Baltimore has been linked to several outfielders this winter and is still considering adding Jay Bruce or Austin Jackson, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
Before expressing interest in Bruce and Jackson, the Orioles were reportedly in on Yoenis Cespedes and Dexter Fowler. The club's interest in Cespedes was thought to be used as leverage to keep Chris Davis in Baltimore. Regardless, Cespedes re-signed with the Mets while Davis remained with the Orioles.
The Orioles have a desire to improve minor holes on their roster and their interest in adding another outfielder stems from the belief Mark Trumbo should not be a starting right fielder, Cafardo notes. Instead, the club plans to use Trumbo as a designated hitter and add another power-hitting outfielder.
It appeared the Orioles had Dexter Fowler signed to fill the void, but he ended up returning to the Cubs on a deal not worth as much as Baltimore's offer.
Negotiations reportedly broke down because the Orioles did not want to give Fowler an opt out clause after the first season. Contractual details might not be as much of an issue if the Orioles decide to sign Jackson.
Jackson, 29, has not been linked to many clubs this winter but has proven he can be a consistent power threat. Over 136 games last season, he batted .267/.311/.385 to complement nine home runs and 48 RBIs. Jackson is a career .273 hitter, and while he might not provide as much power as Bruce, he will likely prove to be more affordable.
If the Orioles want Trumbo to be a full time DH, trading for Bruce might prove to be the better option. Over 157 games with the Reds last season, Bruce batted .226/.294/.434 but hit 26 home runs and drove in 87. Since his average the last two years has been the lowest since 2009, it might not take as much to acquire Bruce. However, his power still makes him valuable.
The White Sox are requesting two minor leaguers and a big league player in exchange for Carlos Gonzalez. It should not take nearly that much to acquire Bruce.
Baltimore will likely end up adding another outfielder. The value that outfielder brings will depend on how much the club is willing to invest.