Besides star center fielder Adam Jones, the Baltimore Orioles do not have much talent in their outifeld. Last season, Hyun Soo Kim played left field and Baltimore did not have a stable right fielder. As of today, the Orioles have expressed interest in signing free agent outfielder Rajai Davis, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Although Davis is a 36-year-old veteran, he has shown the ability to play at solid level for the last several years. Davis’ average has hovered around .250 since 2011. He has also stolen at least 30 bases in all but one season since 2009. For the price that the Orioles would get him for, Davis is the optimal one year fix.
Davis may be the best fit for the Orioles as a right fielder in 2017, but what about beyond that? Davis at most would be the starter in Baltimore for two years. The Orioles will need to think down the line even during the 2017 season. There are two main options for Baltimore; trade prospects for a young and up-and-coming RF or go into the farm system and take a chance that a mid level prospect becomes a star.
If the Orioles were to trade prospects, they would most likely have to give up pitching. The Orioles are not weak on pitching. Chris Lee, Keegan Akin and Tanner Scott are just some of the players Baltimore could give up in order to get a future great right fielder. By trading these players, the Orioles would not be doing that much damage to themselves in the present. Within several years, some of the traded prospects may turn out to be great; that is the chance you take by trading them.
An example of a player that could be gotten in a trade Jesse Winker of the Cincinnati Reds. Through negations, Baltimore may be able to get even more talent for less talent given up. There are many different trade opportunities for the Orioles. In this case, the Orioles are depending on another team to take the bait and make a trade that may not be so smart for them.
The second option is to look into the farm system. This is a much riskier option because Baltimore does not have many outfield prospects. Christian Walker played decent in the mid-tiers of the minor leagues, but it is unlikely that transfers into consistent major league success.
The better option for the Orioles is going to be to trade a prospect or two for a prospect or two. Baltimore cannot be scared; by pulling the trigger for a right fielder, they will solidify their future. Losing a couple pitching prospects would not be the worst possible outcome; there are plenty more of those in the Baltimore minor league system. Again, it all depends on who is on the market and how willing teams are to make trades.
If the Orioles manage to sign Davis, it is likely his replacement will be waiting eagerly for his chance on the field.null