Five free agents who could help the Orioles

Five free agents who could help the Orioles
December 17, 2012, 4:15 pm
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Believe it or not, there are still some decent free agents left. Besides Nick Swisher, who’s reportedly visiting Cleveland on Monday night, and Adam LaRoche, who continues to hold out in search of that elusive three-year contract, there are a few who could conceivably get the Orioles’ attention.

1) J.P. Howell

The Orioles have seen a lot of Howell over the years. In his career, he has a 2.57 ERA against them in 27 games. Last season, the left-hander was a 3.04 ERA in 55 games with Tampa Bay.

If the Orioles are thinking about trading Brian Matusz, the 29-year-old Howell could make sense—at the right price.

2) Tom Gorzelanny

While Howell has pitched exclusively in the American League, Gorzelanny has pitched only in the National League. Another left-hander, he can start or relieve, but last year he was almost exclusively a reliever for the Nationals.

Last year, he was 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 45 games. He might be a bit expensive. Gorzelanny made $3 million last year and was non-tendered by Washington.

3) Jair Jurrjens

There was a lot of buzz about Jurrjens just prior to the Winter Meetings, but that’s died down. The Orioles have had interest in the right-handed starter.

Jurrjens made $5.5 million last season, and after a horrible one, his asking price would have to come way down to interest the Orioles.

4) Delmon Young

Most of the free agents on the market are much older than the 27-year-old Young. He has anger issues and a 2012 price tag of $6.75 million.

The Tigers haven’t re-signed him, and there’s been little talk about him. If the market doesn’t pick up for him, perhaps he could be signed for a year. He averages 16 home runs, 84 RBIs and bats .284. Young could help solve the middle of the order problem.

5) Carlos Lee

He’s 36. He’d be a stopgap, but he can still hit. Lee, who briefly played for Buck Showalter in Texas, still played 147 games last year and drove in 77 runs. For years, a consistent contact hitter, Lee doesn’t strike out much for a contact hitter.

Lee can be a DH, though he’s hardly done that. He can still play first base. The problem with Lee is his salary. He’d have to take an enormous pay cut from his astronomical $18.5 million salary from last year.

He could be a Vladimir Guerrero-type signing. If there’s no interest in him a month from now, perhaps Lee would take a one-year deal to keep playing.