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How will the Orioles fill their roster holes between now and Opening Day?

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With free agency still stuck in gridlock, perhaps some crowd-sourced speculation is just the fan therapy we all need.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Saying that the 2017-2018 offseason has been slow would be quite the understatement. More ink has been spilled thus far about why and how it’s been slow than ink spilled over actual free agent signings.

In recent articles, Forbes fears that a possible work stoppage could ultimately result, and Sports Illustrated waxes poetic about the flaws inherent in the system that are behind the market moving at the speed of molasses.

With that said, the realty of the on-the-field product is at risk in a market that refuses to develop. MLB.com released updated depth charts yesterday, February 1, and taking a look a the Orioles version brings mixed emotion: the Birds have quite a few holes to fill, but still boast a solid core.

The consensus among the beat writers is that the O’s are in need of a left-handed hitting outfielder, a backup catcher, a utility infielder, and every starting pitcher they can get their hands on. The rumor mill has also floated the idea of the Orioles signing a free-agent 3B and moving Tim Beckham into a super utility role.

Since the GMs aren’t making these choices today, I now appoint each and every one of you GM for the day. Tackle this exercise however you see fit—either pick what you view as the most realistic option based on your knowledge of how the Orioles operate, or pick what you’d want. Feel free to discuss in the comments section.

Note that I’m not going to put Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez, and players of that ilk on these lists. The O’s have been linked to plenty of still-available, less-expensive players, though.

Okay, let’s get the polls started!

Poll

Who is your left-handed outfielder signing?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Melky Cabrera
    (120 votes)
  • 25%
    Jarrod Dyson
    (442 votes)
  • 22%
    Carlos Gonzalez
    (379 votes)
  • 9%
    Jon Jay
    (161 votes)
  • 5%
    Seth Smith
    (97 votes)
  • 3%
    Jacoby Ellsbury (via trade from NYY)
    (54 votes)
  • 25%
    I’m sticking with a full season of Austin Hays, Mark Trumbo, and Joey Rickard. Screw handedness.
    (443 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (provide in comments)
    (9 votes)
1705 votes total Vote Now

Alright, now that you’ve inked, swapped-for, or stood pat on an outfielder, time to pick your backup catcher. This one is a little bit different than the outfield situation because the Orioles haven’t been linked to any specific veteran targets—just rumors that they desire a veteran to backup Caleb Joseph, but could stick with a rookie in the spot.

Poll

Who is your backup catcher?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Chance Sisco
    (804 votes)
  • 7%
    Austin Wynns
    (125 votes)
  • 0%
    Audry Pérez
    (12 votes)
  • 32%
    Caleb Joseph - Chance Sisco nabs the starting job right out of the gate
    (527 votes)
  • 8%
    Mysterious Veteran
    (133 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (provide in comments)
    (40 votes)
1641 votes total Vote Now

Alright, we’ve got a backup (or maybe even starting) catcher chosen. Now it’s time to fill the all-important utility infield role. Éngelb Vielma may have a leg-up being that the Birds have already traded for him this offseason, but he also may have a handicap in that he has not ever been very good. Steve Wilkerson was tabbed as the heir-apparent to now-free agent, Ryan Flaherty until he got suspended for 50 games in December for testing positive for some sort of amphetamine. Maybe Flaherty returns; maybe one of the minor league re-signs will step it up.

Poll

Who is your utility infielder?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Éngelb Vielma
    (69 votes)
  • 30%
    Ryan Flaherty
    (500 votes)
  • 6%
    Luis Sardiñas
    (105 votes)
  • 15%
    Rubén Tejada
    (247 votes)
  • 1%
    Erick Salcedo
    (18 votes)
  • 5%
    Garabez Rosa
    (83 votes)
  • 34%
    Tim Beckham - the O’s sign a more tenured 3B
    (559 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (provide in comments)
    (34 votes)
1615 votes total Vote Now

That was exciting! Okay, now onto the most gaping hole on the team: starting pitching. Yes, it’s possible that the Orioles nab more than one of these guys, but let’s go with which option you prefer/is the most likely.

Poll

Who is your starting pitcher signing?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Andrew Cashner
    (405 votes)
  • 26%
    Chris Tillman
    (437 votes)
  • 18%
    Jason Vargas
    (302 votes)
  • 1%
    Wade Miley
    (17 votes)
  • 7%
    The Orioles will not sign a starting pitcher, but will trade for one or more
    (119 votes)
  • 19%
    The Orioles will not sign a starting pitcher, and will roll the dice with what they already have
    (323 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (provide in comments)
    (48 votes)
1651 votes total Vote Now

There have only been whispers of rumors of speculation that the Orioles could possibly sign a 3B and move Beckham into a super-utility role. These whispers were mostly quashed when Tim Beckham was announced as the 3B and leadoff hitter at FanFest this past weekend, but could that announcement have been premature? It certainly was pretty irresponsible unless the Birds know for a fact (how could they?) that no better option would fall into their lap. So, let’s take a shot in the dark here, and ask:

Poll

Who is the 2018 Opening Day starting 3B?

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    Tim Beckham
    (1113 votes)
  • 1%
    Ryan Flaherty
    (19 votes)
  • 22%
    Mike Moustakas
    (368 votes)
  • 5%
    Todd Frazier
    (83 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (provide in comments)
    (30 votes)
1613 votes total Vote Now

Well, hopefully that was fun exercise on what is sure to be another slow news day (until it’s not). Beat writers and bloggers often put forth ideas to fix or improve the team that doesn’t involve any sort of input from readership, so today belongs to you, GM for the day!

Discuss in the comments!