At the moment, the Orioles have, by my count, six of the first 90 picks in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft next June. In the 2014 draft, after losing picks for signing Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez, the O's first pick was No. 90.
The Orioles should currently be slated to get the No. 28 overall pick in the draft for losing pitcher Wei-Yin Chen via free agency to Miami. Four teams have lost first-round picks for signing free agents that turned down qualifying offers: the Cubs, Nats, Diamondbacks and Giants. That makes for a first round consisting of 26 picks for the moment, pending further signings.
Thus the first compensation pick is the Chicago White Sox at No. 27. The O's would follow at No. 28. The comp picks go in reverse order of the standings. Teams that won more than 81 games would get comp picks after the Orioles.
But San Diego, which won 74 games, could still lose Ian Kennedy and Justin Upton via free agency and would get comp picks for both. Both would be selections ahead of the Orioles, which would drop the O's to the 30th pick for losing Chen.
You got all of that?
So, for the moment, the Orioles have overall picks at Nos. 14, 28, 52, 68, 74 and 90. That is one first-round pick, one comp pick, two in round two, a competitive balance B pick after round two and a third-round selection.
If the Orioles lose Chris Davis to another team, they would add the current 29th pick. Comp picks are grouped, so the O's will get two in a row wherever they eventually sit. They could lose the 14th pick for signing a free agent that turned down a qualifying offer, like Yovani Gallardo or Justin Upton. On the other hand, that pick could move up if the teams drafting 11th (Seattle), 12th (Boston) or 13th (Tampa Bay) sign a free agent that would cost them a pick. Those picks just go away (not to the other team) and the round shrinks.
Meanwhile, now that the Orioles have lost outfielder Gerardo Parra to Colorado, speculation continues that the Orioles could acquire one of the Rockies outfielders: Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon or Corey Dickerson.
Gonzalez is the obvious star here and seemingly would cost a price the O's may not be prepared to pay - like a deal that would have to involve Kevin Gausman. Gonzalez is owed $37 million over the next two seasons. In 2015, he hit .271/.325/.540 with 40 homers and 97 RBIs.
But all three of these outfielders show huge differences in splits and have hit much better at Coors Field. In his career, Gonzalez is a .324 hitter with an OPS of .986 at home. Those numbers are .255/.752 on the road. Last season they were .299/.972 at home and .243/.758 on the road.
For Blackmon, who is arbitration-eligible for the first time and under team control through 2018, the career numbers look like this: 334/.887 at home and .241/.653 on the road. For last year, they are .331/.890 at home and .238/.695 on the road.
For Dickerson, who is not yet arbitration-eligible, the career numbers look like this: ] .355/1.085 at home and .249/.695 on the road. At home last season, Dickerson hit .395/1.143 and .257/.724 on the road.
Dickerson hit .304/.333/.536 in 65 games last season, but dealt with a plantar fasciitis condition in his left foot most of the year, then broke several ribs attempting a diving catch in late July.
As for Parra, what a strange 2015 season. He hit .328/.369/.517 with Milwaukee and looked like one of the best players in the league. Then, in 55 games with the Orioles, he hit just .237/.268/.357. His OPS+ was 69 with Baltimore, well below league average.
Maybe Parra was hurt with the O's and wasn't telling anyone. Or, as some of you have suggested, he just didn't adjust to the American League. Some even see him as a platoon-only outfielder, one with a career average and OPS of .238/.658 versus lefty pitching and .303/.809 against right-handers. With the Orioles, Parra hit just .193/.521 against southpaws.
Weighing in on Wei-Yin: For less than $16 million in total salary, Chen gave the Orioles a very solid four years. For the price, he produced huge value and was the club's best starter last year. Chen's initial asking price of five years and $100 million seemed way too high to me, but he got a very good contract in the end. He signed with Miami yesterday and is guaranteed $80 million over the next five years. A sixth-year vesting option could up the total value to $96 million. Along with that, he can opt out after two years. Quite a contract, indeed.
While it is clearly within Chen's right to take the best offer - and I imagine he did exactly that - no one can say his main goal was to play for a winner. Miami has finished under .500 and at least 17 games out of first place for six years in a row. The Marlins won just 71 games last year. Miami making this expenditure doesn't add up to me. But they did.
From the start of free agency, Chen looked like a goner. There just seemed to be not much chance to get the sides together. Not at that price, anyway. It didn't seem like there were a lot of suitors for Chen. But, as he usually does, in the end, Scott Boras did well for another client. Wonder which client he pulls one of the fire for next.