Predict the free agent most likely to sign with the Orioles
One of my assignments this week was to put together a list of potential Orioles’ free agent targets for 2011.
To compile my list, I spoke to a bunch of people within the organization about whom the club may target. That, of course, is different than who will eventually sign with the Orioles.
It takes two parties to make an agreement happen. We all know that.
Still, Cliff Lee and Adrian Beltre, for instance, are on the list I compiled. Those are the two free agents the Orioles likely covet the most since they’d fill the team’s biggest holes.
Realistically, no one expects Beltre or Lee to end up here. They’ll have a whole lot of choices and there will be a whole lot of money on the table. And, given their recent history and the division they are in, the Orioles don’t do well when there is serious competition for a free agent.
But there are some free agents within the Orioles’ grasp simply because there may not be a lot of competition, and the Orioles presumably have money to spend. And, ultimately, money is what most attracts free agents.
The first basemen class – albeit flawed – has some interesting names, ones the Orioles could land if they are willing to spend sufficient funds. Adam Dunn likely would want a four-year deal and it would take some cash to pry Paul Konerko away from Chicago (again).
My guess is that the Orioles will go hard after Victor Martinez and/or Derrek Lee. And if I had to pick one, I’d say Lee becomes an Oriole seven years after he almost did.
He can play defense, still has some pop in his bat and is well-respected in the game. And don’t forget, he was a longtime Cub, and that’s always a bonus here.
So Derrek Lee is my guess. Now I want you to give me one free-agent name that you think will end up as an Oriole in 2011. Not necessarily who you want, but who you think will sign with the Orioles this winter.
Daily Think Special: Name one free agent you think ends up as an Oriole. Explain why.