Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Orioles have signed free agent outfielder Tyler Colvin. It is believed to be a Major League deal.
Colvin, 28, spent the last two seasons with the Rockies. He hit well in 2012, finishing with an .858 OPS in 452 plate appearances, but suffered a collapsed lung near the end of the season. He started 2013 with Triple-A Colorado Springs, posting a .914 OPS before earning a call back up to the big leagues. He struggled, however, posting a .472 OPS between June 8 and July 9. The Rockies sent him back down to Triple-A but the struggles continued and he eventually went on the shelf due to a disc injury in his back. The Rockies outrighted him in September, and he elected free agency in October.
If he can stay healthy, he can be a useful left-handed hitter for the Orioles. He displayed a good amount of power in 2010 with the Cubs and 2012 with the Rockies, hitting 20 and 18 home runs, respectively. Colvin will be in for a tough competition, however. Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun counts 12 outfielders that will be in camp with the Orioles for spring training. They include Delmon Young, Francisco Peguero, Xavier Paul, David Lough, and Quintin Berry.
Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.
There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.
The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.