The Winter Meetings have ended and the Orioles 2015 Fanfest event is in the books.
The Orioles have already had a pretty productive offseason compared to last year. From what I can tell, General Manager Dan Duquette seems pretty committed to opening up the wallet a little bit to make sure the Orioles can be competitive and successful in 2016.
The club has now officially signed relief pitcher Darren O’Day to a four year, $31 million dollar contract. It look awhile for the deal to actually become official, but yesterday the Orioles held a press conference with O’Day (mustache in-tact) after he inked the paper.
The Orioles have also made an effort to bring back Chris Davis, who led the league in home runs last season with 47. The offer the O’s made Davis was around seven years, $150 million bucks, but that deal has since been pulled off of the table. According to reports, Davis’s agent Scott Boras wants a deal around eight years, $200 million. I do not fault the Orioles for pulling back because honestly $200 million for Davis is ridiculous. I know he led the league in home runs in both 2013 and 2015, but keep in mind that he only hit .196 in 2014 and missed the postseason because of an adderall suspension.
Aside from Matt Wieters accepting his qualifying offer of $15.8 million, other notable moves the Orioles have made so far this offseason include trading Steve Cleveger to the Mariners for OF/1B Mark Trumbo and claiming pitcher Vance Worley off waivers from the Pirates.
A lot could happen this week before the holidays begin, but if the season were to start today, here is my estimate on what the 2016 Orioles lineup and rotation would look like:
- Hyun Soo-Kim, LF
- Manny Machado, 3B
- Jimmy Parades, DH
- Adam Jones, DH
- Matt Wieters, C
- Mark Trumbo, RF
- Jonathan Schoop, 2B
- JJ Hardy, SS
- Christian Walker, 1B
- Chris Tillman – RHP
- Kevin Gausman – RHP
- Ubaldo Jimenez – RHP
- Vance Worley – RHP
- Miguel Gonzalez – RHP
I do not know how exactly the bullpen would shape up, but obviously Zach Britton would remain the closer and Darren O’Day would be your 7th or 8th inning guy. I would also expect to see Brian Matusz, Brad Brach and TJ McFarland in there as well. There are also a number of young arms to be excited about that could help in the pen including Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Mychal Givens, Chaz Roe, Oliver Drake, and Jason Garcia.
Just looking at this roster, there is still a good bit of work that needs to be done. Lots of reporters have already been saying this, but if the Orioles made that seven year offer to Chris Davis, that’s great but if you are not going to spend the money on Davis, you need to spend it on other players that could fill other needs.
The Orioles still badly need another starting pitcher and another quality outfielder. Let’s look at some top options for the Orioles to consider:
Outfielders: Justin Upton, Alex Gordon
Starting Pitchers: Yovani Gallardo – RHP, Scott Kazmir – LHP
Okay Dan Duquette, go grab me one of the two from each category above, and we could be looking at a pretty good Orioles team in 2016. The O’s could also look into bringing back Wei-Yin Chen, but I do not think they feel like dealing with Scott Boras anymore. If its not Chen or Kazmir they get, they should try to get a lefty into the starting five. Gallardo is a great option but again if you sign him you are left without a starting lefty in your rotation. Maybe this is where a trade comes into play for the Birds. Also, if they bring in a big-name outfielder, that would most likely mean Trumbo moves to first base in the case that Davis does not come back. Wieters will most likely split time at catcher and 1B as well.
What do you think, fellow Orioles fans? Does anything I think actually make sense, or do you see something different happening? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!