Possible Orioles free agent targets
Let's face it, you like speculation. We like speculation.
And, at this point in the baseball calendar, all we can provide you is speculation -- we like to call it an educated guess -- as to whom the Orioles may target this offseason.
So take this list for what it is worth: an early look at some of the more intriguing names that are or could be available. (A new group of players will enter the market after Nov. 30, when clubs choose whether to tender contracts to their arbitration eligible players)
Also, keep in mind that Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette prefers to build from the bottom up, so he's more focused on strengthening the farm system and club depth than he is buying high-ticket items.
But this is the first time in a decade-plus that Baltimore is a somewhat desirable destination. And surely the Orioles will do their due diligence in free agency, even if ultimately they don't make a splash.
Here are some names to keep in mind. There surely will be more to consider as the hot stove season progresses. The Orioles own free agents, such as pitcher Joe Saunders and outfielder Nate McLouth, are not included. But you can assume the club will make a run at those two.
No specific dollar figures or contract lengths are mentioned at this point. Even we think that speculation is too early.
-- Dan Connolly
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Torii Hunter( Stephen Dunn, Getty Images / September 27, 2012 )
Here's an intriguing name. Hunter is 37 and will not command the kind of deal he received before the 2008 season (five years, $90 million). But the outfielder had a strong year, basically carrying the Angels down the stretch. His presence in left -- though he's natural in center and has recently played primarily right -- would give the Orioles a tremendous defensive outfield. He has plenty of playoff experience and an excellent relationship with Adam Jones.
Orioles' bottom line: It likely would depend on his price. And the Angels have expressed an interest in re-signing him. But he'd be the perfect veteran leader who can still contribute.