The Baltimore Orioles still have interest in a few free agents, including pitchers and position players, while also figuring out their current roster situation.
SARASOTA — According to a report Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, the Orioles are interested in infielders Neil Walker and Mark Reynolds. Walker, 32, is a switch-hitting infielder that has played first base, second base and third base during his MLB career. Baltimore obviously doesn’t need a second baseman, as Jonathan Schoop is an All-Star. They may look to move third baseman Tim Beckham into a super utility role.
Beckham, 28, will enter the 2018 season as his first year at third base. Manny Machado asked to move to shortstop during the off-season, swapping positions with Beckham. Beckham had a career year in 2017, batting .278/.328/.454, driving in 62 runs and hitting 22 home runs in 533 at-bat. Walker would make sense to ease the pressure off of Beckham, who is in his first year playing at third base full-time.
The former Milwaukee Brewer batted .265/.362/.439, with 49 RBI and 14 home runs in 385 at-bats in 2017. If Baltimore were to add Walker, they wouldn’t lose much in batting. As a platoon man with Beckham, the latter can play other positions at a need basis.
As for Reynolds, the former Oriole first baseman/third baseman/designated hitter seems to just be a name to throw at a wall. He’s right-handed and he’s a power-hitting corner infielder/designated hitter type. Baltimore has three players that will occupy those roles in Trey Mancini, Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis. It seems highly unlikely that they’d add the 34-year old Reynolds.
If the Orioles did bring back Reynolds, who last played with the club in 2012, he would add another powerful bat that can play third or first base in a pinch. In 2017, Reynolds had 520 at-bats with the Colorado Rockies, batting .267/.352/.487, driving in 97 runs and hitting 30 home runs. Reynolds also struck out 175 times in 2017, which would add to Davis’ 195 and Trumbo’s 149.
Not ideal to say the least.
As for Baltimore’s pitching situation, the team still reportedly holds interest in Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. Cobb, 30, has pitched in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays before and Baltimore likes his experience. As for the 30-year old Lynn, he provides an innings eater and consistent sub-four ERA to the table.
In the meantime, the Orioles have other questions about their roster:
Who is the favorite to be the starting right fielder?
Will there be a platoon in right field?
Who will be the fourth outfielder?
Who’s the current favorite to be the fifth starter?
How many Rule 5 picks will Baltimore keep?
Keep those questions in the back of your thoughts and the answers will reveal themselves soon.
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