Baltimore appears to be content with having a platoon in left field between Hyun Soo Kim and Joey Rickard according to Orioles general manager Dan Duquette, which frees up right field to be Saunders’ if the two sides have mutual interest and reach a common ground at the winter meetings.
Saunders, who has played his last two MLB seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, batted .253/.338/.478 with 24 homers and 57 RBIs in 2016. The second half of his season caused his free agent stock to go down, however, as he slashed .178/.282/.357 after the MLB All-Star Game.
The 30-year-old Saunders didn’t receive the qualifying offer from the Blue Jays like fellow free agents Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista were given, meaning the Orioles or any team for the matter can sign Saunders without having to forfeit a first round pick.
The Orioles finished the 2016 season 89-73 lead by stars Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Zach Britton, which was good for 2nd in the American League East. They lost to the American League Wild Card Game to Saunders’ Blue Jays.
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