AL East Round Up!
The Baltimore Orioles
Oct 15, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielderNick Markakis
hits a single against the Kansas City Royals during the 8th inning in game four of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Despite winning the 2014 AL East division, it’s difficult to imagine the Orioles purchasing a ticket to the dance next season as they seem to be unwilling to purchase the contracts of the players responsible for getting them there last season.
This off-season has been rough for the Orioles to put it lighly. In a flash, two thirds of their outfield- Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis– abandoned ship in favour of different vessels heading in other directions. Together, the duo represents a loss 6.4 WAR that the team will have to replace.
With free agents Melky Cabrera and Nori Aoiki still on the market, it’s conceivable the Orioles pursue one or both if the shoe fits however no serious relationship has been established just yet.
As it stands, they will have to rely on one-hit wonder Steve Pearce to repeat his 2014 breakout season with Alejandro Alberto De Aza in left field. As you can probably imagine, that’s no Cruz-Markakis combination and the loss will certainly be felt both offensively and defensively next year.
If the Orioles aren’t able to refurbish their outfield it will be hard to relive their 2014 success as time ticks away in the hour glass of the 2014 off-season.