The Baltimore Orioles have had a relatively quiet start to the off-season. Too quiet in the minds of many Camden Yards faithful. After making the playoffs for the first time 1997 the Orioles have failed to extend their run of good fortune to the off-season. The Orioles lost first baseman Mark Reynolds to free agency when he signed with the Cleveland Indians. Baltimore has publicly stated that they intend to play Chris Davis at first base in 2013. Moving Davis to first base replaces Reynolds on the diamond but not in the lineup. The Orioles need another right handed hitter to pair with Wilson Betemit at designated hitter. Here are five hitters that could be good fits for the Orioles:
Morse is currently penciled in as the Nationals’ first baseman for 2013. Washington has clearly stated that they hope to re-sign Adam LaRoche to play first base, but no deal has been reached. LaRoche has reportedly also drawn interest from the Orioles but as lefty swinger he would do little to balance out the O’s lineup. If the Nats re-sign LaRoche then a deal sending Morse to Baltimore for left-handed reliever Troy Patton would make sense for both teams.
Soriano has been a major disappointment during his time with the Chicago Cubs. He’s still owed $36 million over the next two seasons. Soriano had a resurgent offensive performance in 2012 slamming 32 home runs and driving in 108. The Cubs are reportedly willing to eat a major chunk of Soriano’s remaining salary to grease the skids for a trade. Soriano could DH in Baltimore and provide some much needed right-handed power behind Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. The Orioles may not be willing to part with a young pitcher for two years of production from the soon-to-be 37 year old Soriano.
Scott Hairston has bounced around the big leagues for nearly a decade. Hairston may not be a household name but he simply pounds left-handed pitching. The 32 year old outfielder sports a career .825 OPS against southpaws. If the Orioles are simply looking for a right-handed compliment to Betemit they’d be hard pressed to find a better fit than Hairston.
Ross was pressed into full-time duty for the injury-riddled Red Sox in 2012. He responded with a career year. Ross pounded 22 home runs, drove in 81, and posted a .807 OPS in 130 games last season. As Spring Training approaches he may be more agreeable to a short-term deal. Ross could give the Orioles a platoon option in left field and DH.
Reimold has teased Orioles fans with his potential for years. He started out like a house afire in 2012 cranking out five home runs in his first 16 games. Reimold’s injury troubles cropped up again in late April and he missed the rest of the season with a nerve issue in his neck. The 29 year old Reimold is no longer a prospect but he could be the right-handed power hitter the Orioles lack. If healthy Reimold has the potential to hit more than 20 home runs in a full season. The problem is that he’s never played a full season. Here’s hoping the Orioles aren’t banking on him as a regular contributor in 2013.
*Information gathered from http://www.fangraphs.com
Dan Soderberg is a Baltimore native and lifelong Orioles fan. You can read some of Dan’s other work at http://dadstimeout.tumblr.com/ Follow Dan on Twitter.