No reminder is required when it comes to how the Orioles typically sit out the big-ticket free agent market in November and December in lieu of making targeted signings in January and February.
Some of their best business, like Nelson Cruz, and their worst, like Yovani Gallardo, have occurred after the turn of the year, when prices go down and players get anxious to find a home.
The relative paucity of business done this offseason — absent the Marlins' teardown and the Shohei Ohtani posting — means the Orioles aren't the only team that will enter 2018 with work to do. They've been at the forefront of making late signings, but like everything else they've paced the league at lately — home runs and relief pitching, to name a few — there's now a lot more competition.
"They've been adept at doing that," former Rockies and Indians general manager Dan O'Dowd, now an MLB Network analyst, said last week. "Dan [Duquette] has been great at doing that, bottom-feeding the market and getting value at the end of the market. He'll probably do the same again this year, but there will be a lot of other clubs trying to do the same thing. I think there are 160 free agents still on the market. ... The reality is there will still be players floating around in February heading into camp."
Orioles can expect company in waiting out free agent market come January
Baltimore Sun | Jan 2