Sources report that the Baltimore Orioles are interested in free agents Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, and Ubaldo Jimenez. All three will cost the team a draft pick in addition to so much money that I think it would be a major surprise to everyone if any actually lands in Baltimore.
Sources: Orioles active in free agent talks for bats and arms; have interest in Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez. @FOXSports1— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 5, 2013
Shin-Soo Choo is the top outfielder on the free agent market now that Jacoby Ellsbury has been inked by the Yankees, and while his bat would certainly play well in Baltimore, he is expected to get a large contract and has been linked to a number of teams. Choo is represented by Scott Boras and MLB Trade Rumors predicts Choo will get a six-year, $100 million contract this season, and so far they've been a little low with their guesses.
A few years ago I would have loved to have Nelson Cruz on the Orioles. But he just served a 50 game suspension for PEDs, he doesn't have a history of playing full seasons, and he'll be 33 in 2014, so a long contract could take him into breakdown territory. Plus, he's a total butterfingers in the field. Still, he would be an improvement to the team, and it'd be pretty exciting if the Orioles actually spent the money.
The third name in Morosi's tweet, Ubaldo Jimenez, would fill the O's need for a starting pitcher, but he has a lot of questions. He put up a very good 2013 for the Indians, but the same can't be said for 2011-2012. In 2011 he was injured and in 2012 he was terrible. Was he just recovering still? Maybe. And he did have some great years for the Rockies before he was traded. He's the youngest of the three mentioned; he'll turn 30 in January. I don't have any idea what the cost for Jimenez will be. MLB Trade Rumors predicts three years, $39 million, but after Ricky Nolasco got four years, $49 million, I wouldn't want to even speculate.
Thoughts? Should the O's go after any (or all!) of these free agents?
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