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Four 2017 Orioles Free Agents Remain Unsigned

March 2, 2018
SARASOTA, Fla. -- While six of the 10 free agents from last season's Baltimore Orioles have signed contracts, four prominent members of the 2017 team are still waiting for offers.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy, right-handed starters Jeremy Hellickson and Ubaldo Jimenez and outfielder Seth Smith -- who had combined salaries of $51.7 million last season -- remain unsigned. 
Those four are not among the players who are working out at a camp set up by the Major League Players Association at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., 12 miles from the Orioles' training facility.
The four unsigned 2017 Orioles haven't received any reported interest.
Hardy, who is training at his Arizona home, is hoping for a major league offer, but he may have a hard time since shortstop is the only position he has played throughout his major league career.

Hellickson, who is a client of Scott Boras', seems like he would benefit from the Bradenton camp, but the agent has his own training facilities for players in Southern California.
Many industry analysts thought that despite Jimenez's rocky four seasons with the Orioles, he'd get offers, but he is without a baseball home for 2018.
While the quiet Smith was one of the lower-profile Orioles in 2017, his offensive numbers would seem to merit a look. Smith hit .258 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs in 2017, and had a .340 on-base percentage, highest among the team's regulars. He also hits left-handed -- something the Orioles lack.

There are several players training at IMG who have Orioles connections, including outfielders Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott, catcher Steve Clevenger and infielder Chris Johnson, son of Triple-A Norfolk manager Ron Johnson. Chris Johnson played for his father last season at Norfolk.
Another former Oriole who was working out at IMG, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals March 2.
Players Association executive director Tony Clark, who visited Orioles camp Feb. 28, said at that time there were 48 unsigned free agents from last season, more than double what it would be in an average offseason.
"I know that there are a number of players whose phones [aren't] ringing at all," Clark said.
"The disappointment is high and it's understandable because there a lot of players there that can help teams that are trying to win."
The Orioles have already added five free agents since spring training began Feb. 13. Pitchers Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman signed major league deals, while outfielders Alex Presley and Colby Rasmus and first base/ DH Pedro Alvarez signed minor league contracts.
Alvarez, Tillman and outfielder Craig Gentry, who signed just before spring training began, are the three 2017 Orioles to re-sign with the team. Catcher Welington Castillo (Chicago White Sox), infielder Ryan Flaherty (Philadelphia) and left-handed starter Wade Miley (Milwaukee) signed elsewhere.
With a club record 65 players already in camp, the Orioles were poised to add yet another free agent. An industry source confirmed an report that onetime Orioles infielder Danny Valencia had agreed to a minor league contract, pending a physical.
Valencia, who hit .304 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs in 52 games for the Orioles in 2013 provides corner infield depth.

Follow Rich on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB 

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox