With just over three weeks remaining before spring training, there are still some big names available in free agency. Of course, there are still some not-so-big names on the market, too.
Yovani Gallardo, who the Orioles have been linked with for nearly all off-season, is still out there. Gallardo, easily the most accomplished pitcher on the market, has without a doubt been hurt by having a qualifying offer attached to him.
Not only would the Orioles have signed him by now, but many other teams would have as well if the loss of a draft pick didn’t come along with him.
Doug Fister is probably the best pitcher available after Gallardo. While the Orioles have interest in him soon, he’s expected to sign elsewhere relatively soon, an industry source indicated. He’s been seeking a two-year cont
Many “bounceback” starters are available. The pitcher of that type the Orioles have been most often linked with is Mat Latos. Others who fall into that category are Bronson Arroyo, who has intrigued the Orioles, Tim Lincecum and Kyle Lohse.
Lincecum is scheduled to throw before interested teams early next month.
Three other top shelf position players, Ian Desmond, Dexter Fowler and Howie Kendrick remain unsigned, too. Teams that sign any of those three must surrender a draft pick as well.
Other interesting hitters available include Pedro Alvarez, Austin Jackson, Matt Joyce, David Murphy, Alex Rios, Will Venable and Shane Victorino.
Alvarez, Joyce, Murphy and Venable are left-handed hitters while Victorino is eager to resume switch-hitting.
Joyce, Murphy, Rios and Venable could fit into right field. Alvarez, who was non-tendered by Pittsburgh, would probably have to DH with the Orioles, necessitating a move to right field by Mark Trumbo.
Jackson, whose market has been late developing, has interested several teams, and has played center field nearly exclusively. He’d have to move to right field with the Orioles.
There’s another concern with both Alvarez and Jackson. Both strike out often. A lineup with one of them, Trumbo, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop and Matt Wieters could produce 100-plus seasons from each.
A number of former Orioles are still on the free agent market. Five who were with the team in 2015 are looking for work: Tommy Hunter, Chris Parmelee, Travis Snider, Ryan Webb and Delmon Young.
Hunter, a fan favorite, has received interest from teams, but an industry source says he’s still looking for a two-year contract.
Webb, who was traded to the Dodgers in early April, has recently been linked with Tampa Bay. He’s a native of Clearwater, Fla. The Rays recently agreed on a one-year contract with Steve Pearce, who has with the Orioles from 2012-15.