The Baltimore Orioles proved to be ahead of schedule in their rebuild as they finished just 3.0 games back of a playoff berth this past season with a 83-79 record. A last place standing in the AL East may be a thing of the past as young studs like catcher Adley Rutschman aim to lead this team to glory.
With the lowest 2023 payroll of any MLB squad right now, the Orioles have a legitimate chance to balance the roster through the free agent market. Rounding out the edges could give the team a boost in the playoff race, so here's a look at three players Baltimore needs to sign in free agency.
Baltimore Orioles Free Agency
1. Chris Bassitt, SP
The Orioles saw seven different pitchers log double-digit starts in 2022 and only two of them finished with an ERA under 4.00 (Dean Kremer and Austin Voth). Overall, Baltimore finished with the 10th-worst starting rotation in the majors (4.35). Signing Chris Bassitt would be as a move that brings stability to a position that sorely lacks it. Bassitt has logged a 3.31 ERA across 93 starts (546.0 innings) over the last four seasons. He received Cy Young votes in both 2020 and 2021, proving that he can slide in as the No. 1 or No. 2 starter in Baltimore. At 33 years of age, Bassitt can be comfortably signed to a 2-year deal and serve as a mentor to an otherwise young staff.
2. Mike Clevinger, SP
Mike Clevinger finds himself in a different boat than Bassitt does. After posting a mediocre 4.33 ERA and 1.20 WHIP across 22 starts (114.1 innings) this past season, he lines up as much more of a reclamation project. It's important to note that pitching results are usually down in a player's first season back from Tommy John surgery. After all, Clevinger posted an ERA under 3.15 in each of his four seasons prior to 2022. The 31-year-old still possesses a nasty four-seam fastball and dangerous slider when at his best on the mound. The Orioles may be one of only a few teams in the league in position to take a chance here.
3. Jean Segura, 2B
The only impactful hitter entering free agency for the Orioles this offseason is Rougned Odor. Odor drew 129 starts at second base this past season and turning to an in-house option like Terrin Vavra seems like a premature move at this point. The Orioles could benefit from having a veteran capable of passing on his wisdom and getting on base toward the bottom of the lineup. Jean Segura fits that mold to a tee. Segura slashed .277/.336/.387 and added 10 home runs to go along with 13 stolen bases with the Phillies in 2022. His defense at second base remains above-average and he showed a flair for the dramatics with multiple walk-off hits over the summer. He'd fit in perfectly with the Orioles on a 2-year deal.
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.