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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Kevin Youkilis( Jose M. Osorio, MCT / September 2, 2012 )
In his final full season in Boston, back in 2001, Duquette's regime drafted Youkilis in the eighth round. The 33-year-old is definitely Duquette's type of player. He is super intense and gets on base at a ridiculous clip (his career mark is .384). Injuries have limited his effectiveness, but he still hit 19 homers in 2012 and played good defense. After being dealt by Boston to the White Sox, Youkilis put up a respectable .346 on-base percentage.
Orioles' bottom line: The Orioles will first have to make a decision on what to do with current first baseman Mark Reynolds. But it wouldn't be a surprise to see Duquette make a run at a key member of the old Red Sox, and he wouldn't clog the DH role like, say, David Ortiz would. The White Sox declined Youkilis' $13 million option after the season.