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.