Could the Orioles target high-profile free agents such as Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke and Nick Swisher this offseason?
Following their surprisingly impressive 2012 campaign, the Baltimore Orioles head into the offseason as a much more attractive club than in years past. This resulted in Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun including several high-profile free agents, such as right-hander Zack Greinke and outfielders Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher, as a few of the team’s potential targets this winter.
The Orioles have several commitments on the books and the most arbitration eligible players in the majors. This means that they’re payroll is already fairly accounted for, and general manager Dan Duquette has said that fans shouldn’t expect a huge increase. This would seem to price the team out of the running for Greinke, Hamilton and Swisher.
Connolly believes this will be the case with Hamilton, who he calls "too chancy" for a team that has a small margin for error, payroll-wise. He does believe Swisher would be a perfect fit in Baltimore as far as playing ability goes, but he is likely to be pricey and Connolly isn’t sure if he’ll fit in with the current Orioles’ clubhouse.
If the O’s aren’t willing to commit to Hamilton or Swisher they are unlikely to put up what it will take to sign Greinke. However, Connolly says there’s an outside chance they could ink the right-hander because the "big boys" may not be in play.