The Orioles haven't given up on signing Chris Davis. They also need to have some alternate plan in place in case they don't end up signing him. The idea of the Orioles trading for either Adam Lind from the Brewers or Mitch Moreland from the Rangers is not exciting, but if the O's don't land Davis, those will be the kind of left-handed hitting bats who are out there and available. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that the O's have shown some interest in those two players.
Davis is better than either one of those guys, of course, as the Orioles are surely well aware. However, either one looks like he'd be the exact kind of adequately priced replacement in the event Davis doesn't re-sign here. The Orioles have many holes still to fill.
Lind and Moreland aren't flawless players, but they look like better options than the recently non-tendered Pedro Alvarez, about whom we've recently written as well.
Lind in particular stands out against the sea of high-strikeout, low-average players the Orioles have acquired or considered because neither his batting average nor on-base percentage suck. Over the past three years, Lind has batted a combined .291/.364/.478. One of those three seasons was a 96-game season where he missed time due to a fractured bone in his foot. Lind is 32.
He is the first player from outside the organization who the Orioles have really contemplated this offseason who doesn't make you wince as soon as you look at his numbers. Which is probably the surest way you know the O's won't get him. Lind will make $8 million next season in his final year of his contract. Milwaukee seems to be shedding salary. There are worse options.
Moreland was the player who made Davis expendable to Texas in the first place. They chose poorly. Moreland is at least coming off the best season of his career, where at age 29 he batted .278/.330/.482 and hit 23 home runs. That's not bad. He's estimated to make $5.6 million next year in his final season before becoming a free agent, also not bad.
The biggest downside for either of these guys is that they're horrible against left-handed pitching. Moreland had a .681 OPS against lefties in the most recent season. Lind was somehow even worse at a .575 OPS. If a baseball player is going to be terrible against one hand of pitcher, he might as well suck against lefties, just because there are fewer of them out there.
That's a wrinkle the O's would need to contend with if either one was acquired, though. Perhaps a Mark Trumbo platoon for those games? That would be an expensive platoon, but it would also mean first base should not be in danger of looking in 2016 like left field did for the O's in 2015, a desolate wasteland of shattered husks and broken dreams.
Since either one would have to be acquired in a trade, there is the ongoing question of who the Orioles actually have to trade to get them. While the trade ask wouldn't be huge since each only has one year left before becoming a free agent, the O's still would need to give up something, and that farm system is really thin. Even a mid-level prospect would feel like a lot to give up for one guy for one year.