starters. I don't think they're better than Boston or Tampa Bay, but injuries and trades have a funny way of changing that, and with Kevin Gausman playing ace in the hole, the Orioles have as good a chance as any team of upsetting the East's natural order." — Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports


"They know they need to try to win within the next two years, while Chris Davis and Matt Wieters are still Orioles, and they are trying to capitalize quick." — Jon Heyman, CBS Sports

"The late rush of moves by the Orioles was important, not only for the team and the fan base, but I think for the players, as well. I think some doubt had begun to creep in among them. But adding Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz added to the confidence in the clubhouse." — Buster Olney, ESPN

"Deep lineup, but top of the rotation not good enough." — David Brown, Yahoo Sports

"The Orioles have improved themselves enough in the last month to contend for the AL East title or a wild card, assuming Manny Machado is healthy. Their lineup is as good as any in the league. Their pitching is decent, with help on the way." — Tim Kurkjian, ESPN

"I love what they did, just the aggression of it. [Ubaldo] Jimenez is a definite risk, but [new pitching coach Dave] Wallace is the right kind of pitching coach for him. The question is, are Jimenez and [Nelson] Cruz enough? — Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports

"I'm not picking them to make the playoffs, but also wouldn't be surprised if they finished anywhere from first to fourth in baseball's most difficult division." — Jim Bowden, ESPN

"The only question mark for me is their bullpen. Can Tommy Hunter close? And can the guys in front of him get him the ball to do so?" — Mitch Williams, MLB Network

"I don't think [the additions of Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz] boost the Orioles to a place where they're more than the fourth-best team in the American League East on paper." — Jesse Spector, The Sporting News