For many seasons after the retirement of Rafael Palmeiro, the Baltimore Orioles were never able to find a first baseman that was durable and could hit for power. As the 2010’s arrived, that vacancy was filled. However, it wasn’t until the end of the 2011 season when manager Buck Showalter made an adjustment to the Orioles defense that made a world of difference.
Third baseman, Mark Reynolds was struggling immensely at the hot corner, but was crushing the ball. Reynolds was moved to the opposite side of the diamond and had a lot of success. Last season, he became Baltimore’s everyday first baseman.
During this off-season, the Orioles lost Reynolds in free agency to the Cleveland Indians. Once again, there is a vacancy at first. Or is there? Que young left-handed slugger, Chris Davis. Davis was acquired by the Orioles in a trade with the Texas Rangers in 2011 and has turned out to be a steal for the birds. Davis also logged in a few innings at first base last season. His 33 home runs last season and 85 runs batted which are both career highs and should be enough leverage to put him in the driver’s seat this spring training to land the job for Baltimore come Opening Day.
This would be a move that works out nicely for the Orioles, as they already have several players competing for outfield playing time and will need to have the designated hitter slot open as well. As noted earlier, Davis has Major League Experience at first base. This could be a match made in heaven heading in to the 2013 season.