The Orioles’ winter shopping list begins with a starting pitcher and includes a potential replacement for Chris Davis at first base, at least one outfielder and at least one reliever. It also includes catching depth, especially if Matt Wieters leaves as a free agent.
Caleb Joseph most likely would inherit the starting job, though he’s an optionable piece on a roster that didn’t offer enough flexibility this year. Steve Clevenger is out of options and could be a second or third catcher. I’ve heard that the Orioles may be willing to carry three next season due to Clevenger’s ability to play other positions and serve as a left-handed designated hitter.
Chance Sisco is playing in the Arizona Fall League and may return to Double-A Bowie next season with the chance, so to speak, to move up to Triple-A Norfolk later in the summer. Sisco turns 21 in February. He’s got time on his side.
The Orioles liked Audry Perez’s work behind the plate at Norfolk, but they still want to add another catcher. It could come via trade or free agency - major or minor league.
* The Orioles have scouted Korean first baseman Byung-ho Park, who was posted this week, and are believed to hold interest in the right-handed slugger. They’ve watched him play several times over the last few years.
Park, 29, has hit 105 home runs and driven in 270 runs over the past two seasons for the Nexen Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization. He batted .343/.436/.714 with 35 doubles, 53 home runs, 146 RBIs, 78 walks and 161 strikeouts in 622 plate appearances over 140 games this year.
Park is a career .281/.387/.564 hitter in parts of nine seasons. He didn’t accumulate more than 201 at-bats until 2012 (469).
Bids are being accepted until Friday. The team with the highest bid will have a 30-day negotiating period with Park, a two-time Most Valuable Player in the KBO. The posting fee is paid only if Park is signed.
Park is listed at 6-foot-1 and 236 lbs. He’s a bit soft in the middle.
The same may be true of the Orioles lineup if they lose Davis, but I digress ...
* Wondering what Delmon Young is doing these days? He’s playing for Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League.
Young was 15-for-58 in his first 14 games, with three doubles, a home run, seven RBIs, eight strikeouts and four runs scored. He was 7-for-17 versus left-handers.
Young didn’t play in the majors after the Orioles released him on July 9.
* I’m told that Jimmy Paredes definitely is going to play left field in the Dominican Winter League.
Paredes is a man without a position, though he’s been tried at a variety of them. He appeared in eight games at third base this season, two in right field and one in left. He made six starts at second base. The ball always found him.
If the Orioles hold onto Paredes - he’s out of options - they need him to find his stroke. He batted .216/.252/.265 in the second half.
* Buck Showalter ranks 31st on the all-time managerial wins list with 1,340, and he’s fourth among active skippers.
Showalter was third until the Nationals hired Dusty Baker, who’s second with 1,671. Bruce Bochy is first with 1,702 and Mike Scioscia is third with 1,416.
Showalter is 12 wins behind Chuck Tanner for 30th place and 32 behind Davey Johnson for 29th.
* The Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce the finalists for all of its awards on Nov. 10 beginning at 6 p.m. on MLB Network.
Rookies of the Year will be revealed on Nov. 16, followed by Managers of the Year on Nov. 17, Cy Young Award winners on Nov. 18 and Most Valuable Players on Nov. 19.
The Orioles figure to be shut out, though Davis will receive votes for MVP.
Also, the Gold Glove winners will be announced on Nov. 10 and the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards will be revealed the following night. The Silver Slugger Awards will be announced on Nov. 12.
Plan accordingly and don’t say you haven’t been warned.