Total speculation: Justin Smoak would be an interesting option for the Baltimore Orioles. Some folks there like his swing.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 19, 2012
Olney notes that some in the Orioles’ organization like Smoak’s swing.
Smoak was selected 11th overall in the 2008 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. He quickly emerged as one of the top prospects in the game before the Rangers dealt him to the Mariners as the centerpiece of the Cliff Lee trade in 2010.
Smoak has since struggled at the major and minor league levels with Seattle. The 26-year-old hit only .217/.290/.364 with 14 doubles and 19 home runs over 483 at-bats last season. He did a little better in 2011 (.234/.323/.396 with 24 doubles and 15 home runs) but has only mustered a career line of .223/.306/.377 over parts of three seasons in the majors.
The Orioles are in need of a first baseman and Olney believes they could be a fit for the former top prospect. There are few first baseman available on the free agent market outside of Adam LaRoche, who Baltimore is hesitant to sign due to the fact that they would have to surrender a draft pick to do so.