There's no sugarcoating it. The 2019 season was an unmitigated disaster for the Baltimore Orioles. They finished with a league-worst 54-108 record and were bottom-three in most statistical categories. The O's are in for a long rebuild and, with several holes up and down the roster, they'll need to be relatively active in free agency if they want to improve in the standings next year.
Here are three players that Baltimore should go after this offseason in order to take the next step in its rebuild.
1. Ivan Nova, Starting Pitcher
Signing an ace like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg would be the ideal way of addressing Baltimore's starting pitching woes (5.57 ERA, No. 28 in MLB), but it's unlikely that the ball club would break the bank or be seriously considered by any high-profile free agent. Bringing in a veteran innings eater like Ivan Nova, however, isn't out of the realm of possibility. Nova's 4.72 ERA from 2019 doesn't really jump off the page, but he can pitch deep into games (187 innings pitched in 2019) and is capable of stretches of greatness from time to time (2.50 ERA across 11 starts in July and August).
2. Arodys Vizcaino, Relief Pitcher
Baltimore went into the year without a battle-tested closer in the ninth and, as you'd expect from a team that lost 108 games, finished dead last in the bigs in save percentage (50 percent). The closer market is pretty thin this offseason, but bringing in a young fireballer with closing experience like Arodys Vizcaino could be the best way to bring stability to the ninth inning. While he only played in four games in 2019, the 29-year-old righty has been a reliable bullpen arm over the past three years, posting a 2.53 ERA (99 2/3 innings) across 105 appearances. Additionally, Vizcaino seen success when called upon in the ninth inning, successfully converting 31-of-36 save opportunities since 2017.
3. Didi Gregorius, Shortstop
It's not exactly the splash signing that Orioles fans would want, but signing Didi Gregorius would be an excellent way to infuse power at a premium position. Since 2016, Gregorius has been one of the better offensive shortstops in baseball, averaging 22 homers and 88 RBI per season to go along with a .778 OPS over that span. If signed, Gregorius would provide a huge upgrade over Richie Martin (.208/.260/.322) and should give the Orioles plenty of flexibility with their infield, as Gregorius is also capable of playing second base if need be.
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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. 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.