Alex just wrote a very good piece on Nick Markakis' fall from stardom. He mentions that the Orioles have an option on Markakis for $17.5MM next season. That should surely be declined. Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young are also free agents at the end of the season. Obviously, Adam Jones will handle center field for many years after this one. But the corners are another story, and are question marks heading into 2015 right now. Internal candidates;
1. I still have hope in David Lough, although he has been awful so far. He's under control through the 2019 season and still plays wicked defense. He's hit AAA pitching, and showed he can hit major league pitching last year. I think he'll turn it around and be a force in Baltimore's outfield...but if not..
2. Steve Pearce is a very good bench player. He plays above average defense, has pop, and kills LHP. Unfortunately, he is not a starter, but I look forward to keeping him around for the next few years.
3. Nolan Reimold should probably just retire. I'm not really sure why Duquette didn't non-tender him. He should not be included in the Orioles' future plans.
4. Francisco Peguero is currently on a rehab assignment and is hitting well in the minors. It's clear Baltimore wants to keep him, but doesn't have room for him in the majors. He's out of options, so this situation could be tricky down the road. I'd be fine with replacing Delmon Young with Peguero.
5. Henry Urrutia has been hurt most of the year, and didn't play well when he was healthy. With some more minor league experience, the Orioles should be able to tell if Urrutia can stick in a corner outfield spot or not.
6. Dariel Alvarez has hit exceptionally well for the Baysox. He is 25, but production is production. He's been playing CF for the Baysox, which is intriguing. If he can handle center, he could handle a corner spot. A promotion to Norfolk might happen soon..
7. Quintin Berry, Julio Borbon, and Xavier Paul are all playing well for the Tides, but they are all approaching 30 years old, and have serious flaws in their game. They could all make helpful fourth outfielders, but any team with one of these guys as a starter, isn't very good.
Some prominent 2015 free agent outfielders include Melky Cabrera, Chris Denorfia, and Norichika Aoki