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December 8, 2010

O's in serious talks with Twins on Hardy

A day after trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays about Jason Bartlett fell apart, the Orioles have made progress in acquiring Minnesota Twins' shortstop J.J. Hardy.

According to a source, the Orioles would acquire Hardy for two minor league pitchers in one of the deals that has been discussed. One name that has been mentioned in the trade talks is is Brett Jacobson, who went 8-1 with a 2.79 ERA in 34 appearances for Single-A Frederick last season.

Jacobson, a 24-year-old right-handed reliever, was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in Aug. 2009 in the Aubrey Huff deal.

The deal is certainly not a formality but it is clear that the Orioles have moved on for Bartlett and are now focused on trying to get a deal done for Hardy.

The 28-year-old shortstop hit .268 with six homers and 38 RBIs in 101 games for the Twins last year. His best season came in 2008 when he batted .283 with 24 homers and 74 RBIs in 146 games for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 1:49 PM | | Comments (65)


There we go! Some actual baseball news - good news, even! - that could solve two issues: 1) a gaping hole at SS; 2) the Luke Scott/Obama madness

Like Hardy better than Bartlett, and like that we would not be giving up Reimold.

People should remember Brett Jacobson as the guy we got in exchange for Aubrey Huff at the deadline two years ago.

While it's true that Huff went on to have a fantastic season last year and would have been a godsend compared to Garrett Atkins, it's also true that no one, including the SF Giants, saw that year coming.

That considered, it's time to recognize the long-view of roster planning that MacPhail has engaged in. Two years ago he traded a slumping player with only 2 remaining months under contract for a midlevel prospect. Now, it seems he's flipping that midlevel prospect for a starting short stop. If this deal goes through, he will have traded 2 months of Aubrey Huff at a time while we were already out of contention for the team's starting short stop. It just so happens that it took 18 months for the deal to be fully realized.

Bravo. I hope this happens. What a steal it would be.

Completely agree with you Dave! On all subjects!


Any idea who the other pitcher might be? Would Jacobson be the better player of the two? one is (or at least no one should be) disputing AM's ability to stockpile prospects and young talent. He's done a great job rebuilding the farm system.

But he's too gun shy to complete the rebuild. He refuses to dish out cash or go hard after guys he's convinced won't come here.

Look at the Nats...their money and "go get him!" attitude has won them Werth. I'm sure MacPhail's fatalistic approach to every big name ("we'd love him, but he won't come here...the interest is one-sided") comes across as apathy and a lack of interest to players and agents.

MacPhail's like the nerdy kid at the dance who never asks any girl to dance because he's afraid of rejection and is convinced that they won't dance with him. He doesn't realize that, even if it means a couple rejections, confidence will get him a long way.

GET IT DONE. Then go find someone to play 1B.

Hardy is younger and better offensively that Bartlett. Get this done, sign Adam LaRoche & Koji and I promise to not bad mouth Andy the rest of the off season.

As long as the other minor league pitcher isn't Britton/Tillman this could be excellent news.


Defensive downgrade for what? A career .263 hitter?

Are they serious?

Defensive downgrade for what? A career .263 hitter?
Are they serious?
Posted by: pjclark4

I sense sarcasm Mr PJ
I like this...JJ Hardy still has some potential! I like it!


The Nats' decision to sign Jayson Werth is currently the biggest joke in baseball. There's no way of knowing how it will work out, but right now they're being laughed at, not praised, everywhere outside of Baltimore.

It's not that the Orioles don't have the money to offer a Werth-like contract. It's that they don't have the money to handle a Werth-like contract not working out without it causing considerable harm to the entire organization for nearly a decade. The bad news for the Nationals is, neither do they.

I prefer his brand of roster building. If there comes a time that there's reason to believe the club is one player away from competing, then I'll revisit whether MacPhail is the best man to acquire that one player. But we aren't there yet, and it isn't close.

Not impressed in the slightest.

Hardy has been a major leaguer for 6 seasons and has managed just 112 games per year. He'll spend as much time in the trainer's room as he will at shortstop.

Lifetime .263 hitter (Izturis is .254) who will cost us a potential decent reliever down the road in Jacobsen who averages 8 K's per 9 innings with a 3 to 1 ratio of K's to walks. point is simply that few expected the Nats to get Werth.

What does Andy have to lose by throwing huge contracts at guys like Crawford, Cliff Lee or even Prince Fielder?

If they reject it, then the O's lose nothing and Andy actually gains some respect from the fans for making a legit effort.

And guess what? There's a 2% chance they may actually sign...which is far better than 0%.

Aside from V-Mart, Andy's "serious" offers have been jokes. Konerko signed for $12mil/season. Maybe he wanted to stay in Chicago, but Andy could have offered 3 years/$14mil per. That would not have crippled the franchise, even if Konerko didn't totally pan out.

Ugh. The O's would be much better off with the Reimold and Simon-for-Bartlett deal.

Why would a near-100-loss team that's at least 3 years away from relevancy trade two young pitching prospects for a stopgap SS??

Are we really still using batting average as our basis judging hitters?


It's hard to follow yournpoint. The Werth signing is absurd both because of the price and because it was clear no serious contender wanted him. The Nats are fast becoming MLB's Redskins and this actually reflects well on Andy.

I do believe, and perhaps this is part of your point, that Andy may have to overpay for someone, but this year VMart was the only real option and he admittedly got caught waiting for a second look. Just forget Konerko, he wasn't leaving Chicago.

How would,line-up look with VMart, Reynolds and Hardy? Oh well. Andy looks really good if he lands Hardy - his patience and decision to push away yesterday shows he's a pro.

Jeff...I guess part of what I'm saying is the O's should isolate guys they really want and do what the Nats did with Werth.

So, if Andy really wants V-Mart as much as he says, then go out and start with a contract that blows everyone else out of the water. Same with Cliff Lee. I doubt he'll come here, but if the high offer is 6 years/$140 mil and you really want him...throw 6 years/$160mil at him. (And that's just an example, not necessarily saying Lee's worth that).

They need to show guys their serious...Andy acts defeated most of the time before negotiations even start.

Jeff Z's reply: I think that's fair and I would agree with that.

Jeff: I agree with you re: Werth.

That being said, MacPhail screwed up on a SS. Yesterday he could have had a superior defensive SS with a reliable 700 OPS and speed for spare parts.

Today, we hear that he's giving up real prospects for a worse defensive player and more erratic hitter. That's a mistake.

Jeff Z...I see Young is available. Any chance the O's would make an offer for him and move him back to SS?

Jeff Z's reply: Not positive, but I wouldn't think so.

Look for all you "Boo Birds" out there that question everything!

How many of you had the MLB Baseball Package in 2010.

As for me I was one of them!
So I had the joy of watching practically every game if I wanted too! Now what exactly is "The Squirrel" trying to say.

For a little over four months Buck Showalter got to do the same while working for ESPN Baseball Tonight. He got to see all the footage of all the games back and forth all day and all night night baby. Then in August he got to see to the Orioles up close and personal as well as the opposing team.
This means he watched a heckuva a lot of baseball. If he's identified a player, it probable means he would know what he's talking about when evaluating a baseball player's talent. I say for now, lets lay off for awhile. Let Andy and Buck do their job and hopefully everything shakes down the way it should!

Ok? Can we try that? I know I am one of the ring leaders sometimes, I know it. But you can't Boo and question everything forever! So lets try a positive approach and see what happens! Then chime in, Aye Carumba!

I just looked at Hardy's career stats and he looks pretty good, a major offensive upgrade over Izzy. For one thing, JJ has some power, which Izzy doesn't. And JJ looks like a pretty good contact hitter too, doesn't strike out much.

JJ had a bad offensive year in 2009 but bounced back somewhat in 2010.

If you can get a guy like this for a couple of minor league pitchers (unless they're major prospects) you're doing pretty well IMHO.

I think his point with the Werth signing is in order for bad teams to get good players, they must overpay. It's possible that the next best offer was for 30 million dollars less, and Werth was prepared to accept that until he was blown away by a deal he coudn't turn down.

Is Werth a great player worth that much money? No. Is he a significant upgrade to a team worse than the O's? yes.

I strongly agree with the theory of offer Crawford a deal of 8 years/150 million and let him choose to accept it, or turn it down. Granted, it's not my money, but if we want to contend, we need to keep one or two top free agents away from the Yankees and Red Sox. It's worth overpaying to (a) sign him and (b) prevent the Sox from signing him.

According to UZR, J.J. Hardy has been up there with Izturis among the top five defensive shortstops in the game.

Hardy's 28 years old, and before he got hurt in 2009, he was one of the better offensive shortstops in baseball.

The Brewers traded Hardy only because they thought Alcides Escobar was ready for prime time. That was a bad plan. Escobar was miserable in every way, shape and form in 2010. Hardy wasn't much better for the Twins, but after he came back from a mid-season wrist injury, he hit .302/.356/.436 from July 3rd through the end of the season.

A healthy Hardy would presumably be comparable to Izturis defensively and Hardy would be a massive offensive upgrade at shortstop. Of course, we can't assume he's going to be healthy.

But it's not like Izturis is a model of health either. Someone up there mentioned that Hardy has missed a lot of games over the past two years, but how about Izzy? 106 games in 2005, 54 games in 2006, 110 games in 2007, 135 games in 2008, 114 games in 2009. That's not looking too good either.

So, when it comes down to the available options, considering the fact that they're both injury prone, do you want the excellent defender who could possibly put up an .800 OPS and 20 home runs or the excellent defender who isn't going to top a .620 OPS and has 15 career home runs in 10 seasons?

I know who I'm taking.

I have a simple question. What is Isturiz's batting average with men on base? I noticed last year that he came through with an unusual number of hits with men on base or in scoring position. I think his over-all batting average is misleading. Am I wrong. No one can argue against his glove - he is an outstanding defensive SS. Does that matter? Back in the 1950s I noticed that Gene Woodling (a 265-270 hitter) got on base an unusual number of times by error, walks, FC. I started keeping OBA when no one else knew what it was. Woodling's BA was clearly misleading.

Love this. Hardy has better OPS, OPS+, VORP, and WAR than Bartelby plus no Reimold. And definitely a huge upgrade over Izturis.


I'm not one to usually propose trades, but with the rather small universe of available pitchers and the dwindling population of available first basemen, I was thinking of potential deals that could satisfy two of the Orioles more pressing needs.

Unlike some who want to acquire Mark Teixeira for Alfredo Simon, I'll try to keep it reasonable and look it it from both sides' perspectives.

With the Rays making Matt Garza available, them needing a bat to replace Carl Crawford, and knowing how Tampa was interested in Luke Scott at the trading deadline last July, would a swap even up make sense for both teams? Would either team want more in return....especially the Orioles in giving up an everyday player who (theoretically)
can help the team 162 times per season vs. a pitcher who can only help 30-32 times per season? Adding Garza to Guthrie, Bergesen, Matusz and Arrieta would probably give the Orioles the strongest starting group they've had entering a season since the last time they were actually winning.......'96-'98.

An alternative deal would involve the Royals. Would a framework of this deal be plausible for both teams? The Orioles give up Tillman, Bell, Pie and Scott and perhaps a mid-level prospect for Zach Greinke and Bil Butler. For the Orioles, they get their top-of-the-rotation guy who is locked up for two more years and a first baseman. Although not the pure power bat they were seeking, he'd probably be the second best alternative behind LaRoche at this point. Butler is a very good contact hitter, driving the ball well to the gaps with a lot of doubles.
For the Royals, they'd get two very young prospects who have tasted the major leagues, Tillman and Bell, and who would fit in well with the army of youth they have ready to reach the majors very soon. They also get Pie, who (according to past, published reports) they covet, and a proven bat in Luke Scott. If this deal were done, the Orioles would need to replace Luke as DH with perhaps Vlad or Thome. Moreover, the team would have to deal for another outfielder unless the made a run at Crawford which actually would be a great move especially if they had Butler. Can you imagine the number of runs scored if the top three in the line-up were Crawford, Roberts and Markakis...all great contact hitters and the first two great base stealing guys? Plus, they'd have one of if not the best defensive outfield in all of baseball which would cut down on the number of runs given up by the young staff.

I can't believe how many people choose to make up their minds on this message board w/out looking at the facts. How do you people come up with this stuff? Do you just pull it out of the air?

1) Hardy is not a defensive downgrade from Izturis. Based on his UZR numbers, he is a better. And not just a little bit. A LOT BETTER. He posted numbers last year that were among the best of anyone in the game. Izturis was a little bit above average. He did have a nice season. But his numbers pale in comparison to Hardy's. That's a fact. Check I just did. Because I like facts.

2) Hardy would be a big upgrade from Izturis in the linuep. At this point, you can throw out career numbers. They are utterly irrelevant. Izturis is on the downside of his career offensively. His numbers have been going down, and they will continue to go down. His average for the last three years, '08: .263 '09: .256 '10: .230. His last three OBP's: .319, .294, .277. He has failed to even put up a .300 OBP two years in a row. That is awful! His career average numbers reflect what he has done in the past. We should only concern ourselves with what he will do in 2011. And that will probably be that he will continue to get worse.

He was already the worst regular offensive player in all of baseball last year. Also a fact. Look it up. Of all batters who had a qualifying number of at bats, Izturis was THE WORST!!!!. I can't say that enough times. It's a fact, not an opinion. Look up the numbers.

Hardy on the other hand is three years younger than Izturis and is still producing at the level of his career average, year in and year out. He'll probably hit in the mid .260s, get on base in the .320s or .330s and add a little bit of power.

We're not talking huge things here, but you have to compare it to what we had. A slightly above average defensive short stop who was the worst hitter in the league. When you make that comparison, Hardy would be an improvement both offensively and defensively.

The only legit knock on Hardy is that he spends time on the DL. That is true. And it would be a risk we'd have to face. But, don't forget that Izturis spent a full one third of the 2009 season on the DL. And, we still have Andino around who filled in for Izturis during that time.

I'm not saying Hardy is the answer to all our prayers. I'm just asking that you look at the facts before spewing out garbage about how Izturis is a better player than Hardy. HE IS NOT!!!

I could really go either way on Hardy vs. Bartlett, but if Jacobsen is the better of the two prospects, then I think the price for Hardy is much better for us.

Also, Bartlett has the better defensive rep, but according to +/- and UZR/150 metrics, Hardy is as good or better than Bartlett. Plus home runs are fun. I'm in favor.

Also, what Enzo said.

I like this deal because it gives the Os some added punch plus a go-go guy that could hit behind Brian Roberts as a set up for Markakis, Reynolds, ? and Scott. He also gives the Os the time to let Machado mature and work through the minors before hitting the show in '13 or '14.

Plus if we re-sign Izzy and keep Andino.
We could call them the "Triple" Threat!

That would be tremendous and the best of everything. LOL

Two things are tiresome in these threads 1) The Izturis as SS stuff for one. The guy can't bunt, has average range and average arm. Solid D yes, superior not! And, the guy is not good at advancing runners in any real way. Move on please! 2) Stop all the delusional talk of a Greinke, Butler trade. KC is not going to give up both unless the other team gives up a ton. The O's don't have a ton. Don't people know that by now???? Unless you want to surrender Matusz, Arrieta, Jones, Wieters and Markakis. Come on people. Stop the foolishness.

I still say Andy should try and blow the Rangers away if they really are looking to move Young.

Offer them Tillman, Bell, Jacobsen and another prospect and see if Texas bites.

Young can play SS.

I like Hardy. I like the fact that the O's are now focusing on free agents younger than age 30 who have their prime years still ahead of them, rather than behind them.

I think the O's really do have a chance at LaRoche, too. He's a little older than I prefer, but he just turned 31 and could have another 5 good years - long enough for the O's to develop their own 1st-baseman. He is a lifetime .270 hitter, and a lifetime .255 hitter against lefties. And he averages over 80 RBIs per year lifetime.

If the O's can land Hardy and LaRoche, in addition to Reynolds, I think they will have significantly improved over 2009. Imagine the O's young pitching staff with 5 runs/game to work with! And with 5 years of prime left in those guys, the O's will have bought time to develop Machado and Snyder or some other 1st-baseman from within their own organization.

I think the O's may end up being very glad they didn't sign Dunn or Konerko or Pena. High-priced hitters in their mid-30s are a poor gamble.

I agree with the poster who said grab Hardy and LaRoche and Koji and hang onto Reimold.

If they do that, I hate to admit it but I just might start attending O's games again!

Michael Young is 34 and is making $16 million dollars a year for the next 3 years. He was (defensively) a below average 3B last year and his defensive value as a SS is non-existent.

No thanks.

I'll take Hardy with an Andino back up 14 times a week over Young. That's right, not just twice on Sunday, but twice every day.

As long as Jacobsen is the better of the two prospects, this would be a very good trade for us. I'm not too worried about a 24-year-old in A ball.

Harvey: unless everyone in the Tampa Bay organization suffers some sort of simultaneous traumatic head injury, they're not going to trade Matt Garza for Luke Scott. That's the kind of move *our* front office makes.

Just think - take a team that played pretty well down the stretch, then replace Bell, Izturis and Wigginton with Reynolds, Hardy and LaRoche or Lee. All of a sudden you have the makings of a fairly solid lineup.

Then, fortify the bullpen (Koji, Sherrill, maybe a Rule 5 guy?) and add a veteran SP to replace Millwood and this could be a legitimate team.

Just once, I want to be in the wild card conversation come August 1. Not leading ther race ... just in the conversation.

Wouldn't that be nice?


To: Johnny C.

Perhaps you weren't watching this week when the Royals general manager, Dayton moore, addressed this issue on MLBTV. He said he was willing to consider moving Greinke for very solid prospects with upside. None of the Orioles you cited are prospects. They're all major league players.

Also, last week the insiders were writing that if Boston wanted Agon, they'd have to create a package that included Bard and Ellsbury. Guess what? The Sox gave up three prospects and they weren't even all AAA prospects. No one from their big league roster was included.

Hardy isn't quite up to Izzy (who is) defensively, but he's far from a liability! J. J. is tied for #11 all-time for fielding percentage among shortstops. To put that in a better perspective, consider that Ripken is #9. If durability is an issue, that will put more pressure on the O's to come up with a quality utility player.

I hear that the Nationals might have signed LaRoche.. I emphasize might have. Now if that's the case there is no free agent that I would want! So, therefore, I would call the Royals and start talking!

To Be Honest Billy Butler is the "Only" 1st Baseman that I would want out of anyone that is currently playing in the MLB. That's really how I feel!

I would even take Alex Gordon as well as a LF or 3rd base competition for Reynolds! I am serious!

Enzo gets it!

Replying to:

I still say Andy should try and blow the Rangers away if they really are looking
to move Young.

Offer them Tillman, Bell, Jacobsen and another prospect and see if Texas bites.

Young can play SS.

Posted by: Christopher | December 8, 2010 3:13 PM


Please tell me you're kidding. You want the Orioles to trade a top young starting pitching prospect along with their best offensive prospect for a 34-year-old who hasn't played SS in two years?

This is truly madness.

Any chance of Brendan Ryan?

I think if the club lets out the name of a Class A player in a proposed trade it's a done deal from our side.

The Twins are very adept at evaluating pitching so this kid has some value.


Tillman has fizzled in the bigs so far. Reminds me too much of Daniel Cabrera.

Bell is no different than Reynolds. If you don't like Reynolds because he's all pop and K's too much...well, that's Josh Bell.

At least Young's proven.

Christopher -

Young is owed $48 million over the next three years. If he was 30, I'd be all for it. But he's 34. No thanks.

There is no way that Hardy has been as durable as Izturis.

Hardy has played mlb from age 22 to his current age of 27. He has averaged just 112 games per year.

During the same age window Cesar Izturis averaged over 146 games per year.

As Cesar got older he had some health issues as most older players do.

What will Hardy bring you as he gets older, or do you think he'll leave his career health issues (hurt 3 out of his 6 mlb seasons) in Minnesota?

Did Koji leave his health problems in Japan?

Why not look at Michael Young? Last year at short (2008) he won a Gold Glove. Almost a certain 25 HR's. Salary help from Texas is a given fact.

Just don't be surprised when Hardy is on the DL. and Angelos is ticked over another player with health issues continuing to have health issues.

Hardy may be good, but let's get his opinion on Obama first.

Jeff -

Just hypothetically... let's imagine this deal goes through and our infield is Reynolds, Hardy, Roberts, Weiters... and ________.

That blank being Prince Fielder. Is there ANY CHANCE that the O's are still talking to the Brew crew about him?

I like both Hardy and Bartlett so I am happy with either one. I thought last winter that the O's should've offered something for Hardy. I think Hardy will have a very good year at the plate in OPACY.

Are the O's talking to any utility guys like a Felipe Lopez or Bill Hall?

Andrew T you failed to mention one "small" valid point. Bartlett would have been a one year rental. If you have no problem with giving up two players for a one year rental on a team that's not going anywhere, be my guest.

So we are down to "serious talks" about trading to obtain a so-so shortstop.

No 1B, no veteran starting pitcher, no replenishment of our bullpen, no replacement for Wiggy.

Thank goodness Luke Scott showed up to provide a distraction.

Don't get it. I feel like we could randomly stumble into a guy that could play average SS and hit .260. Why trade for it?

Harvey, please name three tradeable legit top notch O's minor leaguers. Outside of Britton I can't come up with one. Guys like Machado are not tradeable yet and guys like Adams, Snyder, Jacobson, Avery, Joseph, Hopgood and Mahoney just aren't that highly thought of. I just can't see how the O's can compete with better stocked farms in a pursuit of any grade A talent, let alone two when the other team wants good minor league prospects.

In Reply to:

So we are down to "serious talks" about trading to obtain a so-so shortstop.

No 1B, no veteran starting pitcher, no replenishment of our bullpen, no replacement for Wiggy.

Thank goodness Luke Scott showed up to provide a distraction.

Posted by: AngelOs | December 8, 2010 4:34 PM


We're rumored to be involved in "serious talks" with each of those things you list, as well. Unless opening day is tomorrow or something, I'm not sure I understand the despair. We'll get a SS, sign a 1b, re-sign Koji along with another reliever, and potentially get another SP as well. Relax.

Hardy will def be better then Izzy. But since we will not land a top line 1b and settle for LaRoache or Lee lets go after Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins to play SS. He will give us a much better bat then Hardy and make up what we will lose at 1b. He will cost more then Hardy but is a much better SS.

Go After Hanley Ramirez to play SS!!!!!!

Please explain to your readers that the game of baseball is about production...scoring and driving in runs, to be exact. Anything other hitter than that is generally considered hitting "a soft .280, or whatever", if not backed up by scoring or driving in runs. Your readers do know that Izturis is the ABSOLUTE SOFTEST hitter in the game, don't they? So please people, let's try and understand baseball and see that a Reynolds, Hardy type player is always better for your team, especially when they can throw some leather out there as well. So stop the madness and foolish comparisons. Izturis would be long gone if a deal was imminent. Right now, he's left twisting in the wind and that's too bad, but I'm sure he's working on moving on anyway.

Traderjack: I presume the O's can extend Bartlett if they so desire. But even so, I don't think giving up a 28-year-old 4th OF and a waiver wire reliever is much of a loss.

I would absolutely object if the Orioles were talking about sending 2 pitching prospects to TB for Bartlett, too. But I think it's crazy to pass on a deal that would bring in Bartlett for spare parts and then turn around and send legitimate prospects for a stopgap SS.

Traderjack: I presume the O's can extend Bartlett if they so desire. But even so, I don't think giving up a 28-year-old 4th OF and a waiver wire reliever is much of a loss.

I would absolutely object if the Orioles were talking about sending 2 pitching prospects to TB for Bartlett, too. But I think it's crazy to pass on a deal that would bring in Bartlett for spare parts and then turn around and send legitimate prospects for a stopgap SS.

I'm all for this trade.. id take hardy over izturis in a heartbeat.. I really hope AM has the stones to pull the trigger

Hardy makes sense and the price is right. He's a good hitter with power. But also, sign Izzy as he is the best fielding SS around and good insurance if Hardy or BRob miss playing time. Between the 3, 2B and SS is well covered.
Sign LaRouche for 1st and we have a vast offensive improvment without giving up much. Andino can replace Wiggy as Util as he can play OF also. And most of all, sign Luke long term because he can flat out hit, and has the smartest political sense on the team. He's dead right on Obama!!! My new favorite Oriole!

Cantu ! Cantu ! and James Jerry Hardy too.
Throw in Uehara and Cain and let the division fall where it may.
A cheap innings eater wouldn't hurt. Our SP's have nothing but upside.

@ gregory,

I am biased because I have family in FL that have season tix to the Marlins so I've seen Cantu play in person about 15-20 times a year and I always liked what I saw from him in the field and at the plate. He was awful once he was traded to the Rangers, but sometimes I think teams look at the last year and base everything on that, but how many times do guys have insane years in a walk year? Look at Javey Lopez and Adrian Beltre. Lopez was a bust after his 1st year here and Beltre never came close to his LA #s till his other walk year.

I do think the O's should throw their hat into the mix for Pavano. Put him with Jeremy and you have two guys who compete night in and night out. I think it's asking too much to expect that 4 other rookie or 2nd year players will step up and not regress.

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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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