October 29th, 2014 at 10:27 AM
By Josh Michael
The Baltimore Orioles are coming off of their third straight winning season and second postseason berth in the last three years. Baltimore will have a lot of decisions to make this offseason, but what area of the team should garner the most focus?
There is a laundry list of potential free agents and arbitration eligible players that the Orioles are facing this offseason, with a lot of difficult decisions as a result. Baltimore has a solid core of players returning in 2015 and will have a chance to have four straight winning seasons since 1982-85 and reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1996-97.
Well are we going to answer the question we posed? Of course! Baltimore's front office should focus more on their outfield than any other area for their 2015 big league club.
Why the outfield? Well for starters, the trio of Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young are all pending free agents and Alejandro De Aza is not a given to be tendered in arbitration. Potentially, the Orioles could have just Adam Jones and David Lough as returning outfielders in 2015, although we do not foresee that being the case.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 29th, 2014 at 8:26 AM
By Josh Michael
One of the biggest names on Baltimore Orioles’ fans minds is the longest current tenured Oriole in outfielder Nick Markakis. Likely hitting the free agent market tonight or tomorrow, depending on when Game 7 concludes, Baltimore has reportedly been working on a deal for the right fielder.
Per MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles have spoken to Markakis’ agent and will continue contract discussions this week.
It has long been agreed on by Orioles writers and analysts that Baltimore would decline their 2015 option on Markakis, valued at $17.5 million, in favor of trying to work out a multi-year contract extension. Markakis has been a fixture in the Orioles lineup longer than any current Oriole and has solidified the leadoff spot for Manager Buck Showalter.
Kubatko also stated that “Both sides want to get a deal done, but it’s not as though Markakis will settle for whatever is put on the table. A hometown discount has its limits.”
Those words could not have been stated any better. It’s no secret that Markakis likes it here and would want to stay in an Orioles uniform for his entire career, but he has a family to provide for and in the end, baseball is still a business. He may take less money to stay in Baltimore, but it would not be pennies on the dollar.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 28th, 2014 at 1:54 PM
By Josh Michael
One of the more fun aspects of the offseason is looking ahead to the next season and even further down the road. Part of that fun is Baseball America's top 10 prospects list for each team, and RHP Dylan Bundy highlights this year's Baltimore Orioles list.
This year's Baseball America list includes five pitchers and five position players for Baltimore.
Here is the top 10 list per Baseball America:
- RHP Dylan Bundy
- RHP Hunter Harvey
- 1B Christian Walker
- C Chance Sisco
- OF Dariel Alvarez
- RHP Zach Davies
- LHP Tim Berry
- RHP Mike Wright
- OF Mike Yastrzemski
- 3B Jomar Reyes
Bundy is no stranger to being the number one ranked prospect in the Orioles' organization. The pitcher will be ranked number one for the third year in a row after returning from Tommy John surgery this summer, a procedure which forced him to sit out the 2013 season. He performed very well with the Aberdeen Ironbirds, but struggled a little bit once he was promoted to the High-A Frederick Keys. The organization, Bundy, and Orioles fans everywhere hope that with a full and healthy offseason, Bundy can begin his track back to Baltimore after everyone got to see a glimpse of him in 2012.Read more... Join the Conversation...
October 27th, 2014 at 10:29 AM
By Josh Michael
We are just days away from the MLB offseason officially getting underway, and the Baltimore Orioles front office is already in the full swing of things. Baltimore will have a lot of decisions to make with free agents and arbitration eligible players, but one of the more interesting decisions they will have to make is with Alejandro De Aza.
The trade deadline pickup from the Chicago White Sox turned out to be a very good move by Executive VP/GM Dan Duquette. De Aza made the Orioles' outfield one of the best defensive squads in baseball and his bat solidified the two spot in the order.
De Aza played 20 games for Baltimore in the regular season and he seemed to be rejuvenated by being on a contending team. In his 20 games with the Birds, he hit .293 with three home runs, 10 RBI, two stolen bases, five doubles, three triples, and scored 11 runs in just 89 plate appearances.
He was also one of the few Orioles hitters that brought his bat with him throughout the entire postseason. De Aza hit .333 with three doubles, three RBI, four runs scored, and boasted a .391 on base percentage in 23 total plate appearances in the playoffs.Read more... Join the Conversation...