One of the more intriguing and exciting times of the Major League Baseball offseason every year is the winter meetings, and this year's meetings begin today. The Baltimore Orioles are in a situation that they have not found themselves in quite some time, they are expected to do something to benefit their 2013 team, not just their future.
Executive VP/GM Dan Duquette knows that the Orioles fan base wants to see something happen this week during the winter meetings and Duquette knows the Orioles do have some holes to fill for the 2013 season. Baltimore has already made some moves this offseason, including the non-tendering of Mark Reynolds last week that allowed him to become a free agent, but what moves will Duquette and the Orioles make this week?
Here is my take on the moves that need to be made:
- Big middle of the order bat – I do not care how, or by what means (other than a trade that would involve Manny Machado or Dylan Bundy) the Orioles make this move, but it needs to happen. Baltimore needs a big bat to solidify the middle of their order and have three positions they could use to fill that need: Left field, first base, or DH. Rumor mill has it that the O's are interested in trying to trade for Kansas City's Billy Butler or Eric Hosmer. Butler would be a HUGE acquisition and would make me do cartwheels if the Orioles got him, he is a professional hitter with power who hits for a high average, good amount of homers, and an awesome on base percentage. To me, if he were added, he is the grand prize for Baltimore, but as for Hosmer, he has not shown enough consistency for me to justify giving two of the following three pitchers for (Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta).
- Starting Pitcher – The Orioles starting rotation right now looks like this: Chris Tillman, Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez with an insert here fifth starter. Baltimore needs to add a quality arm that can eat some innings, preferably a left hander. Odds are, because under the Angelos regime they never do, Baltimore is not going to spend a ton of money on a starting pitcher and not grant a contract longer than three years, so that limits the pool just a bit. Sources report to me that the O's are likely to try and complete a deal with Joe Saunders, but it is not imminent. Other names to listen for would be Kyle Loshe, Jeff Francis, Annibal Sanchez, and Francisco Liriano among others.
- Left Fielder – Baltimore could kill two birds with one stone if they acquire a big bat that also plays left field, but odds of that are highly unlikely. I understand that Nolan Reimold should be 100% healthy come spring training, but for how long? The Orioles need to acquire a left fielder either through free agency or trade, and the sentimental pick would be re-signing Nate McLouth, which would not be a bad move, he has speed, is solid defensively and showed he can still be a contributor for a major league team, but I am not sold that he is your everyday left fielder. This position may be the most interesting for the Orioles because they could take a chance on one of their prospects like an L.J. Hoes or Xavier Avery in spring training or hope Reimold can stay healthy.
- ANY MOVE WORTH NOTING – Yes, that is capitalized for a reason, Duquette and the Orioles have to make a move, any move that is worth noting. Not another Yamaico Navarro trade or Alexi Casilla signing, no offense to those guys, but fans just shrug their shoulders when they hear about those kind of moves. Baltimore fans want to see a move that makes them believe the Orioles are trying to get better and win.
This is just my take, how do you feel Orioles fans? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment and let the debate ensue. Orioles101 will keep you up to date on all of the happenings at the winter meetings in regards to the O's and any major deals as well.
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