The Baltimore Orioles are a young, promising team who broke 100 wins last season, yet were swept in three games in the playoffs to eventual World Series Champion, Texas Rangers. It is clear that the Orioles have what it takes to be great, yet it still has to be seen in the postseason. To better the Oriole’s chances of making a deep playoff run and potentially even winning the entire thing, they should take the opportunity to bolster their roster, manufacturing an elite baseball team.
5 Free Agents the Baltimore Orioles Should Sign
1. Blake Snell, RHP: Last Played with the San Diego Padres
Coming off his second Cy Young season, 30-year-old Blake Snell is one of if not arguably the best free agent pitcher on the market this off-season. The pitcher had the best ERA in the entire MLB last season, by .38, finishing the year with a 2.25 ERA, while having a WAR of 6 and a WHIP at a respectable 1.189.
On the other hand, the Orioles had the worst ERA of any team in the playoffs this past season, at 7.27, while also posting the worst WHIP at 1.85. Pitching was a clear weakness in the postseason, holding the Orioles back from winning a single game. With Snell in Baltimore, the Orioles have a legitimate ace on their team, who can lead the pitching rotation, giving them a consistent pitcher they can rely upon.
2. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP: Last Played with the Detroit Tigers
In 2023 Eduardo Rodriguez had a career-best ERA, at 3.30 and WHIP at 1.153. He has since opted out of the last three years of his contract with the Detroit Tigers, meaning he is now on the market. The 30-year-old pitcher is a veteran of the league, who won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, bringing some of that postseason experience the Orioles need.
As a veteran, Rodriguez brings some reliability to Baltimore’s pitching staff, giving the team a player who will be able to perform at high levels, but also pitch upwards of 30 games when healthy, being a valuable part of the Orioles regular season.
3. Shohei Ohtani, DH/RHP: Last Played with the Los Angeles Angels
This being a longshot free agent signing for the Orioles is a massive understatement. The Orioles’ biggest free agent signing was back in 2016 when they re-signed Chris Davis to a now infamous 7-year, 161 million dollar contract, so signing the now two-time MVP would be a massive change of pace for Baltimore. The Orioles owners are infamously stingy with money, being hesitant to spend money, in 2023 having the second lowest payroll in the entire league only to the Oakland Athletics.
As unlikely as it may be, this is an article about who the Orioles should sign, not who they will sign. Ohtani would be yet another piece that the Orioles could add to their already strong offensive lineup, he is a two-time silver slugger, who along with that has been an All-Star three times.
The Orioles adding the face of the MLB to their roster would not only serve to benefit their record and playoff performance but also the number of eyes that would be on the Phenom in Baltimore. It also helps that Ohtani is a great pitcher who has a great career record of 38-19 when on the mound while having a 3.01 ERA and striking out 11.4 batters per nine innings.
4. Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF: Last Played with the Toronto Blue Jays
Whit Merrifield is a three-time All-Star, who has led the American League in stolen bases three separate times and led the American League in hits two different times. At 34 the former Toronto Blue Jay and Kansas City Royal, has remained consistent throughout his career, only batting below a .270 average once in his nine-year career. As for Oriole Whit Merrifield would be a solid veteran on the squad who bats for a solid average, creating a reliable player for the team.
The only issue arises in where he would play. Jordan Westburg is a solid young player that the Orioles want to see develop further at second base, so it would be unlikely that Whit Merrifield would play there. Whit Merrifield would likely have to share time in the outfield or be a rotation infield guy like Adam Frazier was last season, a position which was beneficial as Frazier was able to come up in big spots, proving the value of a veteran in a younger system.
5. Tommy Pham, OF: Last Played with the Arizona Diamondbacks
Coming off a World Series appearance and his best season since 2019, a Tommy Pham signing could be similar to that of the Baltimore Orioles signing of Aaron Hicks last year. He is a veteran who provides good leadership and guidance to his younger teammates.
Furthermore, Pham is really solid when it comes to the postseason, over four postseason appearances with the St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres, and most recently the Arizona Cardinals, he has batted for a .313 average and a .846 OPS, dialing up his ability at the plate once October hits. The Orioles would likely be able to sign him to a one-year deal for not very much, yet would still get solid production out of the guy, while also not investing too much in him as well.
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