2.) One more competent corner outfielder
After letting Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz walk last winter, the Orioles were prepared to enter the 2015 season with an amorphous group of retread players to man left and right field. Travis Snider and Alejandro De Aza flamed out spectacularly while last season’s hero, Steve Pearce, slumped and was injured most of the year. Orioles left fielders batted just .210 on the season. Right field was better, but bolstered by Chris Davis who spent a fair amount of time patrolling the outfield as well as the addition of Gerardo Parra at the deadline.
As currently constructed, there are very few holes in the Orioles lineup. The holes that exist, however, are gaping black abysses. The Orioles should look to Nolan Reimold to play left field on a nearly everyday basis next year. Reimold finally proved himself healthy in 2015, and had a very strong month of September when finally given the chance to play more than once or twice a week. Reimold has the type of on-base skills the Orioles need. Snider and De Aza had never shown an ability to reach base with any regularity in their careers, but Reimold has that ability in bunches. That leaves right field to be addressed. Parra has expressed an interest in returning to Baltimore, although he will certainly keep his options open on the free agent market. The 28-year-old, two-time Gold Glover fits perfectly in Baltimore. He will be a .275/.330/.400 hitter next year, and would give the Orioles a consistent bat in the two-hole. Should Parra take his talents elsewhere, an interesting name to consider would be Denard Span. Span was injured for nearly the entire year in 2015, but if he is able to get healthy, the Orioles could get him on a bargain deal. A move to right field from center would only serve to keep Span healthy. With Span in the fold, the Orioles could get Manny Machado‘s bat out of the leadoff spot and into the three-hole. A true superstar like Justin Upton or Jason Heyward would most likely be out of the question for the Orioles unless Davis spurns their advances.