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3 Free Agents the Orioles Need to Target This Offseason

Larry Rupp
Three free agents the Baltimore Orioles need to target this offseason.
Three free agents the Baltimore Orioles need to target this offseason. / AP Photos/Julio Cortez
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The Baltimore Orioles entered the 2022 season surrounded by low expectations in a crowded AL East division. They played with nothing to lose, though, and finished with a winning record for the first time since 2016. A stellar young core has fast-forwarded Baltimore's rebuild by at least a few years.

The emergence of players like Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson is going to help the Orioles draw more interest as a free-agent destination. It doesn't hurt that the team has money to spend with the lowest projected payroll in 2023, either. Here are three free agents that Baltimore should target.

Baltimore Orioles Free Agency

1. Tyler Anderson, SP

The Orioles finished just three games out of a playoff spot and the lack of an ace atop the rotation hurt them down the stretch. Only one of five pitchers on the team that logged over 100 innings posted an ERA under 4.25. Paying up for Jacob deGrom or Justin Verlander would be going off the deep end but, bringing in a reliable veteran like Tyler Anderson makes much more sense. Anderson put together a career-best year with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022, finishing with a 2.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP across 28 starts (178 2/3 innings). His projected market value checks in at around $14 million, so a deal that spans two or three years wouldn't break the bank for Baltimore.

2. Austin Hedges, C

It speaks to the talent of the Orioles' farm system that the team's weakest spot on the roster is at backup catcher. Robinson Chirinos is set to enter free agency this offseason, leaving Baltimore without a veteran to back up Rutschman behind the plate. Those can be found a dime a dozen on the free agent market, but it's finding the one that fits in the best that's tough. Austin Hedges has shown throughout his time spent in Cleveland that he possesses a clutch gene and feeds off the energy of the crowd. That fits in perfectly with the rest of the players on Baltimore's roster. The 32-year-old backstop could serve as a great mentor in the locker room and be a capable replacement on Rutschman's off days.

3. Rougned Odor, 2B

It's not often that a rebuilding team forms an identity with the help of an aging veteran well past his prime. Rougned Odor brought some excitement to this team in 2022, though, with his infectious energy and ability to notch a hit when it mattered the most. Odor has smacked double-digit home runs in eight straight seasons and finished this past year with his lowest strikeout percentage (23.1%) since 2016. That fits the profile of a reliable bench contributor. Odor has the wisdom to help Henderson find his footing in the majors and will be one of the cheapest pinch-hitters available on the market. It's safe to say he would enjoy being back with Baltimore as well.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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