On Day Two of the MLB Winter Meetings, the Baltimore Orioles continue their search for a right fielder.
However, the Orioles shouldn’t look in the direction of free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler again during this offseason according to Baltimore general manager Dan Duquette.
“I don’t know if that’s an option for us this year,” Duquette said. “We tried to sign Dexter last year and to his credit, he made a good decision and it worked out for him. We were able to have a good ballclub, too. That’s all in the past. You know, Dexter was betting on himself that he would be out there on the market that doesn’t have many outfielders this year, and it looks like he made the right call.”
Fowler burned the Orioles last season by returning to the Chicago Cubs on a one-year deal. At first, it didn’t look like a smart move on Fowler’s part because of the Cubs’ crowded outfield. Fowler proved everyone wrong by being the starting center fielder, batting .276/.393/.447, making his first All-Star Game and winning a World Series ring in 2016. Now his price will definitely go up and he may receive $18M per season.
The Orioles would have to give up their first round pick to sign Fowler, who received the qualifying offer from the Cubs. Baltimore isn’t necessarily afraid to give up their first round pick, as they have done it twice in the past three seasons. Ubaldo Jimenez and Yovani Gallardo were the two players who the Orioles signed after receiving the qualifying offer from their previous teams. Despite these facts, I just don’t see a scenario where the Orioles can bring in Fowler.
He did say that the outfield defense needed to improve next season. I agree with his statement because free agent outfielder Mark Trumbo was awful in the field last season. They could also look in the direction of acquiring a speedy guy like maybe Ben Revere, who was just non-tendered by the Washington Nationals.
“Our outfield defense needs to improve,” Duquette told MLB Network on Tuesday morning. “We need speedier outfielders to cover the ground. That will improve our pitching staff. We’ve got to replace the offense we’ve lost from Mark Trumbo. … He’s not on our club now, so we’re going to have to do something. He hit a lot of home runs for us.”
Revere is a name that has come up in the past for the Orioles and now would be the time to make a move for him. He had a very down season last year in Washington, batting .217/.260/.300 in 375 plate appearances. Although last season was bad, Revere has a track record of success. He has batted .285/.320/.342 and has stolen 190 bases over the course of seven seasons. His speed and fielding ability brings a change to the Orioles lineup. He can and would leadoff for the Orioles.
What do they have to lose in taking a flyer out on him?