Baltimore Orioles: The Search for Outfielders Continues

Sep 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Ben Revere (9) waits his turn in the batting cage before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Ben Revere (9) waits his turn in the batting cage before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Orioles’ search for an outfielder continues, and maybe it is time to determine if the free agent candidates are really better than those already on the team.

The Baltimore Orioles want to find a starting outfielder. Maybe one and a half starting outfielders to platoon with Hyun Soo Kim. However, that requires there to be a free agent who is a good fit.

In the spirit of the holidays, let’s look at the Baltimore Orioles’ wish list.

-High on base guy
-Strong defender
-Can bat lead off

There we go. May not sound tough, but these types of guys don’t grow on trees. Can Santa deliver a player with these attributes from the free agent class? Let’s take a look:

Available Right Fielders
Jose Bautista
Mark Trumbo
Gregor Blanco
Peter Bourjos
Tyler Holt
Justin Ruggiano
Jared Hoying
Travis Snider
Colin Curtis

Well then. Trumbo doesn’t satisfy the Baltimore Orioles’ defensive needs, although there is interest of a return to play DH. There is no interest, according to Dan Duquette, of bringing in Bautista.

Blanco, Holt, Ruggiano and our old friend Snider are not full-time players/starter material. Despite being well-versed in baseball, I have never heard of Hoying or Curtis, so they are out.

That leaves Bourjos. Keep him in mind.

Available Left Fielders
Colby Rasmus
Angel Pagan
Alejandro De Aza
Chris Coghlan
Michael Saunders
Domonic Brown
Nolan Reimold
Brandon Moss
Ryan Raburn
Rickie Weeks
Daniel Nava
Marlon Byrd
Jeff Francoeur
Oswaldo Arcia
Cody Asche
Jake Elmore
Daniel Robertson
Matt Tuiasosopo
Stefen Romero
Nick Buss
Ryan Kalish
Skip Schumaker
Roger Bernadina
Eury Perez
Gabby Guerrero
Trent Oeltjen

Everyone after the line I would say is out of the running. Some are not starter material, others don’t play defense well enough, or are utility players. Byrd, Moss and Franceour are talented players, but Byrd and Franceour are getting old and their defense is falling off. Moss is not a strong defender.

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Rasmus, Saunders and Pagan have been linked to the Orioles already. De Aza fits the needs, but I think the tires are kicked on that one. Nolan Reimold always seems to find his way to Baltimore, and he is a strong defender, a guy who has batted leadoff and is a high OBP guy. Staying healthy and consistent are two major question marks.

Coghlan is an interesting guy. He has some speed (although not a SB threat) and has batted leadoff before. But, he is also 31-years-old. He is a former first round pick, and we know Dan Duquette loves those.

Domonic Brown is a guy I could see the Orioles trying to take a chance on. He wouldn’t necessarily fit what they need, but could be a guy they try to work with to see if they can make him into a MLB outfielder, something he showed glimpses of while in Philadelphia.

Available Center Fielders
Coco Crisp
Ben Revere
Rajai Davis
Austin Jackson
Sam Fuld
Franklin Gutierrez
Eric Young Jr.
Will Venable
Shane Robinson
Emilio Bonifacio
Don Kelly
Drew Stubbs
Michael Bourn

An interesting list here. I think that Crisp, Davis, Fuld and Gutierrez are all too old for what the Orioles are looking for (all in their mid 30s). I think that Venable is better as a corner outfielder, but he doesn’t really possess the spead they need. Nothing jumps out about Robinson or Young Jr., and Kelly is not a full-time starter. Also, I don’t see a Stubbs reunion happening.

That leaves Ben Revere, Emilio Bonifacio and Michael Bourn. Revere has been linked to the Orioles, and makes a lot of sesne. Bonifacio is seemingly linked to the O’s every year, and Bourn finished 2016 as an Oriole.

So, of these players, the ones I said are worth considering are:

Peter Bourjos (RF)
Colby Rasmus (LF)
Angel Pagan (LF)
Chris Coghlan (LF)
Michael Saunders (LF)
Domonic Brown (LF)
Nolan Reimold (LF)
Ben Revere (CF)
Emilio Bonifacio (CF)
Michael Bourn (CF)

If it was me, I probably would attempt to sign two of these guys (assuming a trade isn’t made for a player like Jarrod Dyson).

The reason for that is I don’t think Mark Trumbo is an Oriole next year. So, if you can get two outfielders, Kim could potentially DH.

Next: Orioles Top Five Prospects

My first choice would be Ben Revere, as he is a proven player who will not be overly expensive, like Rasmus will (also, Rasmus is more of a power guy who strikes out a ton). After that, I would try to sign Bourjos, Reimold and Bourn, in that order. Who would you sign?