Which minor league free agents should re-sign with Orioles?

The beauty of becoming a minor league free agent is the freedom to go back to the organization if given an offer.

It can be "see you later" rather than "goodbye."

Or it can be "no thanks" and the player moves on to the next phase of his professional life.

Baseball America published a complete list of free agents in baseball, including 16 in alphabetical order from the Orioles minor league system:

Cristian Alvarado, Danny Barnes, Malquin Canelo, Martin Cervenka, Brian Gonzalez, Tyler Herb, David Hess, Francisco Jimenez, Ty Moore, Luis Ortiz, Brady Rodgers, José Rondón, Dwight Smith Jr., Richard Ureña, Jesmuel Valentin, Andrew Velazquez.

Pitcher Kohl Stewart isn't listed after he declined an outright assignment and MLBTradeRumors.com doesn't post his name among the major league free agents. He's a man without a baseball island.

He's a minor league free agent and a possibility to show up at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in spring training.

Reliever Branden Kline also was excluded. He also could return.

Here's a morning exercise that doesn't require a gym membership or the purchase of a Peloton: Which names among this group would you like to see re-sign with the Orioles on minor league deals with spring invites?

I still believe that the door is open for Hess and you can't have too many starters.

Rodgers was supposed to compete for a spot in the rotation, but didn't pitch due to a sore arm.

He still has connections to executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias, assistant Sig Mejdal and pitching coach/director of pitching Chris Holt from their days together in Houston. Assuming that he's healthy, why not try again?

At least give him a chance to lower the 15.53 ERA and 2.400 WHIP accumulated over five games in 2016 and three in 2019. And the above-mentioned trio must like him and doesn't judge based on a small sample size.

Rodgers was a third-round draft pick and a promising prospect in the Astros system prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery. Maybe he can regain his groundball tendencies that shifted to flyball after his procedure.

Smith couldn't hold onto his 40-man spot and the Orioles have plenty of outfielders - guys who can move around instead of being confined to left. I no longer see a match here unless it's just about depth and camp competition.

He's a really good guy and I'd like to see him catch on with another team and have some success. It just feels like his time with the Orioles is done.

Cervenka-M-Catching-Orange-ST-sidebar.jpgIf catching depth is a concern, and remember that Bryan Holaday is a major league free agent, it makes sense to consider retaining Cervenka for Double-A or Triple-A. He was invited to spring training and hit a home run in Sarasota while his parents and sister sat in the stands.

Filip, Renata and Karolia were visiting from the Czech Republic, their timing just as good as what Cervenka displayed at the plate.

Perhaps Cervenka wants to join an organization that doesn't have Adley Rutschman on deck. Or maybe he isn't thinking that far ahead or figures the top prospect can't catch all 162.

You try to re-sign Richard Ureña, Andrew Velazquez, José Rondón or Malquin Canelo only if you were impressed enough to toss them into the utility competition. Ureña and Rondón never made it to Baltimore. Velazquez displayed a nice glove and very little at the plate.

It's time to move on from Ortiz - not to be confused with left-hander Luis Ortiz, who's ranked 29th among Orioles prospects by MLBPipeline.com and participated in the fall instructional camp.

The current front office didn't trade for Ortiz. He was conspicuous by his absence in spring training beyond making a few trips. Too many pitchers have bypassed him.

Tyler Herb was acquired from the Giants for Mike Yastrzemski. Better to just let him walk and change the subject.

(OK, I'll point out again that Yaz was exposed in the Rule 5 draft three years in a row and went unclaimed. Easy to second-guess now.)

Alvarado wasn't placed in the 60-man player pool or invited to the fall instructional camp, but he made 40 relief appearances with Double-A Bowie in 2019 and registered a 2.66 ERA and 0.928 WHIP with 13 saves in 74 1/3 innings. Opponents batted .189 as he made the transition from starter to reliever.

I'd certainly attempt to re-sign him, but it would make sense only if I worked in the front office. Otherwise, honestly, what would I do with him?

Gonzalez's stock appeared on the rise after he moved to the bullpen at Bowie. The Orioles added him to the 60-man pool after trading left-hander Richard Bleier. He's a keeper if the decision-makers in the organization think he could join the major league 'pen as an extra southpaw.

Otherwise, the third-round pick in 2014 - and top Orioles selection because they surrendered their first two to sign Ubaldo Jiménez and Nelson Cruz - is a goner.

I'll confess that I had to do a search on Danny Barnes. One of those "the name sounds familiar" guys.

He probably hasn't heard of me, either.

Barnes signed a minor league deal on Feb. 22. He turned 31 in October and hasn't pitched in the majors since 2018 with the Blue Jays.

Barnes has made 119 relief appearances with Toronto and registered a 4.33 ERA and 1.326 WHIP in 120 2/3 innings.

Oh, yeah, that guy!

Because he's an Ivy Leaguer who attended Princeton University, I believe that he's a really nice fit for the Orioles and should be re-signed.

I'm an easy sell.

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