After months of steady activity, the pace of off-season moves has finally slowed around Major League Baseball. There are still signings, of course—baseball’s transactional churn has become a 12-month-a-year reality—but at this point we’re discussing Carlos Villanueva instead of Carlos Beltran, Justin Morneau instead of Justin Turner. The deals on the horizon are mostly small ones. As a result, we can more reliably project the next steps of the 30 MLB teams. For some clubs, needs still exist. For most, it’s all about spring training. In the AL East, the Rays are the likeliest to make a move of substance with one week remaining before spring training, while smaller moves are possible elsewhere in the division… Baltimore Orioles Additions to date: Mark Trumbo, Seth Smith, Welington Castillo, Logan Ondrusek, Jed Bradley, Aneury Tavarez, Anthony Santander Remaining needs: The Orioles made the playoffs despite their starting pitching in 2016, not because of it. It's hard to imagine a return to the post-season unless the rotation improves on a 4.72 ERA that ranked 13th among the 15 American League teams, but the Orioles are doubling down on those same starters. With the exception of Yovani Gallardo, who was dealt to Seattle for Seth Smith, Dan Duquette will bring back last year's rotation expecting better results. If anything, the Orioles might look to improve their run prevention by adding an outfielder. Adam Jones recently expressed hope that the Orioles will field a better defensive outfield in 2017—understandable considering how much time he has spent alongside Nelson Cruz and Mark Trumbo in recent seasons. Ideally, the Orioles would add a right-handed hitting outfielder to complement the left-handed hitting Smith and Hyun-soo Kim.
Blue Jays’ AL East rivals nearing completion of off-season moves
Sportsnet | Feb 6