It has already been a busy and active offseason for Mike Elias and the Baltimore Orioles organization. With two major trades in one week, the O’s look to be stocking their farm system with as much young talent as possible.
But with the departure of Jonathan Villar and Dylan Bundy, the O’s have holes they need to fill in both the middle infield and the starting rotation. Here are five free agents the Orioles can sign for the 2020 season.
1. Trevor Cahill
With Dylan Bundy being shipped all the way across the country, the starting rotation has a spot open that a veteran free agent could fill. One man who could fill that spot is Trevor Cahill.
Cahill, 31, spent the 2019 season with the Los Angeles Angels. The veteran right-hander went 4-9 with a 5.98 ERA in 37 games (11 starts).
Cahill’s best year was in 2010, when he went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA for the Oakland Athletics and was an American League All-Star.
Why would the O’s persue him? To give some of the younger arms time to fully develop in the minors. With Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer knocking on the major league door, Cahill gives the Orioles some flexibility when it comes to timing these guys out.
Signing Cahill to a one-year deal worth around $5 million would give the Orioles a veteran presence in the dugout, while also giving them the possibility of trading him for more prospects at the trade deadline.
2. Addison Russell
Mike Elias has made it known that he is looking for middle infield help, and Addison Russell fits the bill.
At just 25 years old, Russell was called up to the bigs in 2015 by the Chicago Cubs at the age of 21. The following year, he was a contributor to the 2016 World Series Champion Cubs at the shortstop position.
Russell didn’t see much playing time in 2019, however, due to constant injuries and transactions to Triple-A.
Two years earlier in 2017, Russell was accused of domestic violence against his then-wife Reidy. MLB eventually suspended Russell for 40 games as a result of its investigation.
Why should the Orioles persue Russell? There are many reasons. First, he’s still young. Second, he plays solid defense at both second base and shortstop, while sustaining a solid .969 career fielding percentage. And lastly, he is someone who the O’s could keep longterm through this rebuild.
It has been reported that the Detroit Tigers have showed interest in Russell, so we’ll see how this all plays out.
3. Jose Iglesias
If the Tigers end up signing Russell, the Orioles still can go after another solid middle infielder, and his name is Jose Iglesias.
Iglesias, 29, is primarily known for his great defensive capabilities, holding a career .984 fielding percentage. But last season, Iglesias showed off his offensive production, hitting .288/.318/.407 in 146 games with the Cincinnati Reds.
Why should the Orioles sign him? Just like Russell, Iglesias gives Mike Elias a veteran presence and the much-needed middle infield depth the team is looking for.
With Iglesias turning 30 in January, he is another possible trade piece come July.
4. John Ryan Murphy
Another position Mike Elias wants to strengthen is catching. With the Orioles looking to add one more catcher this winter, John Ryan Murphy could be the guy.
Murphy, 28, spent most of last season in Triple-A with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves. Between the two teams, Murphy played in 26 games, where he hit just .175/.246/.414 in 70 plate appearances.
Why should the O’s look into him? For the same reason Atlanta traded for him late last season, depth. Murphy won’t likely play on the major league roster, but he could be like Carlos Perez last season. He can hold down a spot for either Norfolk or Bowie, with having a chance to be called up for possible injuries.
5. Adeiny Hechavarria
Finally, there have been multiple reports saying that the Orioles have definite interest in a particular infielder, and his name is Adeiny Hechavarria.
According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, he expects the Orioles to meet with Hechavarria’s representatives at next week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego.
Last year, Hechavarria hit .241/.299/.443 in 84 games with the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves.
Why should the Orioles get him? He is affordable for one. He also brings the quality of glove that the team needs around the infield.
What moves do you think the Orioles make this offseason? Let us know in the comments! Also, make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more Orioles articles you crave!