Baltimore Orioles: Utility players


As I said previously, GM Dan Duquette expressed interest at the Baltimore Orioles’ FanFest event this past Saturday towards potentially signing a utility player prior to the beginning of the 2015 season. The question is who’s out there, and who would most benefit the Birds? Presumably, said utility player is going to be an outfielder given that the Orioles are probably set in terms of an infield utility man with Ryan Flaherty.

There are some notable names on the board, including Scott Hairston (who’s brother, Jerry, the Orioles of course drafted years ago), Raul Ibanez, and Tony Gwynn Jr. However in terms of free agents, I would submit that the best fit would be Nolan Reimold. The O’s of course are familiar with Reimold, as they drafted and molded him as best they could. Reimold is also thus familiar with the Orioles. At one time, the Birds thought Reimold had a chance to be a power-hitting corner outfielder, however to this point injuries of course have derailed his career.

Reimold spent some time with Toronto last year, after being claimed on waivers. He would later end up in Arizona, and is now looking to catch on with another big league team. Would the Birds take another chance on a guy such as Reimold? If you believe Buck Showalter, they never wanted to rid themselves of him in the first place. He was out of options, and the Orioles had to put him on waivers to send him down – where of course he was claimed by Toronto.

The Birds have been speaking with Reimold all off season, and I believe are very interested in bringing him back. The issue’s been that they’re only willing to offer him  a minor league deal, where as his agent has been claiming that they have a big league contract on the table from another organization. While we have no way of knowing whether or not that’s true, the fact is that he hasn’t signed anywhere as of yet.

However perhaps the O’s should instead consider using Henry Urrutia or Dariel Alvarez in the utility role instead. Both area already in the organization, and both seem to have a tremendous upside – especially Alvarez, who I think has an opportunity to be a Nick Markakis-like player in terms of numbers and longevity. It ultimately boils down to how the team wishes to spend it’s money. If Reimold eventually decides to take the minor league deal, I would assume he’d spend most of the season in the big leagues.