Baltimore Orioles: An Uninspired Look at the Free Agent OFs


Jul 2, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder

Nick Markakis

(21), left fielder

David Lough

(9) and center fielder

Adam Jones

(10) celebrate in the outfield after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-4 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles’ roster is in much better shape now that it has been in years.

However, one of the biggest questions for the team this offseason is what to do about the outfield.

Let’s face it, compared to years past, a lot of positions are set.  Catcher will be handled by Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph.  First base will feature Chris Davis and Steve Pearce.  Second base will see the continued growth of Jonathan Schoop.

The other side of the diamond will see J.J Hardy at short stop and Manny Machado at third base.  Ryan Flaherty will again be a utility player.  That is already eight position players.

Center field is signed, sealed and delivered to Adam Jones. But what about left field, and also right field, where O’s mainstay Nick Markakis is a free agent? Those are the biggest questions Dan Duquette faces.

First, I think Markakis is back in black and orange next year.  So that takes care of that.  I also think Nelson Cruz could be back, but am less certain about that.  So let’s examine the free agents.

Listed in Alphabetical Order

Nori Aoki
Roger Bernadina
Brennan Boesch
Emilio Bonifacio
Melky Cabrera
Mike Carp
Endy Chavez
Tyler Colvin
Nelson Cruz
Chris Denorfia
Chris Dickerson
Greg Dobbs
Ryan Doumit
Jeff Francoeur
Jason Giambi
Cole Gillespie
Jonny Gomes
Jesus Guzman
Tony Gwynn Jr.
Scott Hairston
Corey Hart
Chase Headley
Torii Hunter
Raul Ibanez
Kelly Johnson
Reed Johnson
Ryan Kalish
Ryan Ludwick
Nick Markakis
Michael Martinez
Justin Maxwell
Michael Morse
Jason Pridie
Colby Rasmus
Nolan Reimold
Alex Rios
Nate Schierholtz
Ichiro Suzuki
Michael Taylor
Josh Willingham
Delmon Young

You look at that list, and it isn’t exactly awe-inspiring.  And the other issue is age.  Out of the players on this list, only four of them are under the age of 30.  Only two of them are established major leaguers, Delmon Young and Colby Rasmus.

Rasmus is by no means an on-base guy.  He is more of a power hitting center fielder with a low average, as he showed several times versus the Orioles last year.

So who would my top  five on this list be, remember assuming that Markakis is in RF?

I would rather bring back Nolan Reimold, but I know that might incite a riot.

1. Nelson Cruz
2. Delmon Young
3. Nori Aoki
4. Torii Hunter
5. Nate Schierholtz

To be honest,  I cringed completing that list.  Aoki is a singles hitter who can play defense.  While that is fine, Markakis may fit that bill a little too much for that to be 2/3 of your outfield.

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Hunter has long been my favorite non-Oriole dating back to his Twin days.  But, Torii is 39 years old.  While his love of the game would make him and Adam Jones instantly hilarious, I can’t see the Orioles bringing in someone of his age.

Schierholtz was just the last option, to be honest I would rather bring back Nolan Reimold, but I know that might incite a riot.

If Nelson Cruz doesn’t come back, I think the Orioles should fill the position internally.  There are several options that could make this reasonable.  Who are those players, you ask? Well, I will explain those in another post.