The Baltimore Orioles have several key players up for free agency. Who stays and who goes elsewhere for the 2017 season?
In our most recent episode of our podcast, we took a look at the Baltimore Orioles upcoming free agents. There are 12 players set to hit the market and management cannot keep them all. They also cannot let every player go either. Let’s run down the list and make our prediction on who is still around for the 2017 season.
Mark Trumbo: Gone
While everyone in Birdland would love to keep the Trumbombs going, the money will not be there to keep him. Many have speculated that he would use this season to get one more big contract – similar to Nelson Cruz – and he has earned that. We fear that he could end up with the Boston Red Sox with David Ortiz retiring.
Matt Wieters: Gone
This loss will be the most painful as Wieters has spent his entire career with the organization. But he has reportedly been asking for nearly $20 million a year and the O’s cannot match that. He might not make the Opening Day roster, but Chance Sisco is the future of the position.
Brian Duensing: Stays
It was a rough start for the lefty in Baltimore, but he proved to be a key piece to the bullpen down the stretch. The O’s should be able to keep him around for relatively cheap as another left-handed specialist with Donnie Hart.
Nolan Reimold: Gone
Hopefully Buck Showalter‘s outfield man crush ends up in another uniform next season. He makes plays in the outfield – except for that bobble in the Wild Card game – but his bat is too much of a liability.
Michael Bourn: Stays
Of all the Orioles pending free agents, Bourn might be the most important piece to keep around. Baltimore really wanted Dexter Fowler last season – who had a terrific season, by the way – and they need a lead off guy. He batted .283 in his short time with the O’s and also provides great defense in right field.
Steve Pearce: Gone
Another one of Buck’s guys, he was let go a year ago and it’s likely they will again. Trey Mancini was called up in September and can spell Chris Davis at first base if need be. Pearce could be around if Bourn goes elsewhere, but if he is in the starting lineup, the O’s had a terrible offseason.
Tommy Hunter: Stays
This is more about the team chemistry than anything. He is clearly a clubhouse favorite and effective enough to warrant a spot in the bullpen. Plus, who does not want to see “Two Claps and a Ric Flair” more often?
Pedro Alvarez: Stays
The power-hitting lefty was a pleasant surprise for the Orioles in limited at bats and has earned the right to stick around as the designated hitter. Baltimore will need to make up for all of Trumbo’s home runs going elsewhere and he could split time with Mancini in that role.
Drew Stubbs: Gone
He was a disaster in his short time here, batting .196 while striking out 11 times. He also was supposed to give the team some speed on the base paths, but only scored one run.
Logan Ondrusek: Gone
Showalter has plenty of options in the bullpen and Ondrusek was terrible in his seven appearances, racking up a 9.95 ERA. Good riddance.
Chris Dickerson: Gone
He’s one of our favorite players, but not because of what he brings as a player. We love him for this:
Wandy Rodriguez: Gone
Almost forget he was even with team and this comes just years after many fans wanted him over Ubaldo Jimenez. While Ubaldo has not been great in an Orioles uniform, they did make the right decision and Rodriguez has become a forgotten man in baseball.
Will I be right about any of these predictions? Maybe. Maybe not. Even though the MLB Playoffs are still on, I am ready for the next season to start. I am losing my mind without Baltimore Orioles baseball.