As the Baltimore Orioles allow the free agent market to play itself out, the Birds have added some depth to their organization by signing 4 minor league free agents.
Two of the free agent additions should be familiar to Baltimore Orioles fans. Chris Dickerson and Garabez Rosa each played in the Orioles organization. Chris Dickerson actually received 138 ABs with the Orioles back in 2013, hitting .238 with 4 HR, 13 RBI and 5 SB. The outfielder is well traveled spending time with the Reds, Brewers, Yankees, Indians and Orioles. He has 4.026 years of major league service time.
Garabez Rosa was originally signed by the Orioles as an international free agent in November of 2006. In 2009, he was ranked as the Orioles’ 27th best prospect. He was granted free agency in November of this year and has chosen to re-sign with the Orioles on a minor league deal. He is a good minor league depth guy as he can play middle infield and in the outfield. In 3,734 career minor league ABs, Rosa has hit .264, with 61 HR and 433 RBI. The 27-year old had very brief stints in Norfolk last year, but primarily played at Bowie.
Another name that may sound familiar to Orioles fans is Tomo Ohka. The soon-to-be 41 year old played 10 seasons in the majors with 6 different teams. His first major league experience was with the Red Sox, but most probably remember him as an Expo (yes, he goes back that far!) His best year was 2002 when he went 13-8 with a 3.18 ERA. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2009 with the Indians. He has spent parts of the last 7 years in Japanese baseball and in the independent circuit.
Sean Coyle will turn 25 in January. He is a second baseman who has not yet cracked the majors. In 7 minor league seasons, Coyle is a career .237 hitter with 69 HR and 275 RBI. Coyle has played primarily in the Red Sox organization with a portion of the 2016 season in the Angels organization.
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Of course, these aren’t the splashy moves many fans are seeking. Yes, the Birds appear to have filled their catching need by signing Welington Castillo. What about the outfield needs? What about the designated hitter need? Is the front office satisfied with the starting pitching? As he has done successfully the last few seasons, Dan Duquette is letting the market settle before making a move. Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are still available and the market for these players does not appear to be very large. Their prices will come down which will give Duquette an opportunity to move in and take advantage of the situation.
While I still feel Trumbo will end up back in Baltimore, there is a chance another team jumps in and signs him. The Orioles will still have options with Bautista or Encarnacion. If these players are signed, the Orioles will likely go with a less “splashy” move that could include an Angel Pagan, Rajai Davis and/or Pedro Alvarez.
Fear not Orioles fans. The Baltimore Orioles have one of the best bullpens in baseball, a more experienced starting rotation (one more year for Gausman and Bundy) and a good lineup which will be added to before spring training.