Baltimore Orioles: Free Agent Pickings are an Empty Carcass


Oct 11, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Nori Aoki (23) in game two of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Looking over the list of remaining free agent targets in Major League Baseball who could be of possible interest for the Baltimore Orioles is a bit like trying to find some meat on the turkey carcass the day after Thanksgiving. There are two intact wings (named Max Scherzer and James Shields), but beyond that, the pickings are rather scant.

From the Top 50 List of 2014-15 Free Agents compiled by, only 13 remain. And beyond the two “wings” mentioned above (ranked 1st and 3rd) only Colby Rasmus (at #20) remains from the top 25 names. And in the view of The Baltimore Wire, getting Rasmus would not be a good move for the Orioles.

Here are those remaining from the Top 50 List:

Looking over the list, and hoping the Orioles do not bring in a player who strikes out at a rate equal to Chris Davis at his worst, only Aoki looks like a legitimate target who fills an actual need.

Beyond this, Delmon Young was not on this Top 50 List. This continues to strike me as very odd, and I continue to believe this would be a best move for the Orioles. Both he and Aoki would be nice, but possibly pricier than desired; and beyond that, it fills the outfield and blocks the openings for such as Dariel Alvarez, Alex Hassan, or Henry Urrutia to step up and demand to be played.

Also on was an interesting article that broke down the Top 50 in terms of the six divisions of baseball. And it is no surprise to see that the American League East is the top free agent spender so far. This could change when Scherzer and Shields land somewhere.

Here is the list in order by millions of dollars expended, but check the article itself for comments on each division and what may yet happen in each…

More from Baltimore Orioles

AL East – 362.5

AL Central – 277.5

NL Central – 236.5

NL West – 168

AL West – 142

NL East – 81

Naturally, this topic raises the question and criticism of Orioles management for being too cheap and falling too far behind, especially in the AL East. The Red Sox have gained the #4, #5, and #18 players from the Top 50 List (Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Justin Masterson) for a total of $191.5 million. The Yankees have participated (so far) with only a relatively paltry $88 million for Chase Headley and Andrew Miller.

From where we sit right now while looking at these expenditures, it would appear that indeed the Orioles are severely damaged by these developments. Yet history does not always prove this to be the inevitable outcome of high levels of spending. There are as many stories of disaster as of benefit.

In the past I have pictured Duquette as the lurker at the neighborhood garage sale, going from house to house, and waiting until the final 10 minutes to swoop in on a couple of remaining bargains at a discount price. We’re only at about lunchtime for this year’s neighborhood sale, as the late afternoon final hour is still one-half offseason away.

Next: 10 reasons to hate the baseball offseason