The Orioles enter the offseason with few gaping roster holes, but there are several areas in which executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias can improve.
As free agency rolls along, Paul Mancano and Danielle Allentuck introduce their free agency bracket, made up of 32 players the Orioles are likely to target this winter. The entrants are broken into “regions” based on position. Right-handed and left-handed starting pitchers receive separate quadrants because of the high likelihood that Elias will sign a starter. Relievers and position players are each lumped into their own category.
The purpose of this exercise is to predict which free agents are realistic signings for the Orioles, not necessarily the best players. Players are seeded based on the perceived attractiveness to the O’s front office, and they will advance through the bracket if Paul and Danielle believe they are top priorities for Elias.
The Round of 32 matchups are below. Next week, the Sweet 16 begins.
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Left-handed starting pitchers
No. 1 James Paxton vs. No. 8 Blake Snell
No. 2 Martín Pérez vs. No. 7 Jordan Montgomery
No. 3 Eduardo Rodríguez vs. No. 6 Hyun Jin Ryu
No. 4 Sean Manaea vs. No. 5 Wade Miley
Right-handed starting pitchers
No. 1 Kenta Maeda vs. No. 8 Michael Wacha
No. 2 Michael Lorenzen vs. No. 7 Luis Severino
No. 3 Seth Lugo vs. No. 6 Lucas Giolito
No. 4 Sonny Gray vs. No. 5 Frankie Montas
No. 1 Jordan Hicks vs. No. 8 Robert Stephenson
No. 2 Wandy Peralta vs. No. 7 Ryne Stanek
No. 3 Matt Moore vs. No. 6 Keynan Middleton
No. 4 Brent Suter vs. No. 5 Hector Neris
No. 1 Kiké Hernández vs. No. 8 Jorge Soler
No. 2 Adam Duvall vs. No. 7 Tommy Pham
No. 3 Jason Heyward vs. No. 6 Whit Merrifield
No. 4 Joc Pederson vs. No. 5 Isiah Kiner-Falefa