The O’s need serious help in the outfield, where All-Star center fielder Adam Jones has two big question marks on either side of him. They also have needs in other places such as the starting rotation. Fortunately for Baltimore, it sounds as if Dan Duquette and company are open to increasing payroll. If Baltimore does indeed let Davis walk, they could easily be in the mix for one of the top free-agent outfielders, and have already been linked to Upton. Given their pitching needs, however, it stands to reason that the O’s could choose to sign a mid-tier starter such as Scott Kazmir and improve their outfield via trade, which brings us to Gonzalez. He’d be expensive, and the Orioles might be more inclined to pursue former fan favorite and current Atlanta Brave Nick Markakis, but Gonzalez would also be a perfect fit in Camden Yards. MLB.com’s Mike Petriello has already speculated as much:
The Orioles need two OF. If Davis walks, signing Upton and trading for Cargo (who would be a monster at Camden) around A.Jones would be fun.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) December 14, 2015
I doubt the Orioles would want to sign Upton and trade for CarGo, but Petriello’s claim that Gonzalez would be a “monster” in the bandbox of Camden Yards is on point. As with any Rockies player, there are concerns that playing in the offense-friendly climate of Coors Field distorts his hitting stats (however, it’s worth noting that Gonzalez excels in advanced metrics like OPS+ and wRC+, which take ballpark factors into account). In the tiny bandbox of Camden Yards, however, that worry goes out the window. Even as he climbs into his 30s, Gonzalez would still likely be a 40-homer (or more) player while playing half his games at Camden and much of the other half in other lefty-friendly parks such as Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.