Baltimore Orioles: Orioles still have interest in Michael Saunders
The Baltimore Orioles are still in the hunt for a corner outfielder. And the latest outfielder to gauge their interest is free agent Michael Saunders.
The Baltimore Orioles are losing options for the corner outfield position. They refuse to sign Jose Bautista, the New York Yankees won’t trade within the division and the team is on the verge of losing both Pedro Alvarez and Mark Trumbo.
However, there is another outfielder that is gauging their interest this offseason; free agent Michael Saunders.
While the Orioles are interested in Saunders, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com claims that there are some things to be wary about. For one thing, the team would rather give Saunders a one-year deal, since there are concerns about him physically.
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Another point Kubatko makes is that Saunders has a career .309 OBP (on-base percentage) and is trending downward in his defensive metrics.
Kubatko also said that Saunders failed a pre-agreement physical at the Winter Meetings. He had never heard of a pre-agreement physical and was unsure if there was actually such a thing. He tried to confirm it with two other sources, but was unable to get solid confirmation.
Saunders found himself struggling with knee issues the year prior; he was recovering from knee surgery during the 2014-2015 offseason and was placed on the disabled list to begin the 2015 season. He later found himself on the disabled list two more times when he suffered from knee inflammation which was associated with the surgery.
Prior to his stint with the Blue Jays, Saunders also suffered from oblique strains, joint inflammation, and a sprained right shoulder.
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Saunders has missed 237 games if you combine the 2014 and 2015 season. However, he appeared in a career-high 140 games with the Toronto Blue Jays and hit .253/.338/.478 with 24 home runs.