The Orioles stand to lose a catcher and pitcher, but not to the KC Royals.
Someday, hopefully later than sooner, Salvador Perez won’t be a Royal, and he’ll be agonizingly difficult, if not impossible, to replace as the club’s regular catcher, leader, and fan favorite.
Of more immediate concern (but not panic) is how to replace him on his days off, or when he misses short periods with the aches and pains that come with the job of being a major league catcher. Present backups Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria have good gloves but not good bats.
Although replacing Gallagher and Viloria probably isn’t a front office obsession, the thought of better offense from a Perez backup must occasionally cross Dayton Moore’s mind.
One name not likely to capture Moore’s attention is Baltimore free agent backstop Bryan Holaday.
Holaday is a nine-year major league veteran who plays good defense and is better than average at gunning down would-be base stealers. But the backup backstop bat the KC Royals could use isn’t his—he’s a career .238 hitter with 10 homers in those nine seasons. And the fact he’s played a few games at first base, second, third and in left field won’t increase his value to Kansas City.
Wade LeBlanc is the other Oriole the Royals can consider. A journeyman starter and reliever during his 10-year career with stops in San Diego, Miami, Houston, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles (Angels), New York (Mets) and Baltimore, he was 1-0 for the O’s in 2020, but surrendered 20 runs in 22.1 innings before suffering a late August injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. His best effort was the 9-5, 3.72 ERA campaign he put together for the Mariners in 2018.
LeBlanc turns 37 in August and his production potential doesn’t warrant a serious look from Kansas City.
The Orioles and Angels have a combined four free agents. Only one of them, Baltimore’s Julio Teheran, might be worth exploring.