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November 6, 2010

Comparing the Orioles' 2010 roster construction to 2007

The Orioles’ 2010 season summary is out, and one of the things that struck me was the current roster construction.

The Orioles used 45 players this year -- certainly not ideal, but not unusual. They used 48 last year, 42 in 2008 and 49 in 2007.

What’s stark, though, is the way last year’s team was built in comparison to say, 2007, the year of the great upheaval when Andy MacPhail came in as president of baseball operations and Dave Trembley took over as manager in the middle of the season.

In 2007, 11 players who played at least one game for the Orioles were homegrown. That is the same number as this year.

In 2007, nine of the Orioles had been minor league free agents and four players were claimed on waivers. This year it was six and four. So things are about the same until you get to trades and major league free agents -- wow, what a difference.

That 2007 team had 12 major league free agents on it; this one had seven. And how about this? That 2007 team used nine players acquired via trade. This one had 17.

We all knew MacPhail attempted to build this team and its farm system by trading veterans for a bevy of younger players. But it’s also important to note how much he has gotten away from buying free agents -- or specifically giving them long-term deals.

Consider this: Of the Orioles’ seven major league free agents in 2010, only one is guaranteed a job in 2011: Michael Gonzalez.

One other thing of note about the 2010 roster construction: The Orioles’ drafts produced 11 players for the 2010 team. But the amateur international system -- we’re not counting Japanese pro Koji Uehara here -- didn’t get one into the majors this past season. That has to be fixed.

2007’s international output was dismal, too, but at least there were two nondrafted free agents that made the Orioles: Dominican pitchers Daniel Cabrera and Radhames Liz.

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 7:00 AM | | Comments (7)


In other words, he's made the team payroll cheaper. What a shock.

Why do you bring up things I've worked so hard to block out? ;)


Could we get a brief summary of amateur international players who have been signed by the Orioles in the last three years and their progress thus far in the farm system? Not surprising that the Orioles have been failures in this important aspect of the game... it is the quintessential open market. Where as the draft and other aspects of the business actually give incentive for losing, signing amateur free agents is a pure measure of scouting ability and financial resources.

Bottom line is the team lost 3 more games in 2010 than 2007.

Speaking of international players, the O's failed miserably when they should have went after Aroldis Chapman.

Jeff, I'd like to see the success stories from around the majors that shows how unsigned international free agents have fared.

I still like this squad more than 2007.

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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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