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Options for the Os after Fowler snub

David Murphy should be the Orioles first call after losing Dexter Fowler.

David Murphy should be the Orioles first call after losing Dexter Fowler.

It feels like a punch in gut that Dexter Fowler has gone back and signed with the Chicago Cubs after agreeing to a three-year deal with the Orioles just a few days ago. With Fowler, the Orioles looked to have maybe the deepest lineup in baseball, going seven deep with known big league hitters. But without him, the Orioles are left with a huge hole in their lineup and a mystery of who might be playing one of the corner outfield positions.

Twelve different players saw time in right field a season ago, a year after the departure of steady gold glover Nick Markakis. Nobody played 40 games out there. It was a mess. Fowler was going to be an everyday player in right field while providing great contributions at the play, but without him the Orioles have to go back to the drawing board.

They have three options to fill the outfield. They could stick with all of the minor leaguers they have and go the ‘hope and pray’ route that one of them works out. They could try to work a big trade for Red power-hitter Jay Bruce, but with a limited number of prospects that seems nearly impossible to pull off. Or they could get back out on the free agent market and find a stop gap for the year.

Neither situation is ideal and they won’t find anybody with the ability that Fowler had at this point, but there is still a small handful of veterans they could consider.

David MurphyLefty-handed hitter, 34-years-old

Even after 10 professional seasons, the sturdy left-handed hitter is still productive. He was traded from Cleveland to the Los Angeles Angels midway through last season and still had a very solid campaign. He finished the 2015 season batting .283/.318/.421 with 10 home runs and 102 total hits.

Alex RiosRight-handed hitter, 35-years-old

There have been absolutely no rumbling about Alex Rios since he became a free agent. Rios won a World Series with the Royals but has not announced his retirement. He was nowhere near his old productive self, though. Rios hit just .255/.287/.353 with four home runs and nine stolen bases a year ago. He also struggles in the outfield, but he is at least a veteran who proved to be a valuable asset for the Royals last year when Alex Gordon went down for an extended period of time with an injury.

Drew StubbsRight-handed hitter, 31-years-old

Drew Stubbs has been heavily linked to a return with the Texas Rangers in the wake of yet another injury to Josh Hamilton, but they have not re-signed him yet. Stubbs has never been a particularly great hitter but does have some pop in his bad. he batted only .195/.283/.382 last season, but has five home runs in limited action split between the Rockies and Rangers. He typically can be written in for around 15 home runs in a season with a full work load.

Will VenableLeft-handed hitter, 33-years-old

Like Drew Stubbs, Will Venable was also acquired by Texas midway through the season through a trade. And like Stubbs, he is being considered to sign back with the rangers as Hamilton’s replacement. Venable is a much more reliable hitter, but still a bottom-barrel free agent. He hit .244/.320/.350 a year ago with six home runs. He did hit 22 home runs with the San Diego Padres in 2013 but has never shown that kind of power any other time in his career.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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