With 11 pending free agents, the Orioles face big questions soon

Will there be a mass exodus of Orioles following the 2015 season?

There sure could be and it has some fans very concerned already, apparent by reading some of the comments here. As many as 11 current members of the 40-man roster are potential free agents following the coming season.

Is the O’s window to win closing that fast?

There are two starting pitchers in Bud Norris and Wei-Yin Chen that are set to be free agents. There are four relievers that could become free agents, including Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter, Ryan Webb and Wesley Wright. That are also five position players that will all see key playing time in Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Alejandro De Aza, Steve Pearce and Delmon Young.

Davis-running-high-five-gray.jpgAware of such a lengthy list, there are some fans that have suggested the Orioles begin making some trades now as a preemptive strike against losing players and getting only a draft pick in return, if that.

Is that a good strategy for the club’s future?

On the surface, there is some logic in that opinion. But what would that mean to the 2015 team and its chances to win, especially if some key O’s were traded for young players not yet ready to help?

How would the fans feel if the team tore down the 2015 Orioles with an eye to the future? Can’t imagine that would play well at all with most fans coming off a 96-win season that featured the club’s first American League East title in 17 years.

It would surprise me if the team began trading off key players for fear of losing them via free agency considering many still see the Orioles as division favorites right now.

The July trade deadline should prove real interesting this year, especially if the Orioles are not in first place, maybe are only on the fringe of contending or are not contending. If they are having a bad season, the Orioles may be very open for business come July.

But that time can wait.

By the way, those 11 players will earn an estimated $56.6 million this year. If they all left, there would be a lot of money to spend elsewhere.

The next 12 months will sure be interesting for the Orioles, on and off the field. By going for it in 2015, the Orioles could be putting a dent into their chance for future success.

There is also the chance that some young players yet to see big league action like Dariel Alvarez, Mike Yastrzemski, Mike Wright, Tyler Wilson, Oliver Drake, Eddie Gamboa, Zach Davies, Tim Berry, Mychal Givens and Michael Ohlman, to name just a few, may be ready to join the roster by the start of 2016. Players like Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, Caleb Joseph, Christian Walker, Henry Urrutia and Dylan Bundy have already reached the big leagues. (By the way, Berry was technically on the roster for a day last year, but hasn’t pitched in a game yet.)

The Orioles face an uncertain future. To trade or not to trade is going to become a more important question for this franchise as each day of the 2015 season passes.

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