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MLB Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles have limited third base options

The Baltimore Orioles have had a fairly quiet offseason under the direction of new General Manager Dan Duquette. The club has made some baby steps with the additions of Endy Chavez and Japanese lefty Tsuyoshi Wada but no one should expect those two to lead a revival in Baltimore. Third base remains the weakest position on the field for the Orioles. Mark Reynolds struggled so badly on defense at third last year that he was moved to first base, where he’s likely to stay in 2012. Chris Davis, who was acquired from Texas in the Koji Uehara deal, logged some innings at third base in September and may have been worse than Reynolds. Davis looks like a DH and he may get the chance with the Orioles non-tendering Luke Scott.

Duquette hasn’t done much to add third base depth. Former Padres prospect Matt Antonelli was signed to a big league contract despite playing all of last season in the Nationals minor league system. Antonelli is a second baseman by trade but could get a look at third in Spring Training. Baltimore also selected Cubs prospect Ryan Flaherty in the Rule 5 draft. Flaherty played all over the diamond in the Cubs system, including 28 games at third last season. In those 28 games Flaherty made 8 errors so he’s likely not a long term option at the hot corner. The free agent market is practically devoid of reliable third baseman. Buck Showalter may have quite a headache on his hands come March if Duquette doesn’t get creative or aggressive very soon.