If the Orioles really are a finalist for free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, his price tag must be plummeting.
I checked around yesterday and didn’t get the sense that the Orioles are remotely close to a deal. I’m told by one source that a contract proposal hasn’t even been presented to ownership.
They most certainly aren’t going to pay Cespedes $140 million, which MLBTradeRumors.com predicted for him at the start of free agency. That idea was shot down with gusto when I ran it past one individual in the organization.
The same person stressed that pitching remains the top priority. The Orioles haven’t addressed their rotation beyond acquiring Vance Worley, who isn’t assured of making the club and could be used out of the bullpen if he does.
You already know that the Orioles are trying to sign Yovani Gallardo or left-hander Scott Kazmir. They could sign Mat Latos to a one-year deal and roll the dice that he has a bounce back season.
Fans have asked me about the possibility of Hyun Soo Kim playing right field instead of left. I’m told that right is out of the question due to concerns about his arm. There’s no guarantee that he will be adequate in left, but that’s where the Orioles project him.
Kim was signed for his ability to get on base and his walk-to-strikeout ratio - and because he cost only $7 million over two seasons. It’s a low-risk move.
Pitcher Suk-min Yoon’s contract allowed the Orioles to option him without his permission in the first year, but not the next two. The Orioles let Yoon out of his contract last spring so he could return to the Korean Baseball Organization - he already decided not to report to minor league camp - and they’ll do the same with Kim if he doesn’t pan out and wants to go back home.
Kim could have received more years and money to stay in Korea, but he wanted to play in the majors. His contract doesn’t allow the Orioles to option him.
For everyone asking, Kim can become a free agent after two seasons if he remains in the majors. Same as Wei-Yin Chen after his fourth season.
Being Korea’s “Iron Man” comes with a price, and I don’t mean monetary. Kim wasn’t a slam dunk to pass his physical, and there was a noticeable delay in announcing the deal. Just some stuff that team doctors wanted to make certain was normal wear and tear from 10 seasons in the KBO, stuff that easily could be treated or corrected.
Before anyone asks again today, there are no updates regarding Chris Davis. The Orioles still want to re-sign him, but they’re not setting aside $150 million.
Agent Scott Boras will carry negotiations into January, waiting for a team to trump the Orioles’ offer.
Baseball-Reference.com listed the home run totals at every major league ballpark in 2015. Does it surprise anyone that Camden Yards ranked first with 222?
Yankee Stadium was second with 219, followed by Rogers Centre (203), Coors Field (202), Minute Maid Park (198), Miller Park (189), Great American Ballpark (183), Safeco Field (180), Globe Life Park (177), Tropicana Field (174), Wrigley Field and Citizens Bank Park (171), Fenway Park (167), Petco Park and Dodger Stadium (166), Target Field, Citi Field and Angel Stadium of Anaheim (164), Nationals Park (163), U.S. Cellular Field (157), Chase Field (155), Comerica Park (153), Progressive Field (149), O.co Coliseum (139), PNC Park and Kauffman Stadium (130), Busch Stadium (120), Turner Field (113), Marlins Park (111) and AT&T Park (109).