Orioles sign Red Sox cast-off and former All-Star as first base option

Baltimore got themselves some first base insurance with their latest signing.
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

After every single move that the Baltimore Orioles complete ahead of the trade deadline, fans will try to read the tea leaves to discern next steps. Every roster spot is scrutinized and analyzed to death, and everyone involved in the day-to-day ups and downs can't help but wonder if minor roster moves make the flashier trades at the deadline more or less likely.

However, sometimes a minor move is just a minor move for roster depth, and that appears to be the case with the Orioles this week, as they agreed to terms with Garrett Cooper on a minor-league deal.

Orioles News: Baltimore signs Garrett Cooper to provide some roster depth

Cooper has been well-traveled in 2024 as he already saw playing time with the Cubs and Red Sox before Baltimore decided to pick him up. Unfortunately, Cooper hasn't been the former All-Star and .800ish OPS hitter he was with the Marlins for a couple of years now, and he was so bad in Boston that they were willing to DFA him and keep Bobby Dalbec around in the process.

For Baltimore, the decision calculus was pretty straight forward here. Cooper is a low cost depth piece to add who has been a good hitter in the past. Ryan O'Hearn and Ryan Mountcastle have the first base position pretty well settled this season, but adding Cooper protects against the possibility that one of them gets hurt, removing the need to prematurely promote a top hitting prospect who may not be quite ready for big league duty. That has typically resulted in a very low amount of playing time this year, a mistake the Orioles have made in the recent past.

In short, Cooper isn't an uninteresting move, but his addition doesn't change much about their trade deadline needs. They still need to add a frontline starting pitcher, with Garrett Crochet a favorite around the water cooler right now. They need to add some bullpen help as well. None of that is changed by adding Cooper, although the added depth could still be useful later in the season.

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