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July 8, 2010

Should the Orioles have any "untouchables" in trade talks?

Since it is July, and the Orioles have nothing to play for, discussion this time of year turns to the trade market.

The truth is the Orioles don’t have a whole lot of trade chips right now. That happens when you have the worst record in baseball.

Kevin Millwood looked like a potential hot commodity in early May, but a terrible June and now a stint on the disabled list has sapped any value there. Since he’d probably pass through trade waivers, he could be dealt in August for something if he pitches well.

Ty Wigginton probably has the most value, but Orioles fans have to be realistic in what they can expect for him. Wigginton might only be able to bring back a fringe prospect or two, so the club may consider holding onto him.

Miguel Tejada would have to be the right fit for a team to give up anything for him. Lefty Will Ohman also has some value for a team looking for a lefty specialist.

All the above are pending free agents at season’s end. The Orioles have other potential trade chips in Jeremy Guthrie and the injured Luke Scott, but both are under team control next season.

Really, the players with the most value are the ones that this team is counting on for the future, guys such as Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Nick Markakis, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman.

Heading into this year, I’d say the players in the above group were untouchables. But given this disastrous season, I am not sure anyone in the organization should be untouchable in a trade now.

Certainly, some of those above would require an impressive package in return for the Orioles to deal them. But is any Oriole untouchable in your mind these days?

Daily Think Special: Should the Orioles have any “untouchable” players in trade talks?

Posted by Dan Connolly at 1:20 AM | | Comments (58)
Categories: Connolly's Corner Sports Bar


Bill Bavasi probably had the same thought as you when he traded Adam Jones, George Sherrill, and Chris Tillman for Erik Bedard. So did Jim Duquette when he traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano. So did Jon Daniels when he traded Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka.

Sure, occaisonally you should make this kind of deal. Daniel Cabrera + Jorge Julio for A.J. Burnett + Mike Lowell would have been a good deal for us, in hindsight. But in general - it's a terrible idea. So the short answer is yes, I think most of our young players are untouchable, unless we got an amazing offer. Longoria for Tillman? Sure. But any realistic offer - probably not.

No untouchables. Except for maybe Markakis.

Tillman, Jones and Reimold for Heath Bell and Adrian Gonzalez tomorrow.

An interesting point to ponder. If the deadline were a month ago McPhail probably could have dealt Miggy or Ty or Millwood or all three, but as the season turns you're right...might as well keep them for what we'd get now. I do think the "core" is untouchable if you still buy into "the plan". But I do think dealing Guthrie if we have faith in the prospects is doable, or dealing one of the prospects like Tillman and Arietta and keeping Guthrie. Again, it all depends on the return. Remember, we do need basically an entire infield. If somebody wants Scott, he can go...same with Izturis. After all every time I check the minor league report Andino is getting Lugo worth anything????

Of course we have untouchables.

Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Nick Markakis, Jake Arrieta, and Chris Tillman all fit the description.

But I wouldn't give away Guthrie, Tejada or anyone else either. Dumping salaries now could help persuade Angelos to invest in a couple superstars this winter.

Getting another "potential-laden" minor leaguer is not going to help this team. Bowie, Frederick and Norfolk are full of players who can't dominate anywhere because they can't hit or pitch consistently.

Mainly, it is past the time we need to sign a couple of free agent hitters in the Gonzalez class. Just one is not going to get the job done.

Angelos needs to man-up.

I have heard several teams are watching Wigginton,and Guthrie.. Lugos value may increase if he continues his hitting lately. Patterson, Scott, Ohman, and Hendrickson may draw some interest too. I heard texas is one team and I really like Chris Davis 24yr. old 1B now back at AAA hitting 350 with 38 HR the last 2 years maybe the next Adrian Gonzalez blossom. I don't believe we trade our core of young players unless overwhelmed.. I think Tejada and Izturis are worth more to us unless offered more than I would expect.. I think Bell needs to go back to AAA to play every day and work on some things to see if he learned up here until September.. Millwood may allow you to trade Guthrie and provide the veteran presence the reast of the year. Guthries value nay be at its highest now..

Markakis and Wieters. Markakis has the skills and leadership with which you'd want to build your team around. A good defensive, switch hitting catcher who's bat will eventually warm up is not an easy find either, so Weiters stays. EVERYONE else, even as much as I like Jones, needs to step up or step out.

While I admit if a trade came along that was mind-blowing in value, i might change my thoughts but right now I feel Markakis, Matusz, Arrieta, Jones, and Wieters should be untouchable and anyone else is fair game

Also Joe from Jersey, the thing with Lugo is that essentially the Red Sox and Cardinals are essentially paying him to play for us - monetarily he gets very little we have to pay him, so if he performs, which hes doing right now, they'll keep him around

Unless they can get a proven hot commodity, I think the young core should remain untouchable. Otherwise, we are trading prospects for prospects. May as well hang on to what they have and see how they pan out unless they think they can pull off a trade that brings a lower-risk prospect to us in exchange for our higher-risk prospect(s). I include Markakis in this group as well even though he is a proven commodity now rather than a prospect. He is stepping into the leadership role, and this team has lacked that for some time. If you trade him away, the veteran presence on this team is a bunch of one-year deal guys who are marginal players or nearing the end of their careers (Izturis, Lugo, Tejada, etc.), especially with Roberts' future still up in the air. I'm also not a big fan of packaging a group of prospects for one big name. It has blown up on so many teams. Everyone here remembers Glenn Davis, and the Bedard deal may yet be the Mariners' version of Glenn Davis if Jones and Tillman pan out.

I heard this morning that the Cubs are shopping Ryan Theriot. That would not be a bad deal for this team (and it's possible since he is a Cub, Andy loves Cubs). He is a .300 hitting shortstop who steals 20-30 bases and can hit leadoff. With the Brian Roberts situation, how much longer can we expect him to be a top notch leadoff man especially after a serious back injury? If Roberts does come back the same player we now have a right handed number 2 hitter between Roberts and Markakis. He may not cost a major prospect either.

Amazing what insights you can have at 2:24 in the morning. I'd say if a first place team wants to trade you their All-Star cleanup hitter and All-Star closer for two guys currently in the minors and a center fielder you have to consider it. That the fans, manager, teammates and owner of the Padres would be in a race to see who would be the first to string up Jed Hoyer for such an idiotic move should be of no concern to the Orioles or their fans.

Nobody is untouchable on the Orioles, it just costs more to touch some of them than the others. Trading away the young established guys or ones counted on to be part of a competetive near future such as Markakis, Jones, Wieters, and Matusz indicates that the team is not expecting to be competitive for at least a few more years.

The one possible area where the Orioles could trade some of their young talent would be in pitching, if the team believed that enough of the "inventory" is close enough to being ready. If Pie had stayed healthy all year it would have made his value higher, either to the Orioles or another team, perhaps allowing them to consider moving Jones for the right deal.

But for me, I'd still primarily keep the young nucleus together and continue to try to surround them with better veteran talent, and get more legitimate position prospects into the system. Arrieta, Matusz, Tillman, Wieters, Jones, and Markakis you have to pretty much knock my socks off with an offer to get to serious discussions. Everyone else we can talk about but some guys may have more value to me for the future than what another team would want to give up for them.

Because of his youth, affordability, and time he will remain under a team's control, Adam Jones might bring back the best package. With both Pie and Patterson capable of manning CF, I would listen to offers for Jones. And if someone were to offer a young, promising 1B who is blocked at the major league level plus a slick fielding shortstop under team control for at least three years, I might have to pull the trigger.

Markakis, he's the only one worth building around, especially now that he's trying to be more of a verbal leader too.


I would add Brian Roberts and Zach Britton to the untouchables list. But I don't think the Orioles will make a major trade for an impact player before July 31 because they haven't selected a permannent manager yet. I expect there will be trades of some of their pending FAs to contending teams.

*sobs quietly*

The worst team in baseball (possibly worst team/org in pro sports) has still yet to sign any international players. YOu would think an org in this state would be proactive or antsy to do some things. Perhaps if they had more scouts they would have an idea of what players to go after. I also find it interesting how the local media fails to call out the O's in this regard. I was checking some other clubs papers & they all seem to comment on their home teams status in the international market. Even the winning teams who have a lot of other things to cover are discussing the int'l market. It just goes to show how Angelos has the local media in his pocket,,,meanwhile his cash cow of an org is booming. Good for him, glad he's happy

This is CRAZY!!

To put up with all this suffering and think about imploding by trading away the young talent we've worked to be in this position to have is utterly CRAZY! Before McPhail arrived the Orioles 'braintrust' was playing fantasy baseball - overpaying for veterans whose best days were behind them. McPhail sacrificed the present for the future (a future that isn't too far away now) and some want to jettison his work and start from scratch AGAIN?? Unbelievable.

This would be like flying ninth-tenth's through a thunderstorm and then turning back around to go through all of it again. Stay the course! Trust McPhail - he's by the far the best baseball mind we've had here in decades. We have between 3 and 5 starters with serious potential, and a future all-start catcher and two fringe all-stars in the outfield.

Patience! I can't believe some want to turn this ship around and go through all that pain again...

If you can't crack our enemic lineup, why trade for someone?
Jake Fox actually looks like a hitter, played in only 3/4 games, hits 2 LONG home runs, Palmer commented on his GOOD swing. Why is he not in the lineup, are all positions solid? HELLO!!!
Our interim mgr. no better than DT.
HELLO !!! Duh !!

I'll answer by asking another question. If I was the O's and had a great trade chip, what kind of players would I demand from the other team? (Hint; Adam Jones, Nick markakis, Matusz, etc.). So, since they are already here, why the bleep would I trade them? It is time to start adding players to a talented young base rather than subtracting the pieces we do have. It would be different if these guys were 33 or 35 but they are all young and under O's control for a nice amount of time. Keep them and build around them.

No contending club is going to deal a top player to anyone right now, not even the Padres, so there's no package that can be put together to get Adrian Gonzalez. Teams only give up prospects if they think the player / players received will put them over the top. That said, Jones probably fits this description best of those I'd be prepared to deal. but what contending team needs a centerfielder? I wouldn't trade Wieters or Matusz, who could provide both immediate and long term help, because I don't think there's much chance the Orioles could gain in the long term. Markakis has too much value to the Orioles franchise (off the field as well as on). I'd deal Tejada, Wigginton and Reimold for Domonic Brown but would the Phillies? What do the Orioles have that could persuade Tampa Bay to give up Hellickson and/or Jennings? The Mets could use Guthrie and Ohman but it's too late ; their most attractive trade chips, Ike Davis and Reuben Tejada, have come too far. Dealing prospects for prospects is an off-season kind of deal. And anything the Orioles can get -- for Tejada, Izturis, Scott, Guthrie, Wigginton, Ohman -- will not provide much relief from present miseries. There is no quick fix. McPhail is excessively cautious. That said, the Orioles should focus on development, go all-in for the future. Forget the minor league stats. Give Bell, Snyder, Patton, Reimold a chance. A real chance. I mean, really, there's no risk; the Orioles are losing anyway.

Nobody on this team is untouchable. In fact nobody in the entire league is untouchable. For the right price.

That being said I think that it would be foolish to start shipping off the young nucleus of players - Markakis, Wieters, Matusz, Jones ect., unless they got a massive return.

I think that the Orioles need to look at shipping off the majority of their players who are clearly NOT part of this team's future - Wigginton, Tejada, Patterson, Scott, Guthrie, Ohman. While these players are not nearly as valuable as the "nucleus" players, they still have value and are easily replaceable.

Absolutely no one is untouchable. The only thing the O's and their fans have to bank on is that the young players on this team turn into legitimate major leaguers. The players that have been mentioned already are those that we do not want to trade if at all possible, but, right now, no one is performing to expectations. Not even close. Jones is coming around to have an adequate offensive year (only adequate) but has become a defensive liability. Out of the other young guns, Markakis is the only one putting up mild numbers. Outside of another GM stepping up and offering a blockbuster trade, our best bet is to simply give this team of youngsters "one more year" and hope that they literally step up to the plate. We have NO BARGAINING CHIPS.

If the O's front office follows the pattern of the last 13 years, we can be assured that the trades and signings will less than great. Maybe they need a group of long-standing fans to serve on a committee to discuss the moves. Hey, nothing else has worked. It might help.

Arrieta is the only untouchable, in my opinion.

Markakis, though a relatively steady performer, is in no way a leader on this team. If he was a true leader he would have shown such traits long before now.

Markakis, Weiters and Matusz are the keepers. Everybody else can go. Let Jones blow bubbles and trip and fall for somebody else.

So far all of the player transactions have involved transients like Atkins. Maybe if one of the young players that is planning on being here awhile gets unloaded everybody else will step up the intensity and focus.
I hear from my kids that Adam Jones is out and about in town quite a bit. Maybe he parties too much. Maybe he should be sent a message one way or the other.

I don't think you ever say there's untouchables but trading those young guys now, would typically mean receiving an established player today, which doesn't make sense to me. Let's say we found some package of good young talent that nets us Adrian Gonzalez. If we have to subtract Adam Jones, Arrieta, etc etc to get there, does that really get us ahead? Considering that we don't have the prospects ready to step forward at those positions, I think it actually sends us backwards into the days of when we'd have a good Miguel Tejada surrounded by filler type of players.

I'm with you, David. Patience is the key to success, and calls for immediate trades and free agent hirings should be ignored, unless the goal is to continue this miserable level of play.

The young starting pitching (Arrieta, Bergesen, Tillman, Matusz and Britton) should be kept intact. Not more than one of them should go in any trade, and Arrieta and Matusz should be untouchable. Three quality position players with all-star potential (Markakis, Jones and Wieters) should be kept. Josh Bell probably will struggle for a couple more years before he becomes a force, but should be kept as well.

What the O's need are a 1st baseman and 2 slick-fielding middle infielders who can hit at least .250 and steal some bases. I'm afraid Brian Roberts is done as a force for the O's, and Scott Moore is not the slick fielder needed at 2nd base.

That means Tejada and Luke Scott are probably the best trade bait, and they could each probably bring a middle infielder the O's need, and maybe a prospect in addition. That would leave only a 1st baseman who can hit .270+ with some power to be chased in free agency.

The O's aren't as far from being a strong competitor as it would seem from this year's performance. Patience and prudence are indeed needed now.


Just trade everyone over 30! Tejada, Millwood, Wiggy, Julio Lugo, Jeremy Guthrie and Cesar Izurtis. We need a shortstop who can hit and someone who can actually hit 30 home runs in a season(not career). No need for any veterans who can't hit on a team like this. Cecil Fielder at first and a great shortstop(Young Cal Ripken style) is what this team needs. Then play all the young pitchers in the rotation: Arrieta, Tillman, Matusz, Bergeson and Britton with Bell at 3rd base. Bell and Miggy have the same amount of errors if you notice.

@ Joe Carper - That's "anemic," not "enemic." Oh, wait, maybe you did mean the adjective from "enema."

Back to the subject. If you mean "umtouchable" as in the Indian caste system, at 25 and 59, I'd say we have a whole bunch of untouchables.

the short answer is no. but the deal needs to make sense either baseball wise or financially.

Adrián González LOL
Why would the Padres do that?

In addition why would the Padres want any of our pitchers? They have one of the best pitching staffs in the league right now.

Second, if I am the Orioles I would not trade any player currently on the 25 or 40 man roster that was drafted by us.
N O.... NO!

Anyone else, I am open to trading.

As for AJ partying... so what!
I wouldn't trade him based on partying.
That's ridiculous. I do think AJ would improve 10 fold if he were on a good team.

Nick Markakis will turn 27 this offseason; for comparison's sake, that means that he's older than 2/3 of the Rays' lineup and 4/5 of their rotation.

In 2008, I expected that Markakis in his prime would have been a part of the next good Orioles team (in 2011-2012). Now, after the disastrous Brian Roberts extension, plus the failure to get a return on eminently tradeable veterans, and the disaster that is this year, AND the failure of our prospects to take a step forward -- I'm not so sure.

This team needs a talent infusion. As Dan's post correctly notes, no teams are lining up at the door to offer front-line prospects for guys who are spare parts at best.

That doesn't mean you don't trade Wigginton, Scott, Guthrie, and everybody you can get your hands on -- of course you do. You just do so knowing that these trades tend to bring in players like Justin Turner and Rhyne Hughes, not potential future superstars.

If you want to bring in A-level prospects, the only way to do that is to be willing to send a team a player they really, really want. And in looking at this team, the only player who fits that bill is Nick Markakis.

Nick Markakis cannot be traded. He is by far the most fan-loved Orioles in the last decade. Brian Roberts also can't go when he comes back from injury...again, much loved. Now, after them, I would consider all of them if it brought back something great.

For instance, these may be hard to pass up:

Jones for Smoak...Wieters for Santana...Anyone for Posey...I would heavily consider any pitcher other than Matusz for Ackley.

If I could get my hands on either of the Beckhams, Desmond Jennings, Alvarez, Bryce Harper, or Bumgarner I would.

As for current, longer-term major leaguers...I would be delighted to see Mark Reynolds make his way over and would give up anyone but Jones, Wieters, Markakis, Matusz, and Roberts to get him.

On a similar note, I think if Tejada is with the team at the end of the season...sign him for the rest of his career, make him the DH, and enjoy his attitude...he likes it in Baltimore for some reason.

the orioles need a "front-office" douche.

Only Brian Matusz but I would also like to keep Markakis and Wieters. The rest I would be to. However, I do not trust Andy MacPhail as I consider him to be a poor judge of talent.
I wish someone else was doing the trading.

God would the people who have this fantasy about Adrian Gonzales get real.

As for trading off young players for more young players what sense does that make when all your doing his trading potential for more potential.

Might as well see what the young ones do and aim higher than Garrett Atkins in the free agent market even if it means overpaying.

Babe Ruth was sold. Wayne Gretzky was sold. There is never such a thing as an untouchable

Keep Wieters, Arrieta, Markakis for sure.


Insanity to think that moving any of the youngsters will mean any "real" change in fortunes any sooner than the talent develops in to MLB guys.

totally insane to consider moving any of those guys for anything less than Miguel Cabrerra (at 27 years old and signed up for years).

Suffering a bad season to promote youth, only to turn around and re-work a plan that's hardly had time to gel...crazy.

I would trade absolutely anyone on this team for the right price. It would take a lot to pry Wieters or Matusz, but even they could go.

As Lucky Horseshoe pointed out, if Babe Ruth and Wayne Gretzky were traded/sold, nobody is untouchable.

No player in the MLB is untouchable. The Cardnals would trade Pujols for the right package.

Markakis should certainly fall under the heading of untouchable. Simply too solid offensively (not to mention defensively) to let go of -- especially considering how pitiful our offense currently is and thus would be without him.

Tillman is a guy I must say I'm not optimistic about. Get rid of him before he becomes the next Matt Riley -- overhyped and essentially useless as a trade chip.

Matusz and Arrieta, while not untouchable, are keepers -- for sure. And Jones I'd keep because I think he's having an off year but has an athletic and fledgling mental aptitude necessary to be successful at the game.

Let's not forget that when Babe Ruth was traded, he was at the beginning of what became the all-time homer king career. And the owner was a stupid, greedy Broadway show promoter who was losing his a** on bad management decisions. Gretzky was certainly not in his prime when he was traded, although he certainly had some good years after his trade to the Kings. As others have said here, trading promising prospects for other promising prospects doesn't make any sense. I really like Arrieta, tillman, Bergeson, Weiters, Jones, Bell, Markakis, Britton, Matusz, Hernandez and a few others. They must be kept.

Dan W,
To a certain extent I don't care that AJ, as you call him, parties either. I am getting kind of tired, however, of seeing his number as he trots back to the center field fence yet again. Every time I watch a game, he has misplayed another ball. Therefore, I question his situational awareness and focus.
While he's hitting .275 or so he has six or seven times as many strike outs as walks. For someone batting anywhere besides fourth or fifth, this is unacceptable. I think he could use a kick in the pants. I agree that he would be better on a contender; but, who on this crew wouldn't?

Markakis, Weiters and the young pitchers. Anyone else can go. Start over and play your AAA prospects this year to see what we can salvage to move up next year. Roberts is done, dump the contract.

I would only move markakis because he is the one player on this roster who could bring you back three high end prospects or closer to major league ready talent

I agree with Connolly's list with 2 exceptions. One, I would move Tillman as part of a deal for a star hitter. I would not move Matusz or Arrieta.

Two, I would move Jones. If he ACTUALLY played solid defense, I would keep him. But I wouldn't hesitate to trade him to anyone who THINKS he's a good CF. At bat, I think his best case scenario is that he becomes Torii Hunter one day (sans great glove) - low avg, good power, enough walks to get good pitches to hit. That's BEST case.

I wouldn't move Guthrie either unless blown away. Avg major league starters make $10M+ as free agents. He should stay as long as he's cheap.

Gimme a Dos Equis. The only untouchables is Clancy the beer man, the lemonade guy and the kid who sprints from the bullpen to the dugout w/the relief pitcher's jacket.

Untouchable? No one if the package is right. It should be something special for us to trade wieters, matusz, arrieta or markakis.
But if the deal is right, do it.

Stop serving the guy who suggested SD would trade bell & gonzo for anyone on our team.

There should be no untouchables for this organization. I'd like to see Markakis stay here but realistically if you can get something in return, why not? Sell everyone, start over, it ain't working.

They are all untouchable. No other team in their right mind would touch them. That being said, if we wanted Gonzalez, we'd have to give up Weiters and Tilman. You can't get Gonzalez for a bunch of clowns.

Untouchables: Jones, Markakis, Pie, Patterson, Matusz. The Orioles have to learn to keep a core group. We can't keep trading away players every year and then wait several years to see some other players bloosom or wait for some veteran on another team to save the day. Anyone notice that the Orioles are scoring more runs since Samuel took over. Markakis who needed to look in the mirror for a poor performance last month seems to be doing better. How many runs does Jones need to drive in over Markakis to be accepted by this city of biggoted fans!


I think the Orioles management should take cash for their pending FAs that they don't intend to bringing back. And use the cash to sign their top 10 draft picks. They won't get much for Uehara or Millwood because neither looks injury free at this point. Other than Wigginton or Tejada, they don't have a pending FA who will bring them a "major league ready" prospect. So why not get the cash to ensure signing of your top 10 draft picks.

maybe the wives but other then that... Nobody

jay malzone...

only the young pitching,
everybody else is fair game.

disappointed in adam jones
can see why seattle let him
loose.. another player who
has potential but yet to
be a consistent all-star...

tejada a nice gesture to bring
him back but his heydey was
in oakland on steroids....

You're kidding right? When you are on pace to be the worst team ever. That's EVER...No player is safe. I have not followed the team since Rip retired. That's right. I grew up with the storied Orioles that were the class of MLB and the envy of everyone. Earl Weaver, Brooks, Frank, Boog, Paul, Don.... 4 twenty game winners in one season...THOSE Orioles. This team is nothing but an imposter, starting with the ownership on down. They have disgraced a proud franchise and it's not something I care to validate by following any longer. Baseball is done for me. I have the Ravens. That's it. the management, get a new owner, dump virtually the entire roster, clean out the farm system (they still have a farm system right?), and rebuild it to be a solid organization. Play hard and love the game. Then MAYBE some of us will come back. ...

Markakis is the only position player I would deem untouchable. Add Matusz, Hernandez, Tillman, Arietta and Simon among the pitchers.
#! we need a slugger and 1st baseman. Do whatever needs to be done to work a deal for Adam Dunn. Imagine his LH bat at the Yard.

I've said time after time, that we just need to buy some bats, maybe trade for one or two. My theory is you can always buy bullpen vets who are gonna get the job done. The bottom line is what happened in 04 and 05 when we bought bats. Remember Tejada, Lopez, Palmerio, and we tried to get Bad Vlad. But we got those 3 and were i first place at all star break but the pitching cought up to us after the all star break. We need to cut ties with players like Mike Gonzalez, Lugo, Izturis.

I think we should trade for either Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez. I prefer Gonzalez (maybe a bit cheaper cause Scott Boras isnt his agent i dont think, also probably less heath problems). Then we should sign Adan Dunn at the end of the year. We should trade Izturis for a GOOD BATBOY. Trade Lugo for a BOX OF BASEBALLS. Trade Luke Scott for pitching. If the Yankees wait to offer Jeter a contract at end of year offer Jeter double what the Yankees do. Wouldn't he look good wearing Baltimore on the front of his jersey.

I think we should flush Kranitz down the toilet. PALMER FOR PITCHING COACH.
A manger that will bunt when needed, have faith in starter and not be Mr. Nice guy.

People do not understand that we have the RICHEST owner in baseball i REPEAT the RICHEST owner in basball, with the tobacco settlement. But we dont spend money, beats me? Here is what our line up should look like next year.

1- Roberts (2B)
2- Jeter or Rolllins or Reyes (SS, anyone BUT Izturis)
3- Markakis (RF)
4- Gonzalez or Fielder (1B)
5- Wieters (C)
6- Jones (CF)
7- Dunn (DH)
8- Tejada or Bell (3B)
9- Reimold or Pie (Pie is better if he can stay healthy)

^^^^^Now anyone that doesn't think this lineup will win or compete with Yankees or Red Sox is CRAZY. It would be just as good if not BETTER.

Thank you, look for me at the ball park with a bag over my head.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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