What Josh Hamilton’s Signing Means For The Orioles

Anytime a free agent signs with any of the other 29 teams, I get panicked tweets from Orioles’ fans about how the O’s are missing their shot to improve and build upon their 2012 success.

I get the frustration and am happy to see Baltimore still excited about baseball in December, but let’s all relax folks.

Josh Hamilton signed a five year, $125 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday while Anibal Sanchez appears to be picking between the Tigers and Cubs. Yes, you read that correctly — the Cubs.

Hamilton was linked to the Orioles early on in the offseason, but those rumors were quickly extinguished by Dan Duquette. His signing does have some implications for the O’s though, who remain interested in first baseman to fill the hole that Mark Reynolds left behind.

With Hamilton on the roster in LA, the Angels could be looking to move Mark Trumbo or Kendrys Morales via a trade. Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Angels appear more interested in moving Morales at this time.

The switch hitting 29 year old first baseman hit .273/.320/.476 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI in 522 plate appearances last season. LA is still looking for rotation help  (personally, I think that’s more important than signing Hamilton, but I’m no GM) and as we previously mentioned, the Orioles feel they have an arsenal of arms.

Hamilton’s signing also messes with the market for Adam LaRoche. Now that the Rangers are looking to replace Hamilton’s offensive production, LaRoche’s value just skyrocketed. His chances of signing in Baltimore just got even slimmer and should he sign with Texas, the Nationals would likely hold on to Michael Morse.

Talk about a ripple effect.

So, hopefully the O’s are cool with Chris Davis at first. A DH platoon with Wilson Betemit is still a possibility that could be just as effective as signing a big bopper. I’m still concerned about pitching depth, although I think I’m the only one.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @zamwi or send him an email:zach@baltimoresportsreport.com.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

4 Comments

  1. MGW

    December 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I just think they shoulda threw the fans a bone. LaRoche, Morse, somebody of that ilk would send a message to the fans that they do want to get better. Especially after your GM says “we will make a trade for a middle of the order bat”. A middle of the order bat is a #3 or #4 hitter – a Morse or LaRoche.

  2. Dave

    December 14, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I think it means that the Orioles missed out on the player who would probably be Albert Belle 2.0. Does increase the price for Nick Swisher immensely as well. Think it could also dramatically increase the price of Adam LaRoche, since the Rangers need to find a lefty power bat and he’s pretty much the only one available. Morse isn’t being traded unless LaRoche signs with the Nationals.

  3. 9inchnails

    December 15, 2012 at 11:24 am

    What it means is the Orioles have conned us fans. They have not done a damn thing to get over the hump and it is a slap in the face to all fans. We have been prostitued again if this team does not sign two bonafide free agents. These non moves proves that Angelos is sticking it to us again.

  4. Ravens2488

    December 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Every year it’s the same ol, same ol… You all know the Orioles are not signing anyone of importance. It’s so funny each year to hear the Orioles say they are looking at “name any top tier player’ and they do nothing.

    Last year I shut my mouth for my friends to enjoy an Orioles winning season. But you all have to admit that plugging holes with a Flaharty, Hall, Andino, Teagarden, etc ain’t goina happen again for another winning season. I hate to say it but the everyting clicked for the Orioles last year. Last year was an abomination. 1 in 15 years. Goina be another 15 years for a winning season because they Orioles are staying the cheap route. What they did last year only worsens the next years because Angelos and Duquette think that they did it once with a bunch of bums and a couple semi stars and no semblance of a real pitching staff, they can stay the course.

    Stay classy Oriole fans because you ain’t getting a winning season this year…