According to Jon Heyman, Dexter Fowler remains an option for the Orioles as Dan Duquette explores ways to upgrade his offense.
Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday afternoon the Orioles and Yovani Gallardo continued working on a deal. The two sides could be close on a three-year contract in the $40 million range. Roch Kubatko confirmed Gallardo and the Orioles were still working on a deal. The O’s beat writer did not anticipate an agreement being reached Thursday night.
If the Orioles were to sign Gallardo, Dan Duquette might be willing to part with his second pick in the draft for Fowler. The Orioles currently hold the 29th overall pick, along with their first round pick (14th overall), as compensation for Wei-Yin Chen signing with the Marlins. It would cost the Orioles the first two available picks in June’s draft to sign both Gallardo and Fowler. And a contract for Fowler could be around the $25 million range over two years according to Rosenthal.
According to a report from Roch Kubatko, Dan Duquette admitted the Orioles could use help in the rotation and outfield but “finding another starter is more of a priority” than an outfielder/leadoff man.
Duquette reiterated the Orioles will not include player opt-outs in contracts. Gallardo reportedly was looking for an opt-out clause in his deal, possibly after just one year.
As for a leadoff hitter, Duquette told MASN Sports, “We’ve been looking for on-base capability. Hopefully, a couple of the outfielders we picked up can help us in that regard. The kid we got from Tampa Bay in the Rule 5 Draft, Joey Rickard, and Hyun-Soo Kim, they both have good on-base capability, as does L.J. Hoes.”
Duquette admitted it is possible the Orioles will add an outfielder to the roster but said, “I think we have enough outfield depth.”
The Baltimore Sun posted quotes from Duquette concerning the team’s interest in Fowler. Duquette talked about Gallardo and Fowler during an interview on 105.7 The Fan on Thursday.
According to the report, Duquette called Fowler “a pretty good ballplayer.” Duquette said, “He’s developed into a good ballplayer the last couple of years. A really good right-handed hitter, he’s a centerfielder by trade, so he’s got the tools. He throws good, he runs good. He hit a home run in the playoffs, too. He’s got a lot of good qualities.”
The Orioles are also interested in trading for the Reds’ Jay Bruce or signing free agent Pedro Alvarez. According to Jon Heyman, the Orioles will likely add one hitter. And the Reds feel the two teams would matchup on a deal for Bruce. The Orioles have the prospects the Reds would want in return for the right fielder.
The Cubs have not shut the door on re-signing Fowler, and reportedly will not rule out Fowler returning on a short-term contract until he signs with another team.
The Rangers are believed to be in interested in Fowler as well. And multiple outlets, including Scott Miller, think Fowler also would be a good fit with the Angels or Cardinals.
Updated 9:07am CST: According to Jon Heyman, the Orioles are hoping to finalize a deal with Yovani Gallardo on Friday. The two sides are discussing a three-year deal and a three-year contract plus an option. After Gallardo is done, Dan Duquette will “focus on a bat.” The Orioles will decide on signing Dexter Fowler or Pedro Alvarez or trading for Jay Bruce.