Despite their impressive run in 2012, the Orioles enter the offseason with several questions that need to be addressed.
The Baltimore Orioles must focus on acquiring a front-line starting pitcher this winter while also addressing their questions at second and first base as well as left field, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com:
They have better pitching depth, but a frontline starter always ranks first on my list.
Second base, left field and first base. Those are the unsettled positions, though Mark Reynolds could return. First base is unsettled while the Orioles decide what they're doing with him.
The additions of Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez helped the Orioles starting rotation immensely last season, but the team still lacks a front-line starter. For this reason Baltimore has been tied to free agent Zack Greinke and other high-profile arms.
Given Brian Roberts lingering injury issues and the ineffective offense offered by 2012 second basemen Robert Andino and Ryan Flaherty, the keystone position ranks high on the team’s offseason priority list. The free agent market for second basemen is week, so general manager Dan Duquette could look to address the situation via trade.
There are also questions surrounding left field and first base, but the Orioles could look to in-house solutions to fill each. Nolan Reimold will return from injury, and he’s proven effective when healthy. Late-season addition Nate McLouth was the team’s best hitter in the playoffs and could be used in a platoon with Reimold in left.
Mark Reynolds didn’t pan out as a third baseman, but he handled the move from the hot corner to first base extremely well. Baltimore isn’t expected to exercise his $11 million option for 2013, but they could re-sign him to a lesser deal.