First Base Options
Going into the off-season we all knew the main priority was to fill the vacancies at the corners. Last month, we signed third baseman Garrett Atkins to a one-year deal. Atkins could potentially be starting first basemen, but the Orioles will most likely keep him at third-base. Over the past few weeks some players have been trickling off the boards, so let’s take a look at some of our options still left.
Carlos Delgado– The Orioles are still very interested in Delgado, and have scout sent to following him during the Puerto Rico winter league. It seems as if Delgado has been around forever, maybe because he has been, but even at his old age he’s constantly put up decent numbers up until last season due to injuries.
I have to admit that I do have a lot of worries about signing Carlos Delgado. After last season, he will be injury prone at a position we don’t have a lot of depth at. Also, at this point in his career, I’m not sure if he is physically able to be an everyday starting first baseman in the AL East. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t necessarily be upset if we sign Delgado, I just believe we have safer options available
Hank Blalock- I don’t see Hank being able to be a starting first baseman anymore either. Injuries have pretty much ruined his career, but he still has potential power with his bat. Blalock could be an option if he plays more of the DH roll and occasionally backs up Wigginton or Aubrey at first-base. If he returned to his form from 03 to 07 seasons he would be a decent option, but I don’t see Andy going this route and rightfully so.
Adam LaRoche– He will probably be out of our price range, but as the market plays out he may lower his price. Last I saw LaRoche wanted three-years and a $30 million deal, which is would be way overpaying. LaRoche is probably the best overall first baseman left, but he does have a tendency of not turning on the bat until the second half the season.
LaRoche is only 30 years old, and would be almost exactly what we’re looking for. He has a decent pop to his bat and should average around 30 homeruns playing in Camden Yards. Also, LaRoche is a pretty decent fielder and has fairly good range covering first. LaRoche is my favorite guy left, but he needs to lower his price.
Others– We could also acquire somebody via trade like Dan Uggla, although as time goes on I see that route being less of an option. We could also bring back Huff or Millar, but that is also a very unlikely option. Dmitri Young is a free-agent; however, I’m not sure how healthy he is. If Young put up the numbers he did in 07, he wouldn’t be too bad. I could also see Andy target a guy like Chad Tracy, but I think he is a last option guy do to his surgically repaired knee and lack of power.
The Organization does have a lot of potential targets, one a lot better than, and I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. Some things we do know for sure though. The team is looking for a short-term contract, potential power, and has previously played first-base. Currently, I believe Delgado is number one on the board, but if LaRoche is willing to lower his price he should quickly hurdle to the top.