5 pending free agents that the Orioles need to let walk after the 2023 season

The Baltimore Orioles, as good as they are, need to do a bit of a roster culling this coming offseason.
Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles
Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Austin Voth has a club option for 2024, but Baltimore shouldn't exercise it

This one is cheating a bit because Austin Voth isn't strictly a pending free agent. Baltimore does hold a $2.45 million club option for Voth for next season which isn't a lot of money. However, given how the 2023 season has gone, Baltimore should absolutely not exercise that option to bring back Voth next season.

For starters, the production just hasn't been there as Voth has posted a 5.19 ERA in 25 appearances for Baltimore in 2023 with a particularly concerning walk rate. When you combine that with the fact that he had a lengthy stay on the injured list with issues with his elbow, and you have yet another argument for why relievers are the most volatile asset in the game of baseball. There will be relievers aplenty available this offseason and many of them will both cost effective and better options than Voth.

2023 should be the end of the line for Shintaro Fujinami with the Orioles

If you are looking for arguably the easiest case to make for a roster culling, look no further than Shintaro Fujinami. Baltimore acquired Fujinami in a minor deal with Oakland in July in the hopes that his ugly numbers with the Athletics were a product of the terrible situation that organization is in at the moment. The guy was missing bats at the very least and they didn't give up much for him, so it wasn't the worst idea.

While his numbers have been better with Baltimore, his 4.95 ERA in 19 appearances with the team is still not good as he has continued to walk too many batters. When you are team like Baltimore with limited resources and firmly in your window for contention, you can't afford to give away close games and have a cheap roster spot underperform like Fujinami has. If Baltimore thinks they have a clear fix for his issues going forward, maybe they can offer a non-guaranteed deal to him and see if he can figure things out. However, the easier answer is probably to just let him walk.

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