Figuring out which free agents to put in the discard pile

As we learned a long time ago, the offseason is open season on free agent speculation.

The Orioles are fairly quiet while the World Series plays out. Dana Eveland and Ronny Paulino elected to become minor league free agents. Third base coach DeMarlo Hale interviewed for the Red Sox managerial job. The Sporting News named Buck Showalter American League Manager of the Year. The Diamondbacks received cash to complete the Joe Saunders/Matt Lindstrom trade.

That's about it. Nothing to grab the headlines.

Players can declare for free agency immediately after the final game of the World Series. If the past is any indication, the Orioles will be linked to 75 percent of them, according to "industry sources." Have fun with it.

Can we weed out a few of the names to save a little time?

Forget Zack Greinke. The Orioles aren't going to offer any pitcher more than three years unless owner Peter Angelos and executive vice president Dan Duquette go against their shared philosophy. And Greinke, who has battled depression and an anxiety disorder, brings a certain amount of risk - though perhaps not as much for a smaller market team.

The Orioles will go in search of a veteran starting pitcher. They figure to pass on Greinke, who qualifies as one of those big-ticket items that Duquette seems intent on bypassing.

Outfielder Josh Hamilton also qualifies as a big-ticket item, as well as a risk because of his drug and alcohol addiction. The Orioles could be in the market for a left fielder, but they won't break the bank for Hamilton. It's just not going to happen.

Why even mention him? Because it's late October and the Orioles are no longer playing.

The Orioles kicked the tires on Edwin Jackson last winter. Let's just say there are people in the organization who aren't big fans, and not only because of his inconsistencies on the mound.

Jackson looks like Cy Young one start and Angus Young the next. And for those about to Roch, we salute you.

Yes we do.

Jeremy Guthrie used to pitch in Baltimore. He won't do it again unless he's with the visiting club. The Orioles have moved on and aren't interested in bringing him back, though that doesn't stop fans from suggesting it.

Erik Bedard? See above.

The warehouse wasn't in agreement over Derek Lowe after the Indians released him on Aug. 10. It won't be in agreement over him now. Duquette might have been the most interested, but he didn't see a fit.

Kevin Youkilis could become a free agent if the White Sox don't pick up his $13 million option, and he'd make sense if the Orioles don't keep Mark Reynolds, but they had serious concerns about his health before the Red Sox traded him. I know of at last one person in the organization who would need convincing.

I'm not going to eliminate Youkilis from consideration. Not yet.

Bring up Nick Swisher's name to 100 people and you'll get one response. He's the kind of guy you hate unless he's on your team. Well, I bet some guys in the Orioles' clubhouse would hate him.

I'm not going to eliminate Swisher from consideration. Not yet.

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