Did anyone really believe Baltimore, one of the worst teams in baseball for several years, would be good last season? The Orioles, who averaged 111 losses over the last three full seasons preceding 2022, even lost 115 in 2018, a thoroughly embarrassing feat even the struggling KC Royals couldn’t match.
But Baltimore shocked baseball this year. The O’s stayed in the playoff hunt much of the season and finished with their first winning record (83-79) since 2016. That they play in the strong American League East, where that record was only good for next-to-last place, had much to do with the O’s ultimately missing the postseason.
While Baltimore rediscovered how to win, the Royals regressed. They lost 11 more games than they did in 2021, finished last in the AL Central, and dismissed their manager and pitching coach within hours of their final game.
Can needy Kansas City find some help among the Orioles’ seven free agents?
The KC Royals could consider three old friends who are Baltimore free agents.
Among those Oriole free agents are three former Royals, but only one—Cam Gallagher—warrants a serious look from KC general manager J.J. Picollo. The notion of the club bringing their former backup catcher home is something we recently addressed; Gallagher served Kansas City well for six seasons and could do so again if the club wants a proven veteran presence backing up Salvador Perez.
The Royals don’t have any spots for the other two ex-Royals. Although Brett Phillips became a fan favorite during his brief time with the club, Kansas City has no need for a weak-hitting outfielder. And the Royals certainly aren’t bringing back Chris Owings, whose acquisition in the winter of 2018 ended badly.
What about the other Baltimore free agents?