Every day brings new Orioles free agent rumors

Every day brings new Orioles free agent rumors
November 20, 2013, 9:00 am
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If it was Tuesday, it must have been Carlos Beltran rumor day. Yesterday, there were a number of reports, including one from Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, that Beltran was considering the Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles.

It was a question of which team would give the 36-year-old Beltran a three-year contract. Later, there was another report that Beltran also had interest from the Indians, Mariners and Royals.

Beltran played for Kansas City from 1998-2004, and he’s been in the National League since.

A terrific player, Beltran has played for four postseason teams, and had a strong 2013 for St. Louis, though his on-base percentage did fall.

The Orioles could certainly use a .296 average, 24 home runs and 84 RBI season. Those numbers aren’t far off Beltan’s career average.

But while Beltran would undoubtedly make a fine addition to the Orioles’ batting order and clubhouse, there are several questions about him.

He will be 37 next April, and a three-year contract does seem excessive, even though it’s obvious Beltran is in great shape and a very hard worker.

Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox often add an extra contract year in their negotiations because they know it will help land a star player. They do it even though they know that the player may not be
as productive because they can afford to, and the Orioles can’t.

Signing Beltran for, say two years, would cost the Orioles a draft choice, and as tempting as he may be, is he worth it to a team in further need of bolstering their minor league system?

Where would Beltran play?
The Orioles need a left fielder, and Beltran has played just two games there, both in 2000. He’s played center and right field, and with Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, both positions are more than adequately covered.

Asking Markakis, who has mastered right field at Oriole Park, to move would be risky. So would putting Beltran in left. While the Orioles need a designated hitter, Beltran is too good a fielder to not employ him fully.

While Dan Duquette noted that the free agency market is moving much more quickly this year, only a handful of the players on the list of top 50 free agents have already signed.

On Tuesday, Josh Johnson agreed to terms with San Diego and David Murphy signed with Cleveland. Murphy is a left fielder who could have interested the Orioles, but not at the two-years and $12 million he agreed to.

There was also a report that Gavin Floyd has intrigued the Orioles. This isn’t anything new. Orioles scout Dean Albany has long known Floyd, and Buck Showalter mentioned it late in the season when discussing local products.

Floyd, who is from Severna Park, Md. is recovering nicely from elbow surgery, his agent, Michael Moye said on Tuesday.

“Dean’s made me aware of where Gavin Floyd’s from. Those are tiebreakers for us. In the June draft, they have a separate board of guys from Maryland and nearby that all things being equal, we don’t want to miss on. I think we’re proud of that. Every time I see that a guy’s from around here, I put it on the radar screen,” Showalter said. 

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has made it a priority to increase the team’s local presence, and Albany’s influence has helped.

NOTE: The Orioles have until 5 p.m. to add players to their 40-man roster. They currently have 32. Some of the minor leaguers under consideration are catchers Caleb Joseph and Michael Ohlman and pitcher Tim Berry. Eduardo Rodriguez and Mike Wright don’t have to be protected yet.