The Baltimore Orioles were one of the better surprise stories of the 2022 MLB season. Although they ultimately fell short of the postseason, the Orioles were in the playoff hunt for much of the season and finished with their first winning record since 2016, giving fans reason to be optimistic about the future of the club.
With free agency right around the corner, Baltimore general manager Mike Elias must figure out how to take his club to the next level. New faces could be brought into the fold to help achieve success, meaning that several players have likely played their last game in black and orange.
Here are three Orioles players who likely won't be returning for the 2023 MLB season.
Orioles Roster Rumors
1. Robinson Chirinos, C
Robinson Chirinos was brought in this season to be Adley Rutschman's mentor. While the 38-year-old brought some leadership to the clubhouse, he barely made a mark on the field. Playing in 67 games, Chirinos batted .179/.265/.287 with 4 home runs and 22 RBIs, producing 0.0 WAR per Baseball-Reference. Making matters worse, Chirinos was a negative presence as a backstop, yielding a 39.9% strike rate — the worst among the 60 qualified catchers on Baseball Savant's list. If the Orioles like Chirinos' locker room presence, it'd be better for them to bring him on as a coach because he's far from an asset on the field if the goal is to win right now.
2. Jordan Lyles, SP
After a brutal showing with the Texas Rangers in 2020 and 2021, Baltimore thought Jordan Lyles could use a fresh start this season. While Lyles did improve, he provided roughly league-average production with a 12-11 record, a 4.42 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. He has a team option for the 2023 season, but it's far from certain that the Orioles will pick it up, especially after he posted a 5.40 ERA over his final five starts of the season. The 31-year-old has already played for seven teams over his 12-year career, so don't be surprised if Baltimore declines his option, forcing him to look for an eighth.
3. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
Former MLB All-Star Jesus Aguilar was waived by the Miami Marlins this season, only to sign with the Orioles for the last month of the year. Unfortunately, Aguilar didn't give Baltimore much of a reason to bring him back, batting just .224/.240/.306 with only 1 home run and 2 RBIs in 16 games with the O's. His BA, OBP and SLG have all declined in each of the past two seasons, suggesting that the 32-year-old may be past his prime. Baltimore may have considered keeping him on a one-year deal if he'd performed well for them down the stretch, but his poor finish means he'll likely be playing elsewhere in 2023.
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