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December 21, 2010

Currently at impasse with LaRoche, O's turn attention to Lee

While the Orioles haven't abandoned hope of signing free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, their inability to get a deal done has prompted them to renew talks with Derrek Lee, according to multiple sources.

As of late last week, the Orioles' sole focus for their first base vacancy appeared to be on LaRoche, who hit 25 homers and drove in 100 runs for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season. An agreement with the left-handed hitter was believed to be imminent, though the two sides have been unable to agree on a deal.

It's unclear whether that is because LaRoche is reportedly seeking a three-year deal while the Orioles would prefer not giving him three guaranteed years, or LaRoche simply has better, more lucrative offers, and doesn't want to play in Baltimore.

Either way, the renewed talks this week with Lee's agent, Casey Close, would appear to indicate that the Orioles aren't as confident as they once were in signing LaRoche.

If the Orioles cannot sign either LaRoche or Lee, they could shift their focus to adding a designated hitter, such as Vladimir Guerrero or Jim Thome, and then moving Luke Scott or Nolan Reimold to first base. That, however, wouldn't be their first choice as manager Buck Showalter is a strong proponent in having good defense at first base.

Both LaRoche and Lee are considered above-average defensive players.

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 3:59 PM | | Comments (149)
        

Comments

If they can't land LaRoche or Lee, Andy should get on the phone with Dayton Moore and try to work out a deal for Kila Ka'aihue.

He'd be a better option there defensively than either Scott or Reimold.

Up the ante and buy LaRoche!

this is utterly ridiculus and very disapointing that andy macphail cannot get the job done. now that this has happened i look for the nationals to sing laroche. it is absolutley inexcusable on andy macphail's part to not have adam laroche signed. if might sound foolish but in this situation an offer should have been made that adam laroche could not refuse. to me it seems dispicable for such a thing as this to happen

Chris in Hawaii - It would be cool to have a native Hawaiian on the team. But did you notice the comment about Buck valuing D at 1B?

Jeff,

Logic tells us that if LaRoche's agent is still negotiating with the Orioles he would consider coming to Baltimore for the right deal. So I think we can rule out the fact that at this late date LaRoche and his agent are using the Orioles for bargaining leverage and that he would not come to Baltimore under any circumstances.

Other media have also reported that LaRoche wants a three year deal. Once again Andy Macphail appears to be penny wise and pound foolish in the negotiations. Nothing new here, that's Andy's style. Andy prefers trading for players, not paying free agents unless he thinks he got the better end of it, as he thinks he does in trades.

This is getting ridiculous, in fact ridiculous happened for the Orioles over 10 years ago. Why is losing LaRoche seem like such a disappointment for the Insider and some Orioles fans (Enzo where are you)? Actually getting Lee might be a good thing, if we can convince him to sign with the Orioles. Then we go out and trade for Billy Butler and he could be our full time DH and share 1st base with Lee. Maybe Lee could help him develop into at least an average fielder, if not a good one since he only wants a one year deal. Butler is much too young to be a DH in my opinion. Chris in Hawaii we don’t agree on Kila Ka'aihue.I think Butler is a much better hitter for sure. Not Brooks got me thinking about the line-up the other night.
1.)Roberts 2.)Markakis 3.)Butler 4.)Reynolds 5.)Lee 6.) Jones 7.)Hardy

That’s a good hitting line-up and Lee I believe still can glove down at 1st which would make Showalter happy
Getting Butler in a trade would make me happy and I am willing to bet other fans of the Orioles as well!
Hard to believe I would have Wieters batting 8th LOL, aye carumba!

PS To Heck with Gregg too! Oi!

Oh foolish leonard you ignored my last question so i guess we will go through this again.

Since you say it is despicable they havent signed him what do you suggest the offer for LaRoche should be. Or have you considered that he has no real interest in signing with the orioles and is using them?

Probably not because you are a clueless "fan" that hates the team he says he roots for.

So again genius clue us in to what the great Leonard would do, or are you just going to mindlessly complain about the orioles if so, maybe Schmuck's blog is where you should go you and Wayne would get along well, until then get a clue and then say something

Who did not see this coming? It doesn't take 3 weeks to sign a guy like Laroche.

For the life of me I just can't figure the Orioles out. There is no exuse for not
signing this guy.

I'm finally starting to realize that this organization is pathetic.

Sign Lee! Look at the stats! One off season (.260BA...better than any O 1b in recent memory) after several stellar seasons does not a has been make. Lee is the one legit cleanup hitter left and he aint no Atkins to youall squirrel/Wayne types!

leonard,

The only thing "utterly ridiculus and very disapointing" is your ignorance of how contract negotiations work.

And yes, it sounds extremely foolish to make an offer that an average player like Adam LaRoche can't refuse. Pay him a contract that nobody else would touch for 3 or 4 years? Essentially bid against ourselves because some trolls are upset? Brilliant.

It looks like he is playing us to get a bigger offer from someone else. Smart move by Andy to say enough and move on to Lee. I'd rather have Lee on a 1 year deal anyway.

Sounds to me like MacPhail is calling LaRoche's bluff ...

The O's have the best offer, and both sides know it. LaRoche is playing hard to get, trying to squeeze a few more dollars and/or an extra year out of the deal, and the O's are showing him there are other girls at the dance, too.

My guess is these two end up going home together when all is said and done.

This could actually work out very nicely for both the O's and Nats. The Orioles need a right handed bat and a veteran leader. The Nationals need a left handed hitter to go along with the right handed hitters Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth. Let's hope Derrek Lee to the Orioles and Adam LaRoche to the Nationals happens!

This could actually work out very nicely for both the O's and Nats. The Orioles need a right handed bat and a veteran leader. The Nationals need a left handed hitter to go along with the right handed hitters Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth. Let's hope Derrek Lee to the Orioles and Adam LaRoche to the Nationals happens!

Bring back Calivin Pickering!!

Bring back Calvin Pickering!!!

LaRoche had an upside; Lee does not. He is old and injured and by June we'll wonder if we have re-signed Garrett Atkins.

Also, a 3-year deal would have given us a chance to look to the future and make some decisions as to what to do with first base for the long term.

But Lee for the season will only see the team in this same situation next year, And no, we are not going to get Pujols. No way, no how.

I don't blame LaRoche for not wanting to come to a team that hasn't had a winning record for that past 13 years and has come in last place the past 3 years. Orioles will have to over pay for any good free agent(see Nats and Werth). This is not cap and gown stuff Andy.

This is Os disappointing to hear. All these years of losing seasons, decreasing fan interest and attendance, no significant FA want to come here and Andy is afraid to sign LaRoche to a 3 year deal for 15-20 million. Come on! The Os fans are tired of rebuilding. We want to win and LaRoche has a proven record and we want proven players. We have some good young arms and players. The fans want a competitive team and we want it now. I could care less as a full season ticket holder of 30 years if they overspend a little. They owe it to the loyal fans to put a competitive team on the field this year! Sign LaRoche! Get it done Andy!

LaRoche seems like the tier of player that we could "afford" to "overpay" a little in order to get him in the lineup. If not, or if we're tightening up over an extra year or a few million, then you have to chalk it up to simple mismanagement, once again. Derek Lee is a riskier, lower-ceiling option.

For the fun of it add up all the money MacPhail has used to sign all our major league free agents for the 2011 season.

Bet it doesn't come close to the $18 mil Yankee luxury tax.

I wish the O's would just pull their offer for LaRoche. It's not getting done, so it's time to move on to the Derrick Lee option. Last year, Lee had a below average year, but was injured. If he bounces back, he'll be a better offensive player than LaRoche.

Andy has his reasons for not offering LaRoche the farm. Ask yourself why LaRoche, an above avg fielder and decent run producer, can't hold a job. He must have unspoken issues that Andy doesn't want to be stuck with if he gets an uneatable contract and becomes a disruptive force.

Fang,
You don't have upside at 31/32..
LaRoches best season was 5 6 years ago with Atlanta.. He's topped out at 25 HRs/year since then .. And you want him to be your first baseman for 3 years, in the AL East?!?! This is the same player who couldn't stay with the Red Sox for more than a month isn't it? I'm not anti LaRoche.. but come on guys this isn't Pujols as some of you are making him out to seem. And guess what, if we sign him for three years, we aren't going to go after Pujols or Fielder next year..
You dont OVERpay for players.. you just have to give them the best offer.. You think the Nats will be happy with Werth in 4 years? Think Nat fans will be happy when they aren't signing any 2015 FA b/c they are tied up with Werth and whatever pitcher they sign?

this is utterly ridiculus and very disapointing that andy macphail cannot get the job done. now that this has happened i look for the nationals to sing laroche. it is absolutley inexcusable on andy macphail's part to not have adam laroche signed. if might sound foolish but in this situation an offer should have been made that adam laroche could not refuse. to me it seems dispicable for such a thing as this to happen

Posted by: leonard

___________

What is far more ridiculous and despicable is your spelling. Ask your mommy for spell check for Christmas paulie, brummie, er..."leonard"

By the way, get your facts straight. The O's upped their offer to three years from two, and also from $15-18 million to $21. Only IDIOTS believe that LaRoche is worth more. Screw LaRoche, move on Andy and give the money to someone more deserving. Don't be taken hostage by an average player like LaRoche. Luke Scott put up the same numbers in a limited role; in fact had more home runs than LaRoche. I'd take the $21 million off the table and go back to $15. Let him see how much more he can get elsewhere.

Neither Lee nor LaRoche is a guy we want at 1B long term.

I'm much happier to have Lee with a 1 year deal than to lock in a guy like LaRoche for 3.

Ken Rosenthal had an article about 3 months ago regarding a college kid by the name of Steve Gianoulos, who supposedly interviewed with Angelos back in 2006, for the Vice President of Baseball Operations job. Question is, why wasn't there anything brought up regarding Mr. Gianoulos by the Baltimore Sun? Is there anything that the Baltimore Sun, or anyone else can comment on regarding this, or is this another worthless article by Rosenthal?

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Jeff Z's reply: I'm not familiar with the story so I can't comment. But I'll look into it.

That is a very interesting point, Jeff.

Do we have any idea on who this guy is or why the Sun never commented on it? Or did they?

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Jeff Z's reply: If you are speaking about that gentleman who Ken Rosenthal supposedly wrote about three months ago, no, I have no idea. I missed that story so I don't want to comment on something I didn't see or don't remember. But I'll check it out.

even with a hand injury, lee put up some decent numbers. he's a veteran right handed bat with good power that plays excellent defense at his natural position- first base. the Os could do worse.
Lee is nowhere near Atkins in any way, shape, or form..

Once again we get excited that we might sign someone who we revel in their past stats. We get excited about picking up a mediocre player that if they were that good they would be signed by someone else by now. Now we will move onto Lee who we will all say is a better choice now that all the other options have been signed away by other competing teams, and when Lee signs somewhere else we will act is if he wasn't really what we wanted, and move on to the next below average player meanwhile pumping up the fact of the one good year that they may have had in their past. All while pumping up all this great young talent that we have that has never proven themselves and will prove to be like the young players of the past that didn't pan out and we have nothing to show for. Another great year in Birdcrapland. I like so many others cannot wait until someone with some common sense and will to win takes over this team

Adam LaRoche and his agent are doing what they should be doing. working the market. I like that the O's are standing firm. They have offered him fair market value and honestly, we need RIGHT HANDED POWER more than LEFT HANDED anyhow, so move on to Lee on a one year, incentive laden deal. He hits for better average anyhow.

I agree with most of the posters on here-it is beyond ridiculous that the O's dont have LaRouche signed by now. Good grief c'mon already. Everything takes sooo long with this team. Other teams sign players in a matter of days. We need a first baseman desperately and this has been dragging on for weeks. C'MON!!!!!
As for Lee, I think he has been a real good player but at 35 his best days might be clearly behind him so I'm leery about signing him. Maybe go out and sign Vlad?

hey nick, how about a link....nah, much easier to just post and let people hunt around for it. did stevie go on to do wonderful things in the baseball world and we just haven't heard about it, and somebody missed the boat on another boy wonder?

Is anyone really surprised by any of these developments? Honestly?!

Same ____, different day for this "once proud" franchise...

GOOD. Much prefer Lee to LaRoche. Give me the OBP and the 1-year deal that Lee wants.

No to lee, and the others
Make a call to Laroche"What is it you want for a signature immediately". If no answer, no signature or something ridiculous than move on. with Scott / Riemold at first base. Get another bat with free agents to work the bench and dh.

Proving to everyone how great we are at negotiating has won 13 years of losing. A mesage to season ticket holders, the Orioles are still the bad news bears and will never win under this ownership. Open the books Pete and show us how poor the Birds are while the Nats with only one third of MASN have no problem signing Dunn last year and Werth this year! Amazing!

@Jim66,

I kinda remember the name. Believe he was an intern with Tampa, so I believe this is somewhat true. But yet again, Angelos denies everything Rosinthal reports and the Sun fails to comment, so who knows.

Jeff,

What's the problem with signing Thome to play first base? He has over 1100 games at first with a .994 fielding percentage?

Jim Carter

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Jeff Z's reply: I think I remember two years ago when Thome was traded late in the season to the LA Dodgers, him saying that he just couldn't play first base. He was pretty much a pinch hitter off the bench for the Dodgers. If he couldn't play first then, I doubt that he could now.

The O's need to get Lee for 1 year maybe 2 at most. Next year take alook at the free agents or possible trades and go from there. The other option is to over pay for a head case like Beltran stick him at 3rd and then move Reynolds.

I would love to see Vlad in the DH role far more than LaRouche at 1B. Vlad is one of the most underappreciated FA's this year. Guy consistantly puts up numbers and would destroy Camden Yards with regularity.

This might be a reverse ploy to get LaRoche. The contract talks have stalled with LaRoche so the O's make it public that they are going after Lee. If there are no takers for LaRoche at the current asking price, he might bite and sign. If not, LaRoche may not get a better deal. Just a thought.

For all those looking for info on the Gianulos person there is a comment on Rosinthals twitter page, don't know if its same person.

The problem in this particular negotiation was the initial LOWBALL offer the O's made. Knowing what we know now re: Laroche being worth about 7Mil last year before his agent messed it upand only got 4.5Mil....We should have started with at least 7 or 7.5Mil per yr to begin with, especially in this yrs FA market.. Now he's gonna make us pay by not signing here. Watch the Nats sign him for 8 or 9 MIl per yr. I hope we get Lee, but he's probably insulted by our 'til now lack of interest. Yikes. Way to get it done - pisses me off.

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Jeff Z's reply: I'm curious, what was the initial low ball offer? I ask because I haven't been able to get any of these offers confirmed or denied so I was wondering what is the initial one?

What a bunch of whining babies. I would have used a word starting with "p" but this is a family show. It doesn't matter which one of these guys they get or even if they get neither and sign Cantu and Vlad instead. None of these guys is a long-term answer and any combination of those guys would give you about the same thing--a solid player who would be an upgrade over Ty Wiggington. Quit whining. It's December.

have we all forgot about brandon snyder who was with the team what are the chances he can get a full time job in spring training jeff

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Jeff Z's reply: Chances are slim unless they don't add somebody of significance.

@TomD

While Kila won't be a gold glover any time soon, I don't think he'll hurt you at 1B. He's got more defensive value than Butler. His UZR/150 last year was a pretty good 11.9, though that was off a small 32 game sample size. Still that's probably more accurate than his prior showing given that that was extremely limited (1 game started in 2008 yielding a UZR/150 of -34.2).

One major reason I like Kila over Butler is cost. It would cost less to acquire him than Butler given his age.

The other thing I like about him is his eye. You don't get a lot of players whose walk #s are around their K #s. And he's got decent power as well. He's not a mind blower, but to me he's a Youkilis type. Anyone who tells you they wouldn't want a Youkilis on their team is a liar.

Andy MacPhail is always a day late and a dollar short.His inability to make impact moves have grown old and he needs to go.Great Baseball knowledge,Zero sense of urgency,zero expectations to deliver a winning team,zero ability to excite the fans in the offseason,zero ability to market a business and maximize revenue.This team outdrew both the Yankees and Red Sox in the mid ninety's.Either the Orioles used to play there home games in New York or had a General Manager(Pat Gillick) who had the ability to do the things listed above.

PROOF that McFail is horrible.

Mike; It's easy to spend other people money. If LaRoche does't want to come , we don't want him.For what he was offer. I don't want any player that doesn't want to play for the orioles.I bet when we start wining a lot of people will want to come. Then I would turn them down.
Curt S.S. Md.

Speaking of Lee ... Does anybody remember Lee May? Seems back then they were saying the sam things about May that they are saying about Lee, and MAy went on to have a few good years with the O's

Where do you clowns get this idea that we "need" right-handed power ?

Power is power.
Clutch hitting is clutch hitting.
LaRoche hit over .300 in 2010 w/RISP.

There is no issue concerning whether he or anyone else bats left or right-handed.

Lee shouldn't even get a second look.
LaRoche is the man we need.

He's the missing puzzle piece.
For once, give a player what he's asking, Andy.

Almost Dead Bird

Speaking of Derrick Lee ... Does anybody remember Lee May? Seems like back in the day they were saying the same things about May that they are now saying about Derrick Lee,(old, best years behind him etc.) and May went on to have a few good years with the O's. Lightening could strike twice!!

This is great news. LaRoche for 3 years would have been a mistake. Derrek Lee might be a better player -- his peak seasons are better than LaRoche's.

I'm not sure why Showalter cares so much about first-base defense, because to me the best move would be to sign Jim Thome to DH and put Scott or Reimold at first. But Showalter deserves deference in this area if possible, given the lack of a clear-cut superior path.

Also, why all the MacPhail hatred? Missing Syd Thrift and all the success he achieved?

whoa, petey interviewed an intern in 2006 and the sun did not report it? WHOA!!!!. Again for effect WHOA!!!!! Fortunately, I have a great lawyer and i'll be bringing a class action lawsuit to protect all of us from such bad behavior. You can all thank me later. Jeff, would you like to be excluded from the lawsuit? Kindly let me know and I'll conveniently forget to mention your name while running down the list of those responsible for this abject negligence. Rest assured everyone, I got this one covered.

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Jeff Z's reply: You're the man, Jim. Merry Christmas.

@ johnny c,

he aint no Atkins to youall squirrel/Wayne types! Not sure what that's supposed to mean?!?! Since you can't read so good, let me copy n paste the line up that I posted earlier!

1.)Roberts 2.)Markakis 3.)Butler 4.)Reynolds 5.)Lee 6.) Jones 7.)Hardy
Do you see who's batting 5th?!?!

@Chris In Hawaii if Kila Ka'aihue was so good why was Kila playing behind Butler? What really vexes me the most is that Orioles could have drafted Butler in 2004. Now whether he would have blossomed like he did as a hitter like he has in KC is another debate for another day. In defense though of the O's the Rays drafted him too in the 1st round # 8, just like the O's did.

@Jeff Z, my question to you is do you know what the O's and Rays saw in Wade? The guy did nothing in 5 + years in various organizations. Yet two teams tried for him and several other through the years.

Now, come on Andy Mac and the rest of the O's organization that's involved in the decision making process, get Lee and Butler in here and you will save the 2011 season! If you don't your careers/credibility is caput, just like Wade T's is! One thing though, maybe Butler is staying in KC, here's a story about him commenting on Greinke
http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/12/20/billy-butler-zack-greinke-didnt-want-to-be-here/
I still say lets go for it, or at least have a definitive no from Dayton Moore, that you're not trading him! Oi!!!!!!

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Jeff Z's reply: I wasn't covering the team back when they drafted Wade Townsend, but he was a well-decorated college pitcher. There were a lot of teams that liked him, not just the Orioles. I think teams feel that injuries contributed to his failure to live up to his billing.

Macphail can sign LaRoche, If he wants to. He could have signed him last year for an extra million and crowed about the fact that he didn't want to overpay. That hubris on Andy's part is probably spilling over into the negotiations.

Can somebody please, please tell me what Andy Macpahil has done for this organization since June 2007? And please will Andy's family and Oriole employees stop trying to justify the awful job that your relative{and boss} has done to restore the franchise? It stunk when he got here and there is no noticeable improvement in the front office, the farm system, the scouting department, and the product on the field at the major league level.

Angelos will probably give Andy a bonus when his contract runs out for not spending the money necessary to make the Orioles competive in the AL East.

Andy had plenty of time. The Orioles needed a dynamic and younger GM and Angelos hired a relic hanging on for one more payday. I think you are eligible for your pension next year Andy. Enjoy.

lee would be a better signing. we don't need another left handed bat in this lineup.
sign lee for a year with an option. it's fine. the guy stays healthy.

it's probably more fun to blow this up way out of perspective and complain more about macphail and angelos though. how dare they not sign adam laroche!

Sign Millar. Enough said.

It's good to see the O's look to other options at this point. Would love to see them sign Lee and either Vlad or Thome. I wanted to see LaRoche here but you can't wait forever on him.

Orioles could sign Lou Gehrig in his prime for 2011 and the best it would get them would be third place, around 12-15 games out.

Only way out of this 13-year horror show is to load up on pitching, and then look for more pitching after that.

Once again, the MacPhail bashing continues even though none of you know the specifics of the offers. Could it be that LaRoche would rather play elsewhere? Or do all of you armchair GM geniuses have the gift of foresight? I swear, it's like reading the posts of petulant grade schoolers.

@Squirrel

Kila has been playing behind Butler because Butler has a higher ceiling and is younger. However, because of this, you'll have to give more to get him.

And like I've said before, his defense is not so good. He has gotten incrementally better every year, but last year (his best) he put up a UZR/150 of -3.2. To compare, Luke Scott put up the same last year and he has hardly ever played the position before.

I'm not saying Butler isn't a good hitter when I advocate Kila over him. What I'm taking into account is what you would have to give up to acquire each of them and how they would service the Orioles. Because Kila is older and will be the odd man out after Hosmer comes up, he's more attainable. KC really has no reason to trade Butler. Once Hosmer comes up, Butler can be their DH and provide just as much value since they aren't exactly paying him an arm and a leg.

It cracks me up to see people getting angry and claiming McPhail has done nothing this offseason.
All he did was upgrade at short and third and he'll upgrade at first soon.
Did you all not see that the O's were considered "winners" at the winter meeting?!?
I will say this, the guys who are complaining on here now should not be on here in June praising the way the O's are playing.

I don't like the idea of Lee here at all. I can see him coming in and tanking. I also heard he doesn't even want to be here. I say just go all in for one of these two because if we end up with neither I'm going to be PISSED.

I am glad that the Orioles are holding firm on LaRoche, especially if the issue is a 3rd year. That's a long commitment for a player who would be 3rd best (at most) in the division at his position. I don't understand why so many people on here think signing LaRoche is some barometer for the Orioles' front office's eagerness or competence. If the 3 years, $21 million rumor is correct, I would say that's at or just below market rate, but not way below.

I knew that my post would cause Andy's family and Oriole employees to come out of the woodwork, i.e. "Sick of you All'

Why would any REAL fan care about what is said about a GM who has continued the losing tradition?


I'm BAAACK!!

I think the most frustrating part about this is the lack of fast action. Other teams seemingly know what they want and the go and get it done -- even if the contracts are slightly over valued - they get their guy(s) and move along. The Orioles, on the other hand, appear to sit around on their hands while they let everyone around them take all the candy.

I understand the farm system is weak. That eliminates the ability to set-up fancy trades.

But I can't believe that the Orioles don't have the $ to spend. Is the organization not one of five Major League clubs to have majority ownership of a regional sports network? And don't the Orioles have funds coming in from the Nats TV revenue for the next 15 years (or so)?

How is it then, that the Nationals have deep pockets... and feel they have a deep enough fan market... to be aggressive?? I don't understand.

The answer is either that Angelos is so cheap that he will never pump serious cash into the payroll... OR they think their fan base is gone along with the revenue that's attached to it (which, if they spent... it would come back IMO).

Jeff... do you have a good feel as to why the O's appear dead in the water?

It is incredibly difficult and frustrating to be an Orioles fan.

MAKE A FINAL OFFER TO LAROCHE FOR 3/21M
2 YR GRNTD/3RD-PLAYER OPTION

IF NOT, GRAB VLAD LIKE PRONTO-DH, LEE-1B, BOTH 2/YR DEALS @ 6-9M/IF INCENTIVES REACHED

TRADE SCOTT FOR GARZA OR CONTACT OAKLAND ABOUT GONZALES OR OTHER

YES! IF I WERE GM OF THE O'S...GIVE ME THE CHECKBOOK--NEXT!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Anyone who thinks its good that we aren't going to go out and sign Laroache should consider this. We will never sign Prince Fielder and Laroache's annual home runs from 2005 to 2010 are 20, 32, 21, 25, 25 and 25. No Oriole including Nick or Luke can match that consistancy. He's a good defensive first baseman.He just turned 31 years old and we're complaining about a 3 year contract which ends when he's 34 years old. That is laughable. We should do what it takes to sign him instead of making excuses as we always have while everyone else signs their main targets.

Mr. Horn? Paging Mr. Horn? Sam Horn?

I agree with others who say that LaRoche and Lee aren't long term answers, but can we sign Prince Fielder or Pujols and his $30mil/yr next year? I think they missed the boat with Adrian Gonzalez, and probably should have given up a starter and other prospects for him

Hi Jeff,

Any news on acquiring a veteran starter? If there are any plans, would you know who is high on the Os list? I see that Brandon Webb (former Cy Young) is still available. I know he's been injured the past few years but I think he would be a good addition to the team. Also, would Carl Pavano be a good one too?

Thanks for the info and Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

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Jeff Z's reply: Nothing new on that front. Freddy Garcia has been the popular name recently, but I'm told that I shouldn't go too far down that road. They've talked to Pavano's agent, but I've never considered them a serious suitor. Also would be shocked if Webb agrees to pitch in the American League East.

I'll bet anything that LaRoche will play 1B for the San Diego Padres.
Mark my word.
McPhail could have signed several players, but he refuses to pay more than he feels like a player is worth. Can't wait to see if Angelos fires McPhail for his inability to produce in 3 years.

I for one totally dig Chris in Hawaii's idea about grabbing Kila Ka'aihue. He's really old for a prospect, and his overall numbers last year in the bigs weren't solid, but his minor league numbers are phenomenal, and his sept/oct line last year(18RBI, 16BB, 6HR, .878 OPS) suggest that a breakout season is very likely in 2011.

Problem is that he's probably the best First Base option for the Royals going into the season. They relegated Butler to DH during the final month of the season and gave the First Base job to Ka'aihue, who turned in his best month in professional baseball. Having Butler and Ka'aihue as their First Base/DH tandem is one of the few things right with the Royals, so the only chance the Orioles would have much of a shot at acquiring him reasonably cheap would be if the Royals didn't know how good they have it(which is VERY possible). A positive factor in all of this, of course, is the fact that mega prospect First Baseman Eric Hosmer is not too terribly far away from claiming the job at the big league level, which will eventually force their hand and make them move one of these guys, Ka'aihue being the one they'd most likely move.

I'd love to see the move, but it unfortunately seems slightly out of line with the way MacPhail is thinking right now. He's been taking chances on guys with extensive prior big league experience rather than taking shots at guys who are unproven but have promise. That might simply be his reaction to the "landscape" of the market right now, but it still doesn't seem all to likely the Royals would be eager to make this move at this point. Kila Ka'aihue could very easily turn into a valuable and expendable trade piece next season, and they don't really have any serious need to move him prior to 2011.

I agree with Chris in Hawaii that the Orioles should shop at Kansas City for a first baseman. But I think he targeted the wrong player. Their first basemen in approximate rank order are Butler,Ka'aihue, Thorman, Hosmer, Robinson, Lewis and Kuebler. Butler spent the entire year in the major leagues and Ka'aihue joined him late in the season from AAA. Thorman spent the season at AAA, and Robinson spent the season at AA. Hosmer is the anointed one and is expected to be their regular first baseman of the future. So Robinson is at least the fourth guy down the list of the first-base job.

At AA he hit .335 with 29 home runs in 325 at-bats. Considering he has three players in front of him for the position he should be available at a reasonable price, perhaps two minor leaguers.

If we sign Lee and trade for Robinson, by the end of Lee's one-year contract, Robinson should be ready for the major leagues. And he won't cost us one of our major league ready pitchers.

If you want to know why the orioles are a losing team look at what our GM is making us choose from this offseason. Adam Laroche and Derrek Lee. You have to be kidding me, Not getting Adam Dunn or making a trade for Adrian Gonzales is just pathetic. Now the Orioles will have to face another all star first baseman for how many at bats this year? The Orioles will continue to lose for at least the next decade while the fans of Baltimore continue to line the pockets of peter angelos with our MASN money.........WAKE UP BALTIMORE

It's Adam Laroache, enough said. Who gives a crap if the Orioles sign him. For 3 years I would never do it. He is mediocre at best, he doesn't deserve to call the shots. You guys are acting like he is the savior to this franchise. Most of you are morons that have no clue about anything. Let AM do his job and you do yours. 2011 Why Not................GO O's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why are some of you so antsy to sign LaRoche (or Lee, for that matter)? Yes, he would be an upgrade, but does it really matter whether he signs before Christmas or next Tuesday?

This may sound like typical MacPhail super-cautiousness, but look -- at least two other teams are talking to LaRoche, and that's just what's reported. There are half a dozen teams that don't have an everyday 1st baseman on their team, including the Rays, Padres and Rangers, all playoff-caliber teams last season. Are their GMs incompetent boobs? Mike Rizzo got much praise for his swift, decisive signing of Jayson Werth; did he come down with a case of the stupids by not going an extra million to sew up LaRoche?

It's negotiation season. By my count, there are 147 free agents still unsigned, and more than 7 weeks before pitchers and catchers report. It'll happen. Just let it.

@ Jeff Z,
Thanks for answering my question.
I was remiss earlier.

@ Chris in Hawaii
I am not arguing with you completely, well then again maybe I am. Look, I don't know UZR from a VCR to a CRV. It means nothing to me. Look, I watched Luke Play first a few times during 2010.
He played 19 times in '10 and 10 x's in '09. To be honest, I thought he only played 1b like 5 x's both years. Anyway, when I did see him play, he looked terrible. He could field pick off plays and did a fair job of scooping the ball. But what he was terrible at was diving for the ball (Line drives) or bending over (sharply hit grounders) his reflexes for fielding are not very good! As for Butler, he looked like he was at least average with everything, better then Scott. And what makes this funny the O's are the only ones who have played Scott at 1st base. Houston always had him in the outfield. I guess when you have Bagwell and Berkman.. there was no way Scott would have played 1st! Look the Orioles have a few problems here:
No true Number 1 pitcher
No real 1st baseman
If Roberts gets hurt again, what are we going to do trade for Scott Moore... Oi!
There outfield could be pretty good if everyone stays healthy and focused, but that is an IF obviously. Look all bloggers and fans could scream all day and all night on here (The Sun Blog) or simply yell out their window of their home "The Plan Sucks" I kind of recommend the latter... just not sure what the neighbor will think of you.
Seriously, though Andy really needs to pull off a trade here, no top tier free agent is going to come here. I just gotta believe if the Orioles can field a strong 9 day in and day out the fans have to come back. Real fans not someone like this http://www.insurancefortrips.com/uploaded_images/otto-703863.jpg

I think a good argument can be made for either player.

What's frustrating to me isn't that LaRoche is now a distinct possibility not to be in the lineup. It's that the Orioles had their targets set, and haven't gone the lengths to achieve their goal. If you have your man targeted, go get him.

The O's tip toe around the market. Three years should not be a big deal, a lot can happen to other players in three years and this is the AL. If it's overpaying, who cares, eat the cash then for once. It's not like this is a checkbook breaking deal to begin with.

Hey, posters, you're operating as if MLB is the same as Fantasy Baseball. It ain't. It is a process, sometimes a long slow process. Waiting is part of it. LaRoche's agent has an offer but he's looking for the Orioles to increase that offer, betting that the Orioles need LaRoche so badly that they'll up their offer. The Orioles are betting that their offer is the best he has and that he is trying to get more through "entertaining other offers". Can LaRoche get more elsewhere? Is McPhail at the limit he thinks LaRoche is worth? Who's gonna blink? All this leaking of information about the negotiation is part of the negotiation. Maybe leaking the information will get Orioles fans so upset that McPhail will move from his most recent offer. Maybe revealing that they're negotiating with Derrek Lee will prompt LaRoche to move from his last negotiating position, and accept the Orioles offer. Maybe he'll get tired of waiting. In any negotiation you have to be prepared not to get a deal. Patience is key, and McPhail does appear to be a cautious, patient negotiator.

Jeff,

It seems to me that the O's are bungling this for several reasons:

1. LaRoche has been their primary target for 1st base. If so, wouldn't a good organization know early on if the guy they were pursuing was truly interested? And then, wouldn't the O's have STARTED with a 3-year deal, and then even a club option 4th? In other words, let the guy know you want him, and make sure you're not just chasing a rabbit.

2. If sources could confirm that Lee was now the target, couldn't sources confirm a 3-year deal was offered? Tells me that the O's haven't offered 3 years, or that would have leaked out by now too.

3. If talks broke down with LaRoche, why would Lee want to come here knowing he's not really high on their list? And why would the O's let this type of info out in the 1st place? Shouldn't Andy have kept a lid on this until they secured Lee?
4. If by some chance a 3-year deal was on the table, why not go public with it and tell the world you're offering the best deal? Make it known to eveybody you're willing to pay and you're looking for players who want to play for you. Put the pressure on LaRoche and his agent, and even tell the agent to stop screwing with the club. Be a bit ballsy for once.

We just seem to keep stubbing our toe when running this organization. Not how you keep a fan base engaged. I think O's fans would prefer Kevin Anderson running the show right now. At least he's all about winning and trying to put fans in the seats....

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: 1: I wouldn't say that LaRoche has been their top target all along.. They clearly wanted Martinez and then Dunn, and then they kicked tires on Konerko and Pena. Of what's left, LaRoche is their top target but I don't think they consider him far and away a better fit than D-Lee where they'd just give him whatever he wants in terms of years and money.
2. No. I'm not confortable enough with the answers that I got to deterime whether they offered him three guaranteed years or two and an option, or just two. I have a feeling where it stands, but as I said, I don't think it would be good journalism on my part to either confirm the report that they offered three or to deny it, I have heard exact opposites from multiple sources. I would be surprised if LaRoche wouldn't jump at a three-year for $21 million offer, but I don't know what the guy is thinking or looking for.
3. Andy doesn't say anything. He never does. You don't just get information from teams. You get it from agents, players, friends of players, as well. The next time Andy leaks information like that will be the first in the five years that I've covered him. As for Lee, the later you get in this process, the less selective you can be. I'm sure there are mutliple teams interested, but I don't think you can just automatically rule a team out.
4. Andy simply doesn't believe in negotiating through the media. He doesn't play that game. It's that simple.

@ DonM

You really think the leaked info was done for the sake that it would put pressure on Andy to up the offer? Where do you think the leak came from???

And you really believe 'Who's gonna blink?' is a sound way to rebuild a ballclub?

Part of the process, especially for clubs needing to make impact NOW, is to eliminte the guessing and go get your man!

This isn't buying a Chevy and telling the sales guy you're looking at Fords as well. Right now, the O's fico score is 518 and we're lucky if we can buy a car right now...

Give Lee 12 mil. to get an answer NOW !!! For once, let's pull the rug from under some one using us ? Steve, from Carlisle,Pa.

It seems fairly obvious to me that the issue is contract Length. I want all of you angry foolish posters to look up next years free agent 1st basemen. ...........wow right! Now, how much money do the orioles have to spend? Quite a bit, yes? How many billion dollar market teams have first basemen signed? Most of the big ones right? So, while LaRoche is the the safer bet for production, a 1 year deal on the chance to get an even better one next year is smarter. What will the team look like next year? The SAME! Throw in our our young guys maturing further and the solution is a better team with a better first baseman in 2012.

Jeff, if my theory is correct, do you think that they will be looking to get Fielder next year, or someone else? (Pujols!)

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Jeff Z's reply: Sure, every year it seems the need is an impact bat and I'm sure next offeseason will be no different. But let's be totally honest here, until the Orioles show that they are willing to overpay to land a marquee free agent, I don't think anybody should be too optimisitc about them landing Prince Fielder or any other All-Star slugger. I know people probably don't want to hear it, but that's the reality.

@ Dan Gibson

Clint Robinson looks like he can rake. Considering that he's 25 and in AA and that there are 3 (2 if you put Billy Butler at DH although he's still a 1B) players ahead of him, he may be had for cheap.

He looks like a liability at 1B defensively, though.

Who knows what Moore would want for him, but if he could be had for say Billy Rowell (dreaming) or a mid-level prospect straight up, I'm all for it.

Depth never hurts.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=robins001cli

let me ask a simple question-why would the royals be stockpiling first baseman?
is that all they know how to draft? I mean according to what i'm reading here, it seems like they have future ML ASll Star first sackers at every level. Maybe the Os can borrow the KC First Baseman Scout for a year and the Os could get a few of their own.

Jeff, Thanks for the detailed reply. Appreciate you and the other 3 guys taking the time to answer our questions.

.............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: My pleasure.

who didn't overpay for a free agent this year, in money and time? werth at 18m/yr? crawford for 20.5m? Lee, the Cliff variety for 24 m? Benoit the Reliever for what, 6m? Not only do the Os have to be willing to overpay, so does everyone else. And some team named the Yankees couldn't even overpay enough to get any of the overpaid
guys to go get overpaid by them!

To all the people wondering why Buck might want a plus defensive 1b:

Consider that every scoop on an errant throw they make saves at least one base (if not two) on an error per runner, and I think I see why defense is such a priority... It's not just fielding balls hit directly at them... Especially with young pitchers with whom we're trying to get balls lower in the zone so they don't end up as home runs...

Both LaRoche and Lee have their pros and cons. At this point, I'd rather have someone who's put up consistent numbers for six years at 31 than someone coming off an injury at 35. I'm allll caught up on the player coming off a down year/injury situation. I'm good for a few years, in fact.

I just wish AM would pull the trigger and get something done. Overpay some. It's not like the O's are right at the end of the money they have for payroll.

I understand it's not all him, that the player has to want to play here. But, really? Am I in an alternate universe where pro players don't take the dough over everything else 90% of the time?

Anyway.

If both LaRoche and Lee fall through, I'd be for moving Reimold/Scott to 1B and Reimold/Pie to LF if it meant having Vlad the Impaler raking at OPACY for 81 games in '11. I know he's strictly a DH now and not a bet for 150 games. But I think if he plays a whole season he'll make up for the 50% (SWAG) runs Scott/Reimold give up on defense.

Laroche really wants 3 years. I bet the guy is tired of moving around lol. I would really like to have Lee more. He is a right handed hitter and has good power and solid defense. He only wants a one years contract and that will be a hard sell in the AL east. Give him a contract worth 11 mill with a option for a second year if he has a great year accept it if not buyout. If none of them want to play for the Os trade either Reimold or Scott and sign Vlad the guy kills at Camden Yards. Then sign someone like Troy Glaus or Nick Johnson to play 1st base....we will still be well improved.

LaRoche would sign here. Last I heard the O's had a 3/21mil. offer on the table. He ain't gettin that from the Padres and the Nat's are in love with Lee. LaRoche's agent is not stupid, the O's have a history of bidding against themselves, (see Sidney Ponson contract) he's just tryin to get the best deal for his client. LaRoche should put up #'s simular to Scott's here. With the other talent we signed this winter and two Luke Scott's we'd put some crooked numbers on the board in '11.

Jeff - thx for respnding - Any info about Laroche I'm pretty much reading in Jen Royle's blogs over on MASNsports.com - Here is a copy and paste of the article that made me realize that we came in LOW to Mr. Laroche:
----By Jen Royle, December 18, 2010 3:13 PM | 20 Comments

It was a lazy Saturday until a little birdie told me Adam LaRoche was, in fact, offered the three years he was seeking from the Orioles, as I had initially reported. Now I hear the deal is worth at least $15 million and could be between $16-18 million or more.

The 31-year-old LaRoche, a left-handed hitter who hit 25 home runs and recorded 100 RBIs for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season, made $4.5 million in 2010. So this is clearly an increase. With Andy MacPhail reportedly adding that third and crucial year, this is a great offer from Baltimore - and one LaRoche should absolutely take. My only concern with LaRoche is his lack of experience in the American League and in the tough AL East. But his defense will be an asset at first, especially with former teammate Mark Reynolds across the diamond.

I know everyone is anxious to hear who their new first baseman will be (or won't be), but these things take time, guys. Hang in there!---

So, from this it sounds like the 1st offer may have been as low as 3yrs $5Mil per yr. And, ooo, it was upped to maybe 3 yrs $6Mil per yr. Gadzooks! Now, I've read that its 3yrs $7Mil per year...and I just feel like we shoulda started at the $7Mil or higher mark to begin with. I forget the article I read that suggested that Laroches agent messed up last year, might have been at fangraphs or mlbrumors- not sure. Like your reporting tho, keep up the good work.

Hey jeff - heres the article that gives Laroches contract numbers and mentions the agent - its a more recent Jen Royle article on masnsports:
----In Orioles news, I first reported the Orioles' offer to free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche was believed to be between $16-18 million or more for three years. Well, I wasn't far off. The deal is now a believed three years, $21 million, according to my source.

Steep? Not really. Here's why:

First, LaRoche made $7,050,000 in 2009 with the Pirates and last season, his pay decreased to $4.5 million with the Diamondbacks (a deal I heard the agent completely screwed up) but was set to earn $7 million in 2011. However, the Diamondbacks chose to go in another direction and LaRoche received a $1.5 million buyout which brought his total 2010 salary to $6 million.

Anyway - he may not have been lowballed significantly...but Laroches value is at least 7Mil per yr and more than likely closer to $10Mil per year. I say $10 Mil because last year's FA market hit a bad recession and most FAs signed for less than they would have in a normal market year like this years...Dunn's contracts are a good example of that. This year he's getting what he's worth, mayne even a little more. $10Mil would be too low for Dunn this year, and he proved it by not taking the O's insulting $10Mil per yr offer. I love the Orioles and don't want to be critcizing them - I love the Reynolds and Hardy moves...just think their negotiating tactics with FAs are terrible and it frustrates me.

It sure is funny how economics works. The Orioles don't want to "overpay" to get a stud, but when there are only leftovers, the lack of supply remaining means you have to "overpay" anyway. Patience can be a virtue, but it can be pretty dumb, too. That can go for a fanbase waiting on the front office as well as a front office waiting on ... well, whatever it is.

I like the fact that Andy doesn't negotiate through the media. Andy is slow and deliberate, but I still like the fact he doesn't negotiate through the media, as that's old school!

I would like to see LaRoche here, but it's not the end of the world if he doesn't come here. The guy has been on a lot of teams over the past few years so it's not like you can build your team around him. This doesn't make him a bad guy or player, but none of us know if he's holding out for a better team and not more money? Texas needs a 1B plus they have money to spend and a lot easier division to get to the playoffs so there are a lot of variables that none of us know about.

Lee isn't ready to be put out to pasture yet so I see him as an upgrade to all of the men who played 1B last year. Lee would also allow Bell time to develop since I am assuming it would be a 1yr or 1yr w/ an option type deal.

Jeff, let's say the O's get Lee, do you think they would still make a run at Vlad or Thome? This would mean Luke would play LF and DH some, but curious if this is more wishful thinking than reality?

--

Probably wishful thinking, but not impossible

Jeff, Have you heard anything about the possibility of signing both Vlad and Lee to short-term deals? It would give the club more right-handed power, which it is something they can use since they seem to always struggle against lefties. Luke could kind of rotate between 1B, DH and occasionally LF. Lee and Vlad are getting up there in age, so the occasional day off might help them. It's probably one player too many to start, but with injuries, etc, it could work out well over the course of a long season.

--

They have talked to the agents for both. Whether they would bring on both is unlikely but not impossible.

Gil--"Can somebody please, please tell me what Andy Macpahil has done for this organization since June 2007?"

Sure Gil, be happy too.

1/ traded for AJ and Pie, two thirds of our starting outfield.
2/ traded for Reynolds and Hardy, half our starting infield.
3/ signed Roberts and Markakis to long term deals.
4/ traded for Luke Scott.
5/ signed Matt Weiters
6/ acquired Tatum and Izturis

In terms of pitching;

1/ drafted Matusz, traded for Tillman and signed Arietta, three fifths of our starting rotation
2/ signed Uehara and Gonzalez, our closer and set up man.

There have been a number of other moves. (Fox, Bell, Andino, Albers, Simon, Patton etc) Suffice it to say that by the time the 2011 season starts about the only guys on the likely roster AM didn't have a hand in putting in place will be Guthrie, Bergesen, Reimold, Jim Johnson and Berken.

Hope that brings you up to speed.

Who's on first?? The O's saga is comparable to the Abbott & Costello routine.

The O's just don't get it. They need to get to .500 before they can be contenders. They need to be contenders before they can attract the big name free agents.

LaRoche can be the missing piece to help the O's get to .500. So give the guy 3 years or another million or so per year and GET IT DONE! Now is not the time to play around with the chance to get to competitiveness.

Come on, seriously, when was the last time the Orioles ever got real with Free Agent? Albert Belle. Angelos will only do it if it is a bargain. The agents hate dealing with Angelos and will only do it if there are no other options.

I also think both players are looking at the Nationals as their 1st option!

Guys
you're overreacting here! Andy will get the job done. Just take it easy will ya! It will get done Betcha!!

Jeff, Just like to take a moment to welcome Peter Schmuck to the Vlad Guerrero band wagon.

Signing Guerrero to be a righthanded cleanup hitter behind Markakis is the best option out there to upgrade the offense. Of all of the guys that were out there in the market from the start of the Hot Stove, Guerrero is the only proven cleanup hitter.

I went into this convinced that signing Guerrero and moving Scott to first base was the best play for the O's. Now I'm thinking the O's could still sign Guerrero and add LaRoche or Lee to play 1b.

That would move Scott back to LF with Riemold spelling him, and either Riemold or Scott backing up at 1b as well.

There has been some interest in Pie from other teams, he could be used to bring in an additional pitcher since things are at a standstill there with FA releivers.

Sign Guerrrero and this becomes a more competitive lineup. Then signing Lee or LaRoche becomes easier.

I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the numbers being thrown around for LaRoche ... 3 years/$15-$18M or 3 years/$7M ... they all originated with MASN's Jen Royle, who I'm not sure is getting good info. No one else has reported or confirmed anything similar.

We need offense, period! If we get it via The DH, so be it. I don't care who plays first, as long as he doesn't have a concrete glove and has some range, plus can hit for consistent power. If that is Scott or Lee, all right...as long as we add MORE runs with one or more solid DHs on the bench. This is the AL, so we can improve with the DH role. If we could score another 200 runs, I'll take it, with or without LaRoche.

Steve Gianoulos for GM! I think this is a very sad case how the Sun never mentioned this guy until now. He supposedly was an intern with the Tampa Bay Rays organization back in the Cam Bonifay/Chuck LaMar ERA, shortly after Angelos rejected him. I bet ya all that this guy becomes the next Theo Epstein from Boston, and then when he does, The Sun and the fans will be saying "Oh yeah, we had a chance at him, but PA never took him seriously"

Merry Christmas to all of my long-suffering brother and sister O's fans. Looks like Santa will not have that package that we hope for under the tree again this year. We don't ask for too much. Just the pieces that will grant us our wish for a .500 season in 2011. Well, we have a coupe more days.

Good lord it's just LaRoche!!!

Do you really want this average NL hitter on first for three years?

Did anyone stop and think he just may not want to come here?

Personally I don't want him. I wanted the team to trade for a guy because I was never impressed with any of the free agents besides Martinez.

Some called him Adam LaBum in Pittsburgh. His price tag is too high for his inconsistency. Orioles should look elsewhere. Adam LaRoche is not the answer

Pardon me if I've been overcome with the Christmas Spirit, but it seems to me we should be more thankful than disappointed with Andy for what he's accomplished so far.

My reasoning? 36-29 with last year's lineup, plus improvements in power numbers at third and short. A healthy Pie, a Reimold who has recovered his memory working with his new coach in California, the possibility that Wieters will manifest another 10% of his potential, and Buck's continued effectiveness in motivating the young pitchers...EXCUSE ME, BUT THIS SOUNDS LIKE A WINNING SEASON IN 2011.

Then, because he hasn't bankrupted the franchise, Andy can go after Fielder et all in 2012, when the O's have demonstrated that they're no longer disgraceful and only a manageable distance from contending. Sounds like a plan...

Merry Christmas, y'all!

If there were real 1B free agent options out there the situation would be totally different and yet similar. If the Orioles signed this guy under those circumstances the same people crying and clinching their fists would be the same ones crying and clinching their fists that they did sign him. He is one of the few remaining options on the free agent market. That doesn't mean you sign him for three years just because of that.

Did anyone stop to think that they are checking all of their options before making a deal?

Jeff how do you do it?

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Jeff Z's reply: I'll say this, I'm real surprised how many fans are in such a hurry to give Adam LaRoche a three-year deal. I think if somebody predicted on the first day of the offseason that the Orioles would sign LaRoche to a 3-year pact, there would have been a lot of complaining. That's just my opinion though.

Why does everything take so long? What happened to Kevin Gregg and other relievers? Do the O's wait out players or do the players look for anything but this team?

The inability to close a deal for the hands down best first baseman out there (LaRoach) is exactly why he's referred to as "McFail".
This is why my kids want to go to Philly to see games & my wife dreads my insistance on weekends in the Charm City to see yet another series the O's will probably lose.
In all honesty, the way Buck pulled people together last season I think we all felt just a few nice additions at the corners & we'll at least be competitive.
If McFail goes back to his perverse love affair with washed up Cubs by signing Lee...he should be run out of town.

dan s,

Yes Andy has been busy shuffling players but has failed to produce results on the field. You don't get merit points for being busy, you get them for being effective. He has had four offseasons and if you take an honest look at what appears to be this year's roster it's probably 5th place again.

After all dan, in most jobs, results count...unless, of course you are the GM of the Baltimore Orioles. Then what matters most is keeping the payroll down for the owner while Peter A. rakes in 65 million a year from MASN.

Macphail has had more than enough time to make the team competitive. In my opionion, he has failed miserably. In Peter Angelos' opinion, he has done what he was brought here to do... use the Macphail name to throw a bone and a feint to the fans.

To paraphrase Paul Simon, "Still losing after all these years."

I agree with Andy's approach to playing a little hardball. How quickly we forget the stupid deals and contracts the orioles have given players who were demanding them. How about David Segui for instance. Is Adam Laroche worth a three year guaranteed deal? If so why haven't other teams ponied up for it? We'd be left on the hook for a guy who strikes out a ton, hits as many homers as Ty Wigginton, and has above average defense. If he can be signed for the right length and amount its a good deal, if not, let him pass. We can't make moves out of desperation. That's what's gotten us into this mess anyways.

I don't get it; why do many people think that Laroche is not good enough. The guy hits 25 HRs, 100 RBIs, excelent defense, .260 average and he is still young. What else do you want. If you ask me, sign him to a 7 year deal and make him your full time 1B man.

Many people here instead prefer the Orioles sign a super star for 10 times more money. why? Mark Teixeira batter .256 with 33 HRs and 108 RBIs oh and he makes 18 mil a year.

Laroche is a consistant above average player who is very very cheap. Are you willing to pay 10 times more for someones else with comparable production simply because they are stars? Even if there is a star on the market, I would still think about getting a guy like Laroche over that star. Unless the average is over .300 and the HR is over 40, you don't eve think about paying for star power. I still don't understand why Laroche doesn't get the credit. he has produced more than many stars with monster contracts yet he can't find a good team.

Again, I say sign him to a 7 year deal. Who else would you rather have? Fielder? he hit .261 with 32 HRs and 83 RBIs; he would cost lot of prospects and loads of money. for what, 7 extra home run, 27 less RBIs and one extra batting average point?

Pujols? he had 42 HRs and .312 BA and 118 RBIs, he would cost you around 200 mil to bring him here, even that may not do it. So practically, who better could the Orioles get in the next decade?

There are reports that the new so called offer to Lee is just a smokescreen to make Laroche sign the 3 years 21 mil offer. Whats your take on that?

It does makes sense, Lee probably has no interest in beign a DH so why sign them both? It is either Lee or Laroche.

Signing LaRoche for seven years would confirm the Orioles status as the laughingstock of baseball for the next... seven years.

Sorry, Go Orioles, but that has to be one of the worst ideas I've ever heard.

Souring on Laroche is perhaps McPhail's best move this offseason.

4 Roberts (S)
9 Markakis (L)
D Guerrero (R)
7 Scott (L)
3 Lee (R)
5 Reynolds (R)
8 Jones (R)
2 Wieters (S)
6 Hardy (R)

Bench: Pie, Reimold, Izturis, Fox

Hang 'em and Bang 'em

ok 'not brooks' who else would you arther have? who else would could the Orioles have in the next decade? Like I said, being star crazy and beign smart are different. Yu want stars with big names that cost 100s of millions. Just because you didn't pay 10s of milliosn per year for a guy doesn't mean he is not worth it. Should the Orioles just pay tiexera or Beltre huge amounts of money and get the same production? is that what you want?

"worst idea" huh? to me paying some one more than you ahve to sounds like the worst idea. get 30 HRs 100 RBIs and close to .300 BA for 6 mil a year. Only an idiot would not do that deal and only a moron would not only not do that deal but get the same thing for about 150 mil more.

vs. LHSP:

4 Roberts
9 Markakis
D Guerrero
5 Reynolds
3 Lee
7 Reimold
6 Hardy
2 Fox
8 Jones

Hang 'em and Bang 'em

@ Go Orioles

Before you hang the "you only want big name FAs" tag on not brooks' chest, you should know that he has also advocated (as have I) attempting to acquire a 1B that is either blocked (Yonder Alonso) or is possibly going to be pushed out (Kila Ka'aihue).

Just saying that you are assuming things about the guy that just aren't true.

Also, you say that "paying some one more than you ahve to sounds like the worst idea" and you want to sign Adam LaRoche for 7 years... by your own logic, you are calling your own idea the worst idea there since LaRoche can be had for a lot less guaranteed money.

@Go Orioles

Laroche is a consistant above average player who is very very cheap. He is?
I don't think so. La Roche is a Le Bum!
In horse racing they use the term "cheap speed", in the baseball world he has "cheap talent"!I don't want him, I don't want Gregg. Bah Hum Bug! And as for Brooksie, Go Orioles, he knows what he is talking about, as a for his love of Beltre might be a bit much. He does know what he is talking about.

@Anyone
Also, I wish I could get an answer from someone on this matter. I can't for the life of me figure out as to why the Orioles really wanted Victor Martinez.
The very first thing out of Victor Martinez's camp was the he wanted to catch! The very first thing out of the Orioles camp, we want him to play first base. Orioles management yelled at the top of their lungs that they were willing to overpay for him to play 1st base. They not only were two million dollars short in the actual race to get him. Tigers outbid the O's 50 to 48. The true reality of the matter the Orioles were about 7 million short and I don't think they were really ever in the race.


The Orioles need to get Derek Lee in for a year (Base salary of 6 to 8 million) and bonuses that would bring it up to 10 million if he reaches them. I think that would be fair. As for Brandon Snyder and Joe Mahoney... good luck you will need it. I don't think either will contibute much to the Orioles future, but it would be a nice surprise if they did. I am just not counting on it. I wish the Orioles would give Tyler Henson from double A land a shot this Spring. Athletically, I am willing he could handle LF, I think he's that good. Just not so sure about his hitting. As a fielder, I think he has a high ceiling. So if we trade Pie, Reimold or both. I think we could plug in Henson
The Orioles either need to get Billy Butler which would stop the piddling around or they need to draft a hot shot 1st baseman with their number 1 pick in 2011. Either way they need to do something. Andy MacPhail while we can't blame you for all the Orioles woes, we can accuse you of piddling around and rightfully so!

Go Orioles -

First off, Adam LaRoche has topped 30 home runs once. And that was five seasons ago. Second, he has never hit "close to .300". In fact, he hasn't hit higher than .285 since that 30 homer career year in 2006. And last year, LaRoche hit .261. Not at all "close to .300".

And you're damn right I'll take a "star that costs $100s of millions" over LaRoche. Joey Votto would be one of them. Votto hit .324 with 37 home runs last season. His OPS was 1.024. LaRoche's OPS was .788. LaRoche hasn't topped an .843 OPS since his career year in '06. Votto has put up a .900+ OPS in two of his three full seasons. In the other season, he put up an .874 OPS.

Votto should be a free agent in 2014. If the O's sign LaRoche for three years (which is actually logical) and he helps the team regain respectability, they could be a player for Votto down the road.

Sure, I wish franchise guys like Votto could be had for five years, $50 million, but that's just not how it works these days. If you want a guy who is capable of carrying an offense on his shoulders for a month, you've got to pay the going rate.

Oh, and I just saw your comment about Beltre. Sure, I'll take him for five years, $80 million. You know why? Because he's the best defensive third baseman since Brooks Robinson. Beltre could hit .260 with 15 homers and still be worth $16 million per just because of that insane defense. But, of course, he'll probably hit something more like .280 with 20+ homers and 30+ doubles playing half of his games in Oriole Park, so he would easily be worth that deal.

I sure wish this team could win by waiting on youth and giving Adam LaRoche a seven year, $50 million deal, but that ain't happening, my friend. In this division, you need serious, top of the line players to win. And to become serious bidders for such players, you're probably going to have to overpay to get some guys to come here and make the team considerably better. Sure, you can talk about the Rays all you want, but until the Orioles develop an Evan Longoria, a Carl Crawford and a David Price, they aren't winning anything on the "develop prospects" plan.

Um, Go Orioles... you state "Unless the average is over .300 and the HR is over 40, you don't eve think about paying for star power. " - Mike Schmidt, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench and countless others NEVER did that...in fact, there are only 35 players EVER who have hit .300 or more w/ 40 or more homeruns in a season more than once...and Ted Wiliams, Mel Ott and Joe Dimaggio are NOT on that list. Only 14 players ever did it twice...11 others did it 3 times leaving only 10 players in MLB history who have done it more than 3 times. So, Vinny Castilla does it 3 times and perhaps gets consideration as a third baseman, but Mike Schmidt's resume goes in the shredder along with most other HOFers?

Jeff,
Right about now Boras could probably REALLY use another bidder for Beltre. He had pretty much inferred that the O's were one of the teams that he had told to not bother with an offer before. Do you think Boras has got to consider a plan to widen the market for Beltre?

Beltre at 3B and Reynolds at 1st would really create an infield makeover.

Even with that move I wouldn't get off my Guerrero bandwagon, he's still the best cleanup hitter out there. The infield and 2/3 of the outfield would be so good the O's could live with Luke Scott in LF.

Beltre couldn't find a fit last year and settled for a one year rental in Boston. Any chance Boras goes the route of a high dollar shorter term deal and hopes the market is better in a year or two?

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: He's been in touch with the club and I think Boras would love if the Orioles were involved in the bidding. But it's my impression that the O's don't want to give Beltre six years at $90 million or whatever he is looking for. So it's a moot point.

@Squirrel

You can't draft a hotshot 1B with your first pick if he isn't there to be drafted. In baseball, you draft the best player available regardless of position. It takes a while for most guys to get to the majors anyway and your team needs are always changing. In the case that two guys are close, then you might look at what your system needs, but other than that, just go with the best guy available.

In the 2011 draft, the O's will be lucky if they can get either Purke or Cole at #4. It's not unlikely that someone else will jump ahead of one of those guys in the draft order and their draftability coincides with the O's need to inject some pitching talent into their upper minors. There's a good chance that both those guys would be finishing AA by the end of the 2012 season.

Ryan.....regarding Mr. Gianoulos. i did find some information on him. he did however interview with angelos in 2005 for an adviser position with the orioles, not the gm job. angelos did indeed turn him down for the position. Mr. Gianoulos then signed a 2 year contract with the Tampa Rays organization and was a special assistant for then-owner vincent naimoli. Gianoulos was in his early 20's, and had a world of baseball knowledge.

But yes, I agree with some of the other comments, as to why Mr. Gianoulos was never mentioned. Jeff, could it have been because it wasn't a high position with the organization as the reason there was never an article by The Baltimore Sun?

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: Not sure Pete. I started covering the O's during the 2005 season and I had no recollection of the gentleman being interviewed. I can say for sure that we wouldn't have made an intentional decision not to report it. We probably just didn't know about the interview. You said that he interviewed for an adviser position. I'm sure Peter and front office people hold interviews from time to time and they don't make them public knowledge. I'm still trying to figure out why this is coming up now. Was he named GM somewhere that I don't know about?

Jeff there was an section about the Gianoulos dude on Fox Sports not that long ago, forget who reported it tho. But, Gianoulos supposedly did interview in the offseason of 2005 for a Baseball ops position, in which Angelos turned him down. So whatever is being reported about this person is indeed accurate.

But please let us know if you find something on this individual. Merry Christmas Jeff, and to The Sun.

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: I did a google search and couldn't find it. Maybe I spelled his name wrong. But my point is, why is this such a big deal now? People get turned down for jobs all the time. That's what I'm trying to figure out.

Jeff,

I heard that a certain Keyser Söze interviewed for a job as a hot dog vendor in the upper left field stands back in 2005. Any reason this wasn't reported?

WHAT ARE YOU HIDING???

--
Looking for a second confirmation

@ Chris in Hawaii,

Keyser Söze doesn't want to work in the left field stands. He wants to blend in the crowd and will be running a LaRoche Coach selling boiled hot dogs just outside the stadium. In addition and you might find this interesting, Dave Kujan from US Customs will be selling Kielbasa/Polish Sauage in the new food court this coming 2011 season.

Gianoulos<<<------I have no idea who this man is, nor do I care! He's certainly not the most interesting man in the world.

However, I did find a great interview with MacPhail after he was hired by the Orioles. Here's an excerpt, quite frankly it's haunting.....

Q: (Taking over the team now with the ninth straight losing season, maybe heading into the tenth losing season, when you come in do you almost have amnesia. Fans are very impatient. They don’t want to be told 2009 and 2010 are the years, but do you have to forget about potentially another rebuilding effort and start with a blank slate and say ‘I can’t worry about what happened. I have to position us to able to win, because we have to win kind of soon because the fans are disenchanted, or do we have to make a plan for 2010):

A: You have to do what you have to do to get this franchise, not just to have an over .500 season, but to get them into position to get them to the post-season and get them to the World Series. So you have to make evaluations over what you currently have and how far away you might be, what resources you have to bear, what you have in your farm system, and then you make that determination. If you really want to show the fans interest you have to do it when you really think you can win, understanding that things evolve. The beauty of our system today, with as much player movement as there is, even if you thought you might be in a year where you were going to look a couple years out, you might find yourself in July 11th when you’re a game and a half in front or two back and you can shift gears then. But I think you have to come up with a plan that you think is the best thing to get this team to the post-season. I don’t have a goal of getting over .500; we shouldn’t be here for that; no team should be here for that.

What makes this surreal the Orioles Insider had an article about that very thing on July 11, 2010. The Fighin O's record : 28-59 (.322). Here's a link

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/2010/07/the_bottom_line_2010_orioles_t_17.html

Are we sure that Keyser Söze didn't write that article and not someone by someone from the Insider? Some food for thought. Keyser did have a very creative and unique way of coming up with stories

My guess is that Nick, Pete and Trent are all names that can be found on things in Steve Gianoulos' room.

O.M.G. This Gianoulos talk is really spreading like worms already. It's on Yahoo sports now....Before you know it, he'll be doing a live press conference denying stuff hahahahahaha! This is a true story, yet sad. Kenny Rosenthal did a story on the kid not too long ago, and Ken spoke about how Angelos mistreated his employees and what-not, and did an article on the young man as a prime example of how Angelos jerks people around. This is all being blown out of proportion Jeff. But yet again deserves some recognition, and maybe a call to PA HAHAHA!! NOT! This organization has become the laughingstock of MLB and if the O's (hon!) are going to be hiring High School kids and College kids to run this once-proud organization into the ground, then why don't we all take our biz to DC and cheer on the NATS!?

Point is, Angelos was going to give him a position, turned him down. Rosenthal made it a big story over nothing. And now its out in the open. Before you know it Jeff, this is going to get crazy, fans will be out with "Hire Gianoulos(if they spell the name right) for GM!" What a flat out joke!

Fans a little note :Don't believe what you read from Rosenthal, I mean seriously!

My guess is that Chris in Hawaii is Steve Gianoulos, trying to play games with everyone.

Good grief! Thank goodness, from what I hear, the fan base that thinks AM is a fool is basically defined by the losers who show their lack of understanding and gross misstatements for all to read in these posts. Though, like our boy leonard, he just received his computer and, well, grammar isn't his forte' anyway. It just seems like he's mad all the time. He's probably howling at the moon right now, instead of taking grammar lessons. But I digress...If anyone truly believes that AM has Angelos telling him to "just spend what you think we need to", well, what turnip truck in Dundalk did you just fall off? We all know by now that we'll NEVER, EVER be playing with the big boys when it comes to signing (not singing, leonard) the big dollar free agents as long as PA is the owner. So, we have to hope for a little Tampa Bay-like luck and big years across the board from whom we get. Right now, if you don't grade AM at a solid B+ for what he's done so far, you really are not considering all he has to deal with. However, I'm sure he wouldn't give a rats === as to what all the whiners here are saying anyway. It probably just reinforces his stance on no "leaking" to the press on any deals. LaRoche is a B- player who doesn't deserve a 3 yr guarantee. Lee for 1 yr is our answer. He's healthy now and lest anyone who doesn't understand, a first baseman who is 34 is usually a "younger" 34 than most other players due to the nature of the position. Give him $8 mill for 1 yr and let's rock and roll. Next move is hopefully Balfour and I'd be a very happy camper. Leonard might even start sentences with capital letters. No! Oh well!

@George

If I were playing games with everyone, I would use a more cinematic name.

Steve Gianoulos sounds like a third rate character on a fourth rate sitcom.

@ Jeff Z

I can't believe I am giving this any thought, but it has been dancing in my head for the past few days. Reading rumors on SI.com, comments by Not Brooks, Mountainfan and even you Jeff Z. I have to say all those comments really got me thinking. So it leads to these questions. Jeff would the Orioles be willing to consider giving Adrian Beltre an incentive laden one year contract for 21 million dollars? Hey, if they were willing to give LaRoche 3/21. Why not go with the philosphy in for a penny, in for a pound here for once.
Another question, is Reynolds any good at 1st base? Do the Orioles or even Reynolds himself have an opinion on it?
Then trade for Butler!=) I know broken record, but eh what the hey!

Line Up

1.) Roberts 2.) Markakis 3.) Butler 4.) Reynolds 5.) Beltre 6.) Jones 7.) Hardy
Sorry Matt you're still 8th LOL

This would would be the big splash that I have been looking forward too and talking about!

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z"s reply: Apparently, Beltre is looking for a long-term deal and had a 5 for $70 million offer on the table from the Angels. So while no, I don't see the O's doing that, it's probably a moot point. Reynolds has played there a little but they see him as a 1B, not a 3B.

say what you will, still going ahead with my lawsuit. this non-reporting of the Stevie Incident is exactly the kind of lawsuit that is necessary. I'll be calling Rosenthal tomorrow, and while I have him on the phone, I'll ask him why the best he could do to make his point was finger some non-descript intern that barely shows up in a google search, except for a Facebook entry where he advocates 'Fire McFail'
Maybe I'll ask Stevie if that's anyway to apply for a job.

This is very simple. Sign Lee. Next year, after hopefully a good (.500?) year, sign someone better if he did not perform to expectations.
LaRoche is overrated by a lot of people on this blog.

Does anyone remember we were after laroche several years ago with atlanta with brian roberts at the helm. angelos stepped in and halted that trade then signed him to a long term contract eventually. as i see it laroche only does well in the national league and Boston saw that right away. that is the only defining moment for angelos' stellar oriole career move. he got players on steriods for his buck that looked to good to be true. they opened his eyes and wallet but for only 1 player at a time. mcfail doesnt have the ownership behind him like he did in minnesota and still to this day minnesota is a contender 2 decades later. its scouting its management and having showalter as our manager makes our team better. it was proven late in the season. teams started reconizing us in a different manner as well they should. if we lose the managerial significance of a showalter as our manger the owner should be replaced and known as the biggest grinch in orioles history. the days of watching angelos with his arms folded around his chest sticking out in the stadium with pride was nothing more than a facade as you never saw him again lol. in the greek world everything is full of secrecy and everything done within his domain. i wonder if all the people in that domain would pay him back then maybe we could afford putting a professional team with players that would again call for OUR support and euphoria to support OUR team once again..not his!!!!

Jeff,
Actually actually I was thinking more along the lines of giving Beltre/Boras their dollars per year to save face but shotening the term. 3yrs. 18m might get it done. To really float Boras's boat give him a club option for years 4 & 5. Load it up like a NFL deal. That way the O's would get a "contract year out of Beltre in 2013. He's really noted for those.

In fact how about a series of one year deals running for 5 years, and starting at 15m with a 1m raise included in each year option year. That way Beltre's playing for a raise every year, and the O's aren't locked into him longterm unless he produces.

Boras can crow about the total dollars and the total length of the deal, Andy's got himself a big signing to keep the O's fans happy but has in reality only commited 15m.

I'm still convinced that Vlad Guerrero is the kind of professional hitter this lineup needs in the 4 hole, nice to see some of the Baltimore sports writing and talk show community giving it a second thought.

Sign them both Andy, and the O's everday lineup could be a competitve run scoring machine. And one that is signed to contracts that Angelos could live with.

What do you think Jeff, what would be the reason for the O's to not put such a deal on the table?

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: About Beltre? Not going to happen.

I love all of these Beltre suggestions.

Three years, $54 million.

Five one year deals.

One year, $21 million.

Keep 'em coming fellas, despite the fact that Beltre has received and rejected a five year, $64 million offer from Oakland and a five year, $70 million offer from Anaheim. Sure, he'll pass up on playing for a contender and he'll take less guaranteed money and years to play for a last place team. Whatever you say...

As Jeff Z. has said, the only way the Orioles have a shot at Beltre is if they offer the money and the years that he is shooting for. That's why six years, $90 million is the only contract that will put Beltre in orange and black.

For all thinking about moving Mark Reynolds to 1B, consider this number:

-33.2

That's Reynolds' UZR/150 during the 24 games he started at 1B during the 2009 season.

'09 was the only season with anything approaching a reasonable amount of games that you could use as a guide for how he might fare at the position. Now, he would probably improve over time, but considering it took him until this past year to start posting positive numbers at 3B, his contract would be up by the time he started to provide positive defensive value.

On Hot Stove last night, they were talking about how the Benoit and Jenks deals messed up the asking price for a lot of relievers. I have to think Gregg was one of the guys they were referring to. Seems like that deal of 2 yrs 8 or 10 mil has been on the table since right after the winter meetings. At this point, I would go hard after Balfour and Fuentes or Rhodes on a 1 year plus an option deal. I think Gregg is jerking the O's around, as it doesn't take this long to say yes or no.

I am sure I in the minority, but I don't want Beltre. The money would be right if the Beltre of 2010 was signing, but history repeats itself and his #s will drop off to 20+ HRs and 80+ RBI. If the O's offered him 90 mil it would be a dumb move in my opinion.

The O's don't have a lot left to trade for a pitcher like Andy talked about earlier on before the Hardy and Reynolds trades. I still believe their best bet is to take on Blanton's deal. I am sorry, but nobody wants to pitch here so it's overpaying, but not enough to cripple the direction of the team. Buck even said that he would like 2 more SPs to show up to camp. Guthrie, Matusz, Bergy and Arrieta are locks to make the staff, but I don't think Tillman is ready to be the 5th starter and they need another vet behind Jeremy. If Philly eats a little of that deal, they are going to get Blanton for probably a few million more than Kevin Gregg. I like Jake Arrieta a lot, but if he goes into a sophomore slump, we are in trouble so rather than look at the scraps, gamble on a guy who will give innings and keep the pen fresh.

It is not legal to put a revolver to the head of a player to force him to sign a contract. One must live in cave to not realized that most of the plan a, plan a or plan z players do not want to play in Baltimore.

This actually made me happy:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/12/pirates-sign-garrett-atkins.html

At least Atkins will have a chance to make a team in 2011. Sure, it's about the only team that's worse off than the Orioles and unless he's a completely different ballplayer, he probably won't make it, but at least the poor guy won't be sitting on his couch in the spring.

Merry Christmas, Garrett Atkins!

@Birdland Todd

You are not alone in your opinions. I have to say it is refreshing to here someone with the same opinions that aren't expressed very often on these blogs. I don't want Beltre, typical me player who performs at all star levels in contract years. Only way to get him to perform would be one year contract with a couple of years vesting upon performance, but obviously that isn't possible. I also agree bring in Blanton, take on most of the salary and we won't have to give up more than a mid prospect, similar to the Aubrey Huff deal. Or I'll take it one step further to even anger some people and say bring back Millwood on a reduced/incentive laiden contract. He did have a bad year last year but really who didn't on this ball club, at least his ERA was around 3..3 for those beautiful last 2 months.

My strongest opinion has to do with Laroche, please Andy do not sign him. The thought of having him and Mark (who I do like BTW) back to back is very scary. Big part of the reason the Dbacks lead the league in SO. I surely hope we can entice Derek Lee to play here. Remember, when he went to the Cubs we made a big play on him, well here is our chance. Its reported four clubs need a 1b, Padres, Nats, Tampa and us. Also, the GM for the Padres and Tampa have made it pretty clear 8 mil for the position is out of their price range. I would go as far as a 2 or 3 yr deal for Lee IF he will go for it and that is a big if. His injury plagued bad last year was better by far than any year our 1b have had since Rafael P. Solid right handed hitter with 3 gold gloves under his belt, no better fit out there this entire time in my opinion, geez even Victor, did you ever see the guy play 1b, holy moly it was not good.

Give Nolan a FULL year in the minors to get his head back, don't plan on Pie being healthy all year so pick up a DH that can play LF rotating with Pie and Scott, maybe oh I don't know Vlad (another guy we lost out on). Give him the 2 year deal he wants that Tx can't give him. One hecht of a lineup that would be with Lee and Vlad, can you even imagine if they have average to good years.

Most importantly, no matter who we bring into the offense we need pitching and that doesn't look like much of a possibility this year. We can't really anticipate for Guthrie, Matuz, Berge and Arrietta to have 2 months like they did at the end. I think we can count on Matuz improving and Berge becoming that great 3rd pitcher those of us who have seen him play know he can be. Our bullpen scares the hecht out of me, lots of potential and lots of problems. The existing list and injury history is scary, and some of these guys with serious problems i.e. JJ, Berken, Koji, Gonzalez, Simon. All missed some time or significant time. Wish we could get Soriano, a significant shut down closer that was underrated but not going to happen. Gregg, I guess, but not really excited, when he is good he's good, when he is bad, watchout. I'd almost rather for us to pick up 4 guys with Minor league deals than one Gregg, if 2 pan out youare in a better situation.

We must get a starter and some names I would like to see here include:
Gavin Floyd, from up the street and heard awhile ago the Sox were looking to deal a SP.
Stay away from F Garcia, clone of Oliver Perez, tons of potential but a clear head case.
J.Sanchez, might be pried away from SF with the emergence of Bumgardner.
F Carmona, needs some offense and is a great talent but will probably require too much and they could want Grady included in any deal.
Blanton or Millwood. Or go for incentive laiden contracts with C. Young, if he can stay healthy watch out.

That is my 2 cents.

why the hell havent they signed adam laroch already, his numbers are comparable to brian roberts, and ,they signed him to a 5year deal,50million dollar deal, damit they have a chance to sign a guy with all star caliber, and, dont have to give up no players to get him.. damit, get this deal done , get er done bygod!!

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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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