5 free agents we wish the Orioles could afford

Sweet dreams are made of this.
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Cody Bellinger

In a free agent pool filled to the brim with pitchers, comeback kid Cody Bellinger is the year's most in-demand position player, and he'll certainly be the most expensive one. It makes sense; Bellinger seemed down and out after his incredible 2019 (.305/.406/.629 with a 7.8 fWAR), but found new life in Chicago and finished the season with a final line of .307/.356/.525, a 4.1 fWAR and — maybe most importantly — a very good argument for himself as the deserving recipient of a large contract this offseason.

Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, and Austin Hays have things pretty locked up in the Orioles outfield in real life, same goes for Ryan Mountcastle at first base, but the entire premise of this exercise is wishful thinking anyway. If the Orioles could score Bellinger, Mullins might be the most vulnerable; despite being a defense reel in human form in 2022, he spent some of 2023 injured and only hit .233/.305/.416. Baltimore's outfield is in good hands as it is, though, even though Bellinger would be a great culture fit there and add some more power to their lineup.

Blake Snell

The addition of presumptive Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to the Orioles lineup could be the team's best answer to losing veteran Kyle Gibson this year, if they had the money to get him. Snell is six years younger than Gibson but has still put up more time in the major leagues than rotation highlights Dean Kremer, Kyle Bradish, and Grayson Rodriguez combined. Snell's Baseball Savant page is scary in and off itself; he ranks in the 100th percentile of pitching run value and breaking run value, in the 99th percentile of offspeed run value, as well as in the 98th percentile in K% and 4th percentile in BB%.

Snell is projected to make anywhere between $120 million and $200 million in these later years of his career, and based off of his performances particularly in the past two seasons, he deserves it. It would be great to have him at the head of a starting rotation that, based on what we've laid out here, would also include Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but he's another big name that seems too far out of the Orioles' reach this offseason.

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