The Baltimore Orioles didn’t finish in last place in the AL East last year, but there’s a good chance they will end up there in 2021. The team’s lack of work on the free agent market suggests the team is still rebuilding and is focusing more on their farm system for the season.
The team will likely have one of the sport’s best prospects coming up at some point this year. Their efforts during the MLB free agency period are proof of the plans the team has at the moment.
The Orioles did bring in a few new free agents, but they are mostly older players who might not be essential to the team. The club brought in starting pitcher Felix Hernandez as a non-roster invitee. Hernandez pitched with the Atlanta Braves last year.
While King Felix was a star at the Seattle Mariners who once threw a perfect game, he hasn’t seen much action in the past few years. There is no guarantee he will be on the team’s roster in April, and he would likely be the fifth starter if he gets there.
Grayson toward baseball season. 🏁
— Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Orioles) February 13, 2021
The team also picked up second baseman Yolmer Sanchez from the Chicago White Sox and shortstop Freddy Galvis from the Cincinnati Reds. The Orioles also brought in a few new players in the Rule 5 Draft, including long relief pitchers Tyler Wells from the Minnesota Twins and Mac Sceroler from the Cincinnati Reds. Neither of those players have major league experience.
Departures of Note
The Orioles have been trading away some of their assets, including trading pitcher Alex Cobb to the Los Angeles Angels. The team let a few of their players depart elsewhere on the free agent market. Starting pitcher Kohl Stewart joined the Chicago Cubs, while utility infielder Hanser Alberto left for the Kansas City Royals.
The Orioles will likely let many other players depart this season. Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander will likely be shopped around midway through the season.
The team has been focusing on building from within, and it’s likely the team will allow some of its more experienced players to head out to other clubs.
First baseman Renato Nunez was also released this offseason. He had a .256 average and twelve home runs, but the team will be sticking with Luke Voit at that position instead.
Elsewhere in the AL East
The rest of the AL East isn’t going to make things any easier for the Baltimore Orioles. The Toronto Blue Jays made two significant moves by bringing in George Springer and Marcus Semien.
The Boston Red Sox also resigned Martin Perez and also brought in Hunter Renfroe and Enrique Hernandez. While the Tampa Bay Rays did lose plenty of players to trades and free agency, they still have one of the best farm systems in the sport.
No one can ever truly count out the New York Yankees. The team brought in Corey Kluber to fill in their rotation, while Darren O’Day will add some extra power to their bullpen. These points will only make the AL East tougher for the Orioles.
What To Watch
The 2021 season isn’t going to be an exciting one for the Baltimore Orioles, as they will likely move back to last place in their division. The team’s lack of effort on the free agency market and its struggle in bringing new players to the team isn’t going to help.
But there is one exciting thing to watch for in 2021, as the team will likely call up catcher Adley Rutschman at some point in the season. He is the third-ranked prospect in the sport and is seen as one of the best pure catching talents in the game. The team hopes he will bring a great all-around game to the team.
The MLB season is almost upon us! If you are like us, then you are counting down the days until the season opener. But until then, make sure you check out our MLB hub page, for all the latest on what’s going on in baseball.
Image by: pixy.org