Orioles: Evaluating MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agent Predictions

4 of 4

Oct 31, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman

Ben Zobrist

(18) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run against the New York Mets in the sixth inning in game four of the World Series at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Free Agents of Interest to the Orioles

The following five players have the Orioles listed among teams that may have a possible interest in their service.

Ian Kennedy – #19 — With a 4.28 ERA and yielding the highest number of home runs per nine innings, he would not look to be a good fit for the Baltimore Orioles of Camden Yards. But the O’s need pitching, as do many teams — all of whom are listed as possible landing places. However, Trade Rumors puts Kennedy with the Angels for four years at $52 million. If the O’s are going to spend that much, Kazmir would certainly be the better option.

Ben Zobrist – #21 — Who wouldn’t like to have Zobrist on their team? The guy can play the game and play in so many places. He’s a Showalter type of ballplayer. MLBTR says this of him …

"Baseball’s Swiss Army knife would fit with more than a dozen teams, as he can handle second base and the outfield corners and even back up at shortstop."

They also see him going to the Yankees for three years for $51 million. But if there was a way for the Orioles to have him, he would be an asset. I’m not expecting it to happen.

Byung-ho Park – #23 — the posting bidding has already been done for this Korean first baseman who has hit 109 homers in the past two seasons. It was for $12.5 million; and it is difficult to believe or imagine that it was the Orioles (but will be announced next week). What would that signal to Chris Davis? Park is predicted to go for $40 million for five years to the Rockies. He would be interesting to watch however.

More from Baltimore Orioles

John Lackey – #24 — Though Papelbon has always been the #1 most odious character in baseball in my estimation, second place may go to Lackey. It would be difficult to cheer for this guy in a black and orange uniform. Indeed he had a great year in 2015 with the Cardinals — with a 2.77 ERA in 218 innings. But he is age 37, and I can’t see him fitting into the O’s clubhouse. MLBTR has him going to the Cubs for $50 million for three years.

J.A. Happ – #30 — Listed as of interest for the Orioles … why? Because he is a lefty starter. And though he first two-thirds with the Mariners last year was grim, he was great in the final third with the Pirates. Is that an AL/NL thing?  Let’s not find out in Baltimore!  The site has him going to the Royals for three years at $30 million.

Next: A suggested roster and batting order for the 2016 Orioles

All said, this is complicated; but it is also interesting and will provide much to read and write about in the months ahead.  So, Mr. Angelos: Go spend some of your money!