The Orioles update comes after Morosi reported that Stephenson “has been one of the most popular free-agent relievers” during the offseason. Baltimore relied heavily on its bullpen in 2023 and intends to do the same in 2024. That will be difficult without Bautista though, an All-Star closer who will likely miss the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Perhaps Stephenson can step in and help fill the void for Baltimore.
Robert Stephenson drawing interest in MLB free agency
Teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs have also been mentioned as possible landing destinations in addition to the Orioles for Stephenson in free agency. The right-handed pitcher is the latest former starter to find success as a reliever. The 30-year-old may be in line to receive a multi-year contract this offseason.
Stephenson pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays in 2023. He struggled in Pittsburgh, but found success in Tampa Bay. Stephenson ultimately recorded a 2.35 ERA and sparkling 0.678 WHIP with the Rays across 42 games.
His performance came at the perfect time. Now he is one of the most coveted right-handed relievers in MLB free agency.
Orioles' free agency
The Orioles haven't been too active in free agency over the years. Baltimore has relied on building from within for the most part. The Orioles' top-tier farm system is impressive, but adding from the free agency market wouldn't be a bad idea for a team that could use veteran leadership.
It is still unclear exactly how aggressive the O's will be this offseason. Baltimore is not being mentioned in many rumors for star players. Nevertheless, they will be a team to keep tabs on.
We will continue to monitor and provide updates on the Orioles as they are made available.