3 Orioles free agents who will leave, and 2 who will return in 2024

Who's in and who's out?
Sep 15, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jack Flaherty
Sep 15, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jack Flaherty / Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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Orioles Free Agent Who Will Leave: Kyle Gibson

Speaking of higher paid players, Kyle Gibson is Baltimore's no. 1, with his salary representing 14% of their payroll alone. Gibson is a veteran and a work horse, one of the most seasoned players on a very young team, and he put in more innings than any other Orioles starter during the regular season, but he's also given up more hits than the rest of the rotation by a considerable amount. He was also kicked back to the bullpen for his one postseason appearance.

Younger, promising arms like Dean Kremer, Kyle Bradish, and Grayson Rodriguez have looked more dominant on the mound, and have a lot more years in them to give to the organization than Gibson does. Based on the young guns coming up behind him and the just okay performances he's put on in Baltimore, it's more likely than not that the Orioles won't be willing to pay him what he'll want to stay with their organization.

Orioles Free Agent Who Will Leave: Aaron Hicks

How do you solve a problem like Aaron Hicks? The New York Yankees didn't know, and it's still unclear if the Orioles do either. Hicks had a rough go of things in his last months in New York (and that might be an understatement) and his hints at a resurgence in Baltimore might be the result of relief. No more booing during role call in Baltimore, at least. It does seem like Camden Yards has been good for Hicks; in 2/3 of a season there, he's managed to put up numbers that look very similar to his entire 2022 season with the Yankees.

Hicks signed a one-year deal with the Orioles for the league minimum of $720,000 at the start of the season to keep his career alive, but he could have made an argument for more based on his performance for them. It seems unlikely that they'll want to pay it, given that Cedric Mullins, who Hicks was brought in to replace after Mullins went down with a groin injury, can go back to playing center field everyday in 2024.