The Orioles were a surprise last year as they emerged as a force in the AL East. They had been quietly stock-piling cost-controlled players and making the occasional splash in free agency. With a core built around Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Brian Roberts, and Nick Markakis, the Os have done of lot of work internally. They enter 2013 with a team that largely remains intact and untouched from the 2012 playoff campaign. With a budget that is currently $12 million over their five year average and $1 million over their five year high, it appears that free agency will not be the way the Orioles fill holes.
Thankfully, the Orioles don't have a lot of holes to fill. Top to bottom, their lineup is filled with very solid hitters. The big difference over last year will be the fact that young shortstop-turned-third baseman Manny Machado will get a full season under his belt. The Os top prospect has a good amount of pop in his bat, solid contact numbers, and, as we saw in 2012, defense that can play well at the hot corner. The rumor mill is saying that they are looking to upgrade at first base, left field, and DH through trades, but Reynolds, Davis, and Reimold are solid options, if not a little superfluous due to all three being all-power and high strikeout guys.
The Orioles have a passable rotation, but they are interested in trying to bring Joe Saunders back, which would be a good move for a team with a good defensive infield. The Os may have more money to spend thanks to the playoff push. They are set in the bullpen with breakthrough closer Jim Johnson returning to shut the door down and role players Pedro Strop and Darren O'Day coming back.
Personally, I don't think there are any free agents that are in the Orioles price range that represent an improvement over what they already have on the roster. If they do bring Joe Saunders in, they could trade one of their younger starters for an improvement in the outfield or at first base. If they decide to stand pat, though, the team's young core can compete with the Yankees and the new look Blue Jays in the AL East.