A name that has interested me since he was non-tendered this past Friday is Billy Hamilton; he’d be a nice fit in the nine spot for the Baltimore Orioles. Hamilton and Cedric Mullins in the same lineup would give the Orioles significantly more speed on the bases
Billy Hamilton isn’t someone who can hit for average, but he’s always a threat to bunt and steal bases. His career batting average is a measly .245, but his 277 career stolen bases in only six seasons makes up for his average, and the Orioles could use those steals.
The Orioles lack of running under Buck Showalter was concerning. It would be a good thing for Mike Elias to bring in players that can do damage on the base-paths. Mullins and Hamilton would be fun to watch in the outfield, and on the bases.
Before being non-tendered, Hamilton was projected to make around $6 million. If I were Elias, I’d offer Billy Hamilton a 2-year contract around $12 million to see if that interests him. Who knows if he’ll get a bigger offer, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.
We’re not sure whether Austin Hays will be healthy by the time spring training gets under way; his ankle surgery comes with a two to three month recovery timetable, and in a recent phone interview with MASN reporter Steve Melewski, Hays stated that he’d be ready to return to max-effort running and field drills by the beginning of January.
If that’s the case, Hays should be ready by spring training but if he has any setbacks, the Orioles are unlikely to rush him. Hamilton is someone that could take the reins until Hays is ready for full-time duty in Baltimore.
If Hamilton puts up good numbers in 2019, the Orioles could decide to trade him at the deadline to a contender and see who they could get back to help out the team in the future.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants the Orioles to at least make an effort to sign Billy Hamilton this offseason. If not, I know I’ll be highly disappointed.