For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the off-season and offer some insights to what would make sense.
We now move to the AL East, which is very top heavy and looks to be a boring off-season free agency-wise for most of the teams. The Orioles are the epitome of a dumpster fire, the Rays don’t/can’t spend money, the Blue Jays trade for two infielders every year and they don’t pan out, and the Red Sox and Yankees get into a dick-measuring contest.
Top FA Targets:
- James Shields, SP
The Orioles badly need a starting pitcher that can eat some innings… but they don’t want to pay for it. Insert James Shields on a 1 year, incentives deal.
- Jose Iglesias, SS
With the departure of Manny Machado and no real options internally (outside of Tim Beckham… but let’s be real with ourselves…), Jose Iglesias would be a great fit defensively and help lower the team’s high strikeout rate offensively.
- Gerardo Parra, 1B/OF
The Orioles needs some versatility on their major league roster and Parra could provide a decent platoon partner with Trumbo. Parra hits very well against RHP, but can’t touch a LHP… but still better than Chris Davis against either handedness.
- David Phelps, RP
Coming off Tommy John surgery, Phelps is a perfect low-cost/high upside acquisition that the Orioles could use to shore up a bullpen that traded away Darren O’Day, Brad Brach, and Zach Britton in 2018.
- Evan Gattis, C/DH/1B
Evan Gattis is a very underrated player in free agency. He isn’t a great catcher, but can hit 25+ homers and cycle thru at 1B and DH for a very low cost. Most AL teams should be in on El Oso Blanco if they’re smart… which Baltimore continually shows they are not.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Orioles trade SP Dylan Bundy to the Angels for RF Kole Calhoun, SS Prospect Kevin Maitan, and OF Prospect Brandon Marsh
The Angels need SP AND want to unload Calhoun’s $11.5M 2019 commitment (including his 2020 buyout). Dylan Bundy has 3 years of team control remaining and the Orioles won’t be competitive in any of those years… might as well move him now. In return for the Orioles’ “Ace” and taking on Calhoun, they receive the Angels #3 and #7 prospects. Both are young guys with huge upside… worth the gamble for a team with no one of high regard in their system.
- Orioles trade RP Mychal Givens to the Dodgers for SP prospect Dustin May
The Dodgers need to shore up their pen and as a bonus, Givens is set to make $1.5M in 2019 with 3 years of control remaining. Dustin May is their 3rd best prospect according to mlb.com, but their rotation is mostly set for 2019 with Kershaw, Buehler, Ryu, Hill, Wood/Stripling/Urias/Maeda. The Orioles on the other hand have no pitching talent in their upper minors (or minors in general). Good move for both parties involved.
- Orioles trade SP Alex Cobb to the Twins for OF Robbie Grossman & SS Wander Javier
The Twins have money and a need for a SP… but not enough money to responsibly buy off the top shelf. Cobb would be a good lower cost option for them and wouldn’t cost as much as if he was back at his 2017-self. Grossman has nowhere to play regularly and Javier is years away.
- Orioles trade 1B Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks for OF Yasmany Tomas, SP Zach Godley, and a Low A Prospect
With Trumbo in the last year of his contract and set to make $13.5M, he might be good enough to net them a prospect… if they take on a shitty contract. With budget space to make a move, the Orioles should take advantage of a financially strapped team. In come the Diamondbacks and Yasmany Tomas. With Tomas set to make $32.5M over the next two seasons, he would be the 2nd highest paid player on the team as things stand today… ahead of Goldy. In return for clearing the books and saving them over $19M, the Orioles receive 4 years of team control in Godley and a lotto ticket prospect.