Written by Oldorioles
The Orioles have a baker's dozen of players with no remaining options for this year. Some (at least six) are quite safe in that they are locks to make the team. Others are in the biggest battles of their careers. Let's take a look...
Chris Davis - about as safe as you can get.
Chris Tillman - Breakout year last year, staff ace, probable OD starter.
David Lough - Even with the signing of Cruz, it seems like he'll still be starting in left field most days. He's certainly going to make the team.
Brian Matusz - Seems fairly locked in as the team's LOOGY. Certainly will make the team.
Tommy Hunter - Probably closer, certainly safe.
Troy Patton - Getting suspended hurts, but I don't see him being DFA'ed. I think he's a candidate to get traded, perhaps after he re-establishes himself. I think once he's served his time, he's on the 25.
Steve Pearce - His job security took a hit with the signing of Cruz. He, Reimold, Young, and Peguero are all RH OFs. You can't keep them all on the 25-man roster. His ability to play 1B could help his cause. Right now, I'll guess he makes it.
Josh Stinson - Pitched well in limited innings last year and a Buck favorite. I think he's your long man in the pen this year.
Zach Britton - The Patton suspension unintentionally helps his cause. I think he'll make the pen to start off the season. The O's brass held him in high regard, some folks still so, and want to see what he'll do this year. Once Patton comes back, room will have to be made. We're not going to have three lefties (Patton, Matusz, Britton) in the pen. I see a trade happening at some point.
Nolan Reimold - I know we just signed him to a $1m contract, but I don't see where there's room for him. Cruz is your DH. Lough is your LF. Reimold could come of the bench, I suppose, but I think that will be Pearce (could be wrong). They've invested a lot of time on Reimold but I think they'll look to move him, especially if he has a good spring.
Francisco Peguero - I sure hope he gets a chance, but don't really see how. He put up decent numbers last year and great numbers in winter ball but there's just no room. Perhaps they could send down Urrutia and have Peguero coming off the bench but isn't that what Pearce/Reimold will be doing? Ar you going to have two RH OFs on your bench? I think probably not.
Kelvin De La Cruz - I really like the numbers he put up last year at Albuquerque. I hope he gets a shot. The only way I see is if Yoon starts in AAA, that might leave one spot open for him. If he has a great spring that may very well happen.
Edgmer Escalona - He put up pedestrian numbers last year, albeit in Colorado. He's also already been slowed down this spring with a tight hamstring. I think he's got a real uphill battle. In fact, he may be a candidate to drop of the 40 when the Cruz signing is official. I don't think he breaks with the team when they head north.
So, I'm guessing:
Bench - Pearce, Urrutia, Casilla, Clevenger
Bullpen - O'Day, Webb, Matusz, Stinson, De La Cruz (Yoon starts in AAA), Britton, Hunter
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