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December 6, 2010

MacPhail, Showalter and Towers comment on deal

Here are quotes from Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers.


"We’ve made no secret of the fact that we are looking to augment our offense this offseason. We don’t think we’re necessarily done."

On Reynolds: "We are buoyed by the fact that he’ll start next season at 27 years old. He’s a young player who is improving his defense. We are delighted to have him."

On young third baseman Josh Bell: "We still are very high on Josh. He certainly has gotten a lot of interest among other clubs. We don’t think this necessarily blocks his path."

More on Reynolds: "We like his defense. Who knows what the future holds, but we do think he’s an improving defensive third baseman who our scouts like and consider to be above average by the end of last year."

On whether Reynolds impacts other decisions: "It doesn’t necessarily preclude anybody, but it may change our priority order a little bit."


On Reynolds' strikeout totals: "We dwell on the positive things that he brings. He brings some things that we don’t have. It was pretty obvious last year that our lineup depth there was a little challenged in certain places. You can find negative on every player. I understand that. [But he's] just something that we don’t have. We’re not going to beat him up on the negatives.
You can talk about the negatives on every player. You keep in mind this guy is 27 years old."

On improving lineup: "It was a challenge for us last year. Where we are, we had to improve offensively, and at the same time, we don’t think we sacrificed anything defensively."


"Rebuilding the bullpen was paramount. It’s been kind of a thorn in our side the last couple of years. Sometimes you have to move a good ballplayer to be able to acquire good right-handed arms. Mark Reynolds was a great Diamondbacks player. But for us to take leaps forward that we need to do, we felt that this was a tremendous start. It’s the start of rebuilding this bullpen."

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 3:37 PM | | Comments (19)


There's absolutely no question that Reynolds is a massive upgrade over whatever we had at third base last year.

Tejada was a miserable defender and put up, what, a .650 OPS? Bell was pathetic. Essentially, he was Reynolds without the home runs and walks.

What I'm worried about now is that Andy's going to prioritize the bullpen and shift all of his focus away from the offense. Considering the market for both positions (thin at first, while there's plenty of relievers left), I'd rather get that first baseman (Peña or LaRoche) locked up right away and get the bullpen sorted out later.

That said, it comes down to price. If Boras is demanding three or more years and $8M+ per for Peña, you get LaRoche. If you can get Peña for one or two years at a reasonable salary, you get him. Peña had a down year in 2010, but don't forget that he averaged a .935 OPS, 39 homers and 108 RBI from '07 to '09. And, like Reynolds, Peña had a ridiculously low BABIP in 2010 (.222).

Yahoo sports reports O's and Rays are talking again about Bartlett. Rumors are the Rays now want Pie to replace Crawford.

Ahh the heck with Bartlett. I would be content with Izzy at Shortstop.

If we are going to trade Pie and possible Tillman. I would love to kick the tires with the Royals about Greinke. What else would it take to get the deal rolling? It would make me very happy if the O's did! Also, I really do think giving Grant Balfour a shot would be worthwhile.

Not Brooks, I see you found a new toy with your computer, changing the fonts and so on.. groovy!

Why would the Rays want Pie to replace Crawford? Don't they have a minor league outfielder who is close to MLB ready?

Also, why would the Orioles even include Pie in a deal for Bartlett. Pies value at the moment is much greater than Bartlett's.

Eric, if that's true, we need to pull that trigger in a heartbeat. I still prefer JJ Hardy to Bartlett, but if we can get a consistently good SS for an inconsistently great LF, I think it's something that needs to be done.

Oh yea! I'm excited about getting a .198 hitter who is only an average third baseman. Orioles famous weak hitter shortstop Mark Belanger could hit for a higher average, MacPhail said they got him because he could hit lefties ? He hit them for a .208 average that going to scare AL East premium lefties; Cliff Lee, CC, Price and Lester.

Jon -

At 26 years of age, Pie has a .699 career OPS and a reputation for not being able to stay healthy.

Granted, Bartlett hasn't been a model of health and his value lies in his defense alone at this point.

What I'm getting at is that neither of them have much value right now. The Orioles would be foolish to trade Pie unless they were getting another young player in return or if he were a part of a bigger deal. The Rays would be foolish to trade Bartlett unless they were getting an experienced player in return, which Pie isn't. Essentially, a Pie for Bartlett trade doesn't seem to match up.

Nic -

Since you're picking on Reynolds's career worst season, why not pick on Belanger's?

Like you did with Reynolds, I'm going to call Belanger a .186 hitter, ignoring the fact that his career average is actually 42 points higher than that. So, in your world of one season sample sizes, Belanger actually can't hit for a higher average than Reynolds.

PS - Reynolds vs. lefties, career: .252/.380/.528

PPS - I'm not thrilled with Reynolds and I'm still angry with Andy for the way he's managed this franchise, but I'm more angry at all of you guys who pick and choose what you want to make Reynolds look at lot worse than he actually is.

I love the trade. You trade Hernandez at the height of his trade value and Mickolio who is an unknown at this point for a slugger in his prime. His career trends significantly better than last years stats. We never would have been able to trade 2 relievers for a 2009 Reynolds. Would you rather have 2 relievers (hit and miss year to year) or a 30+ HR bat? Easy one for me.

Whoever said Batlett's value relies in defense knows about as much as gold glove voters....the only AL SS worse defensivley than Jeter in 2010 were.......Jason Bartlett and Betencourt based on UZR.

Jason Bartlett is one of the worst fielders in baseball at any position, there has to be a better option at SS than him, especially for Pie who if he can stay healthy and I realize that's a big IF has put it together at times. Also I Bartlett's contract will be over 4 million this year.

If you don't like this deal for a 27 yr old slugger, you really don't have a clue. Simple minds that compare him to Belanger shouldn't be allowed to comment. I mean ban these people for a week from this site for every offense. They probably just received their early Christmas present, their very first computer, and have never seen their typing in print. OK, I digress. The only pain from this deal is losing a solid reliever with real promise in Hernandez, but signing Balfour would soothe that wound. Mickolio is the wildcard, but every scout thinks his "across the body" motion is destined for major shoulder issues, not to mention an inability to get out lefties right now. So, kudo's to AM. Now, get Bartlett and the left side of the infield is set for many years to come. I would also think long and hard about keeping Wiggie as full time 1B if the picking's end up as Derrick Lee. Check out the numbers. Lee seems to be an OLD 35 yrs old and Wiggie is beloved here. He earned it after last yr and would know the pitchers over Lee having to start from scratch. Lastly, sign Koji and I think I'm ready to buy my Tix. This at least gets us competitive and we'll score runs so the young arms can relax. I like it.

This was a great buy low, he will not hit .198 again. .250 is more likely, but regardless, he is talented. Hernandez was young and talented, but clearly 3b is a larger need at this point, especially with the weak FA market.

Reynolds has more K's in one season than Anyone Ever Before in over 100 years of Baseball.

Baseball games end at 27 outs (mostly).

It is literally the #1 most fundamental aspect of the game. Don't give outs away.

As a fan who watches every game I can, I'm TERRIFIED of watching a whole season with a 200 K guy in the line-up.

Have you imagined what 200 K's feels like to watch over the course of season?

Have you REALLY thought about what 200 K's feels like to WATCH every single game?

Pie for Bartlett? Do it.

Reynolds is a very good move--strengthens run-production, 30 HR, 85-90 RBI, high OBP, and decent defense. All greatly needed and welcome.

Critical now is for AM not to think that the O's offensive problems are solved and shift his focus (such as it is) back to pitching. 1B AND SS are still the major unsolved problems. If you're too poor to attract the mid-lineup big masher that you need
then you have to be solid at every spot--no holes, no easy outs. Izturis is an offensive disaster, possibly the worst every-day hitter in baseball, and a guaranteed rally-killer.
My votes: LaRoche at 1B, Hardy at SS, and do whatever you have to to get them.

Possible alternative at 1B: Scott, in which case go hard after Thome or Vlad for DH.

A possible solution to the veteran starting pitcher problem may be right in front of McPhail's face. The Yankees seem to be very disenchanted with Burnett and quite possibly willing to eat much of his contract just to unload him. Burnett has a no trade clause, but because he lives in Monkton may be willing to wave it. Throughout history many good pitchers do not do well in NY because of the added pressure, eg. Rogers, Vasquez, Johnson etc. I think Burnett would do quite well in Baltimore because the local media does not have a win or die ultimatum.

Mike Schmidt hit below .200 one year. Granted it was his first year in the major leagues. But still....Hey squirrel, ditto man on your comments re Izturis and Greinke.

WELCOME MARK REYNOLDS his description by many remind me of a young Mike Schmidt.. FOR the strikeout bashers compare Penas' OBP and walks, K's to Ryan Howard inspite of the average not much difference.. PENA or LAROCHE next with wigginton to fill in.. Buck will find AB for those who earn them.. Do Pie if you can get what you want while Patterson is still available..

I'm content with the Reynolds deal. His strike outs concern me, but he's a better hitter than his numbers last year would indicate, he's young and should improve and he's a definite improvement over what we had last year.

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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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