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January 4, 2011

Kevin Gregg talks about signing with the Orioles

I had a chance to speak with Kevin Gregg, the newest Oriole, on the phone a few minutes ago. Here’s much of that interview:

Why the Orioles?

“Opportunity. And I’m trying to build off what the team did last year. In talking to Andy [Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail] and Buck [manager Buck Showalter], they wanted to make that bullpen deeper. And it is a good young team with a lot of energy. It looks like a good thing to be a part of.”

On being the closer in 2011:

“I want to close. I’ve talked to Andy and I have talked to Buck about it, and I told them what I wanted. I had 37 saves in this division last year. I have shown I can do it. I have averaged 30 saves in the last four years. I love doing it, but we’ll see when the season begins.”

On whether he has been told he is definitely the Orioles’ closer for 2011:

“You’ll have to ask those guys [MacPhail and Showalter] that question.”

More on choosing the Orioles:

“There is definitely opportunity there. It’s what led me this way: closing. That’s important to me. It’s also important being on a team that is young and has the potential to win. That’s important.”

Competing in the AL East:

“It’s definitely a tough situation. But if you follow the moves [this offseason], the Yankees haven’t made any moves. Boston, obviously, has made itself stronger. Toronto has done a couple of small things, and Tampa [Bay] hasn’t really made any moves and their payroll is going down. I think there is definitely an opportunity … to make an impact and get Baltimore back to where it needs to be in competing for a title.”

On the bullpen having at least five relievers with at least one 10-save big league season on their resume:

“That’s pretty unbelievable if you think about it. That gives us depth. You know you are going to get your rest, everybody can take a day off and not worry about who is handling the ball at the end of a game or how they’ll handle the pressure, be it the sixth, seventh or eighth innings. It gives Buck flexibility.”

On knowing some of the Orioles:

“I played with Derrek Lee in Chicago, and that’s an unbelievable signing. He adds a ton in the clubhouse, and his on-field stuff speaks for itself. … He’s a great teammate, and he has really helped guys move in the right direction.”

On other Orioles players:

“I’ll get to know them. I saw them 19 times last year and liked what I saw.”

Has it been unnerving waiting so long for a final agreement?

“A little bit. Luckily, I have had lots of interest. I have been weighing all those things, what’s best for me and my family to move forward, and we’ve been talking to each of the teams to see where we were at. There were just a million different decisions to make, and it made the process take a little while.”

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 3:32 PM | | Comments (34)
        

Comments

I love the line that the Yanks didn't do anything. This might be the 1st guy we've signed that hasn't said that every team in the East is great and will be tough to face.

He wants to close and hopefully that will motivate him. Seems like a guy made to play for Buck.

I am impressed with what the O's did this winter. They have a new SS, 3B, 1B, resigned Koji and added Gregg. I would like to see Ohman back on the team, but my biggest concern is one more starter and my fear that Millwood ends up with that spot!

Welcome to Birdland, Kevin! See you in Sarasota...

just another solid arm in the bullpen
Pretty decent off season for the Os.

By the way, did Laroche sign his 3 yr/21m$ deal yet? I heard some guy named Gil is his agent-in-waiting and remains outraged that the Os didn't offer him a 3 yr deal, but not at all mystified that no one else hasn't either.Hmmm.....

Did Gregg mention that he even talked to Buck, so Buck actually has some input into bringing guys here and the team makeup?

When folks have an axe to grind...

Todd -

I can't imagine that Millwood wants to come back for another beating.

I can see him signing with an NL team that plays in a pitcher friendly park. The Mets or the Padres make the most sense.

Even though he's essentially a younger version of Millwood, my choice for #5 start is Joe Blanton. I don't have much confidence in Blanton to post anything less than a 4.50 ERA in this division, but, when it comes down to it, I don't see any better options out there.

The fact of the matter is that we need a guy who can step into the rotation right now so we don't have to throw Tillman into the fire again or bring Britton up too early. Blanton could be had for a couple of fringe prospects and he's much more of a sure thing than anyone left on the free agent market.

Also, dealing with Philly opens up the possibility to trade for first base prospect Jonathan Singleton. The Phils have Ryan Howard signed on to play first base for like 900 years, so Singleton might be expendable. And if the O's are willing to take on Blanton's entire salary (which is something that they can most certainly afford), maybe Philly would be open to trading Singleton.

Just a thought. I think it's the best option out there. If anyone can think of anything else that's realistic, let's hear it.

jim -

The latest news is that the Nats and LaRoche are working on a two-year deal.

Good news for us.

The last time there was a rumor that an orange and black team offered LaRoche a multi-year deal and he turned it down and ended up signing elsewhere for one less year, that orange and black team won the World Series!

Why are some people against this move? To get a quality closer that has averaged 30 saves the last 3 years is a steal! We paid more for Gonzo last year and he was an unproven closer. Great move!

nb,

I had that thought about Blanton/Singleton too.

But I fear Singleton will be my new Kila... the guy I yell for who should be available given his team's situation... but nothing ever happens with him...

However, that said... I don't even know what the Phils need (3B in waiting?)... how about Bell + Tillman for Blanton + Singleton?

"Competing in the AL East:

“It’s definitely a tough situation. But if you follow the moves [this offseason], the Yankees haven’t made any moves. Boston, obviously, has made itself stronger. Toronto has done a couple of small things, and Tampa [Bay] hasn’t really made any moves and their payroll is going down. I think there is definitely an opportunity … to make an impact and get Baltimore back to where it needs to be in competing for a title.”


I really liked his answer. He hit it right on the head. Boston is obviously looking like the front runner, but we should make for competive play in the East.

Gregg must be a graduate of the John Harbaugh school of PR.

On whether he has been told he is definitely the Orioles’ closer for 2011:

“You’ll have to ask those guys [MacPhail and Showalter] that question.”

This is weird to me. Wouldn't he know if he was or wasn't told? If that was his No. 1 wish and they didn't tell him that, why did he agree? Intriguing. Sounds like the competitive aspects told a lot of the story.

It's clear that he wants to be the closer.

But unless the Orioles promised it to him, it will make for headaches if someone proves to be better for the job. A bullpen of pretty much nothing but closers is unique and potentially dangerous. It makes for a lot of egos in one pen.

I hope this signing doesn't wind up making Gregg cranky rather than happy.

I cannot imagine that Buck told Andy to tell Gregg that he was the closer. If Gregg actually followed the O's last season after Buck's arrival, he knows that the Show-man went with the hot hand, and declined continually to name anybody "closer." It would really be interesting to know what real offers Gregg had besides the O's. If he had even one other legit offer and pick B-more, that might be the first time in the last ten years that's happened. Also, I still think Jeff Francis would be an interesting sign. He could vie for a starter's job, but if he didn't get that, he could be a leftie in the pen (and, he can hit a little, too).

NB,

I hope Millwood doesn't want to come back. I agree with you that the Padres and Mets would be a good fit for Kevin. I also think the Twins would be a good fit if they lose Pavano.

I like Blanton. I don't expect amazing #s, but I do think he will be a valuable pitcher for the O's. I honestly don't believe we have a 5th starter and if the SP, ends up being Tillman and he gets knocked around, the BP will get overused and it will be the same old situation as always with the team rushing someone up and looking on the scrap heaps.

Hi All Mr Negativity Here,

Ok Ok I vented over at Roch's place and was called a tool. How Old School!

Anyway, a few comments. It's funny though, I thought I was going to limit myself to just one post today. I think we all can see that just wasn't the case.

@ Fang, I think you're right about too many cooks in the kitchen. I researched some of Buck's old teams. In his best season with the Diamondbacks (1999) the bullpen from what I can tell was by committee. In Texas he had Francisco Cordero, and to be honest he was pretty darn good and for a long time. Now why the Orioles could not get a relief pitcher like him, I just don't know.
Unless, you think Kevin Gregg is comparable, I am not inclined to feel that way, but oh well. I also feel we overpaid for him. Lastly, what disappoints me even more Buck must have felt we didn't have anyone in the entire system that's as good as Gregg, that has me disappointed even more.

Ok enough about Gregg, I think I have said more then enough about the guy.

Dan C, question for you. What do you think the chances are of any of these players being signed or traded for

1.) Vlad Guerrero
2.) Michael Young dh/2nd baseman - actually the Orioles could flip flop him and BRob to keep him healthy through the year
3.) A 1st Line starter, is there any chance of this happening?
While the Orioles are improved since last year, I still say there's a hole in the line-up and we don't have a true #1 pitcher.

Do you think there will be any major trades or signing before spring training or is this it? Thanks ahead of time!

Probably loved what he saw last year because the Blue Jays barely lost a game vs the O's. Good signing, might have overpaid a bit, but it's what we have to do right now.

cih,

really, giving up the bird in the hand by moving Josh Bell. Already?...sigh. I'm keeping Bell. 3B power switch hitter...to go with the Catching power switch hitter...hum.

nb,

I like the idea of Garza. But that's clearly a more difficult trade than for Blanton. I'll take Tillman, Britton, or Vandenhurk over Blanton. Even if there's a tremendous 1B prospect in the deal.

((not brooks: in the modern baseball game, I still think it's easier for the O's to get 1B guys in Free Agency. 1B guys tend to cost the most, and smaller market teams will have to deal with 100+ Million dollar contracts to retain them. Philosophically, I think McPhail's approach of Grow Arms and Buy bats is wise. Obviously, we can debate execution and delivery. Developing "arms" is a much more fruitful business, imho. It also plays to the strength of the International League. Bell looked great in out west in the small ball parks...but he comes to the East and the drop off in power isn't that surprising...concerning, yes).

Everyone now seems concerned as to whether Gregg has been told he's the closer, if he perhaps had other similar offers to the O's, etc. It seems pretty clear to me that probably no one promised the guy a clear cut closing gig and this time the O's overspent to get their guy, with a deal full of incentives dangling at the end of it. He certainly wasn't going to get this kind of money as a clear cut middle reliever somewhere else and noticing the closer gigs are gone, he eventually "caved in" to take our Multi Millions.

Now, I hope I'm right and he actually sets up Koji with JJ and Gonzo holding down the back end because his pedestrian numbers, averaging 1 1/2 baserunners per every inning pitched, leads the older guys to shudder while remembering FULLPACK STANHOUSE. I think Buck told him to earn it if he can! That's why he answered the question with "go ask Buck and AM", when asked if he was told he was the closer. That's the way it should be.

Gregg's a class act as a human being. As a pitcher, he's a bit of an adventure: lights out some nights, horrible on others. Last years Cito Gaston was way too reluctant to get Gregg out of the game on nights when he clearly didn't have it. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Buck use him more effectively.

As sad as this may sound, some of the O's relief pitchers vying for a spot in the pen must feel that their chances have improved after Simon's arrest. I doubt Alfredo given the circumstances is going to be playing ball this year. Any thoughts?

..............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: Agreed.

@paulie

I'm not giving up on Bell so much as I'm that high on Singleton. You have to give up something to get something.

Bell's value is at 3B. He could be above average there, but if he moves to 1B, it's more likely that he becomes average. At this point, he could probably step in at 3B for the Phils in 2012 (earlier, like mid-season earlier if Polonco has injury issues).

Meanwhile, Singleton would probably arrive at the same time as Machado... 2013 optimistically. But if everything went right (and that's a BIG IF) could you imagine that duo arriving at the same time?

Not Brooks,

For once, I agree with you. I don't think Blanton is worth the 17 million, but if we could do the Phillies a favor by taking all of the salary in exchange for them including Singleton in the deal, then I'm all for it. It's not like Blanton is a total stiff, just not worth 17 million, is all.

But, I don't like trading Tillman or Bell. Singleton is 6-2, 215, and turned 19 last September. In his first two minor league season, he has a 290/393/479 line, with 34 D and 16 HRs. Also, 80 Ws and 87 Ks in 569 pro PAs. He's at least three years away, so I'm not I want give up on two guys with great potential. Maybe if Singleton was closer, but not now.

I'm not convinced the Orioles even need another starter. I believe now is the time to see what Tillman, Arrieta, and Bergson can do. I think Matusz has pretty much arrived and Guthrie last year showed he can pitch. Britton is in reserve with guys like Patton and VandenHurk ready to step in. Matusz is on his way to being that number one, and Arrieta has shown he has that type of stuff as well. Unless they can get a Garza, Sheilds, or Pavano for little or nothing, I'm happy with the pitching.

But, if they want to get a veteran innings eater, I think they can do a lot worse than Millwood. Of course, his total year stats were horrible, but remember, he pitched in terrible luck the fist part of the season. In his first 11 starts, he was 0-5 with a very respectable 3.89 ERA.

In his next ten starts, he got blasted, posting a 9.18 ERA and ending up on the DL. His ERA rose all the way to 6+.

But he finished strong, his last ten starts he had a 3.29 ERA and lowered his season ERA to the final 5.10. If he pitched league average during those middle ten starts, he has a much better year. I think he's worth at least an invite to spring or even an incentive laden one year deal. He's worked with Mark Conner and had great success under Showalter. He might worth a look.

Rodent, where's the hole in the lineup? If you go:

Roberts
Markakis
Lee
Reynolds
Scott
Jones
Wieters
Reimold/Pie
Hardy

that's a pretty solid lineup. No instant outs. People want the Orioles to sign Vlady or Thome and move Scott bacl to LF. Well, Scott was one of the most productive DHs last year, his DH numbers were all top ten. Reimold and/or Pie have much more upside than either Vlady or Thome, who bring a ton of age and physical problems with them. I'd rather keep Scott as the DH and let Reimold and Pie handle left, with Angle and Avery progressing in the minors.

If he thinks the O's can win then I'm all for it. I'm wondering if Lee and Gregg had a little chat before all this went down?

We did have a bad year against Toronto, true. But we did beat them pretty bad at the end of last year. I think Gregg wanted a chance to stay in the East while having a chance to close. That's not going to happen in Boston. But My guess is he was seeing the changing landscape of the East. Toronto, while young and good, is going through a managerial change. Tampa is shedding payroll and may need a couple of years to regroup (although they will be good, no doubt about it). NY is out of the question. So Baltimore, with a good manager, a deeper bullpen, and a young core is making strides. Hey if him and Lee want to be here, why not a few more people? Lets just hope PA can keep this front office long enough to keep us in the right direction.

Gregg's SAVES Numbers over last 4 seasons

2007 32 (8th in NL) Whip 1.23
2008 29 (8th in NL) Whip 1.28
2009 23 (15th in NL)Whip 1.31
2010 37 (4th in AL) Whip 1.39

There are some real bozos that post on here. How anyone could find fault w adding another bonafide big league, seasoned arm to the bullpen is beyond me.
Load 'em up, let 'em it sort it out between the white lines come Spring Training.
Evidence shows, O's have been the most active team not only in the division, but in the entire major leagues this offseason. All Ye Naysayers can take a walk off a short plank if ye thinks otherwise!

I hope that Showalter isn't as hung up on saves as Gregg is, and furthermore that Gregg is able to be happy if he is not closing. Because he shouldn't. Look for Uehara, Gonzalez and Accardo (at least, probably Johnson too) to have better years than him statistically (I mean, stats that matter... not saves).

I mean, I don't blame him for liking saves. It gave him an elite-level contract when he is a so-so pitcher.

Ugh... don't like this contract.

Very well said, Sizemo! It's been an excellent off season for sure.

Jeff,

What are the odds Simon pitches for the O's this season? With a charge of involuntary manslaughter and pendng court trials, etc. do you think Simon will be suspended for the year or do you think court proceedings can be delayed (if not completed) once the season starts?

As far as the Gregg signing, I like it. Sure we paid too much, but the fact is he is better than a lot of other options / past signings. Much better than Williamson, Bradford, Baez, etc. If he falters, we have any capable pitchers ready to fill the closer role. And honestly, how many of you think Uehara is going to stay healthy? I certainly don't.

..............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: It doesn't look good obviously but it's just way too early to answer that question. Think it would be irresponsible for me to speculate before he has even been charged.

Jeff,

Seeing what teams like the Rockies did this winter by locking up guys like Tulo and Cargo, do you expect Jones and Guthrie to get extensions before the season or do you think the O's will wait and see? Also, how the hell is Beltre worth 96 mil? The O's better really focus on drafting players and keeping them because looking at Werth and Beltre, I don't think they are even close to worth what they signed.

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: No, I don't see serious discussions with either on an extension. Maybe before 2012 season depending on how things goes.

Not sure how Andy talks about frugality when he continues to blow money. Gregg is not worth $5mil a year, but let's hope he regains some of the form he had during his Anaheim days.

This 't is primarily for NotBrooks, Squirrel Varmet, Mickey, you know, the naysayers.
I exclaimed in earlier posts succinctly, that "sometimes the best deals are sometimes the ones you don't get done, cuz they lead to better deals"

I mentioned this regarding Lee over LaRoche, which was always my preference.

This guy from FanGraphs goes into their GREAT and typical detail. With the off-season winding down and a need at first base, the Orioles targeted Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche as the best options remaining in free agency. They ended up signing Lee because he was willing to accept a one year deal, while LaRoche was holding out for a multi-year contract. His demands are reportedly going to be met, as he’s rumored to be nearing a two-year deal to sign with the Washington Nationals.

The shakeout seems a little bit backward to me. LaRoche is an inferior player to Lee in just about every way, and yet he’s the one getting the multi-year contract. Let’s compare their skills, shall we?

Power? LaRoche has a career ISO of .216, boosted by his one big power year back in 2006. Lee also has a career ISO of .216, boosted by two big power spikes – one in 2005, and one in 2009.

Contact? LaRoche has a career 25 percent strikeout rate, and posted a career high 30.7 percent mark last year. Lee has a career 23.2 percent strikeout rate, and was just above that at 24.5 percent in 2010.

Patience? LaRoche has a 9.2 percent walk rate for his career, compared to 11.2 percent for Lee. LaRoche has had a double digit walk rate once in his career, while Lee has done better than that every year since 2001 with the exception of 2004, when his walk rate was 9.9 percent.

Defense? LaRoche has a career UZR of -15.9, while Lee is at +7.3. Don’t like UZR? Cubs fans gave Lee a 61 in the Fans Scouting Report, compared to the 52 that Arizona fans gave LaRoche.

Recent success? LaRoche had a .339 wOBA in 2009, compared to the .340 mark that Lee posted last year. If you go back one year, LaRoche did post a .357 wOBA, but Lee posted a .412 wOBA in 2009, blowing him out of the water. Lee was better in 2008, and in 2007… you get the idea.

The only number in LaRoche’s favor is date of birth. He is four years younger than Lee, so his slip in 2010 can be perceived as more of an off-year, while Lee’s slip is assumed to be age-related decline. It fits the narrative: guys get worse in their mid-30s, so we’re more apt to accept Lee’s regression as real, while looking back at LaRcohe’s 2006-2009 performance and thinking that he still has time to rebound.

The problem is that Lee is starting from a much higher tier, so even if he’s regressing, he still has a pretty long way to fall before he reaches Adam LaRoche levels of expected production. After all, Lee is a guy who put up +12.3 WAR from 2007-2009, more than LaRoche has accumulated in his entire career. We shouldn’t let one season where they were equally productive let us fall into the trap of believing that they are now on the same level.

If Lee is only worth a one year deal in this market, than LaRoche should be as well. I can’t see the justification giving the inferior player a longer deal, even if he is younger
by Dave Cameron - January 4, 2011
With the off-season winding down and a need at first base, the Orioles targeted Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche as the best options remaining in free agency. They ended up signing Lee because he was willing to accept a one year deal, while LaRoche was holding out for a multi-year contract. His demands are reportedly going to be met, as he’s rumored to be nearing a two-year deal to sign with the Washington Nationals.
The shakeout seems a little bit backward to me. LaRoche is an inferior player to Lee in just about every way, and yet he’s the one getting the multi-year contract. Let’s compare their skills, shall we?
Power? LaRoche has a career ISO of .216, boosted by his one big power year back in 2006. Lee also has a career ISO of .216, boosted by two big power spikes – one in 2005, and one in 2009.
Contact? LaRoche has a career 25 percent strikeout rate, and posted a career high 30.7 percent mark last year. Lee has a career 23.2 percent strikeout rate, and was just above that at 24.5 percent in 2010.
Patience? LaRoche has a 9.2 percent walk rate for his career, compared to 11.2 percent for Lee. LaRoche has had a double digit walk rate once in his career, while Lee has done better than that every year since 2001 with the exception of 2004, when his walk rate was 9.9 percent.
Defense? LaRoche has a career UZR of -15.9, while Lee is at +7.3. Don’t like UZR? Cubs fans gave Lee a 61 in the Fans Scouting Report, compared to the 52 that Arizona fans gave LaRoche.
Recent success? LaRoche had a .339 wOBA in 2009, compared to the .340 mark that Lee posted last year. If you go back one year, LaRoche did post a .357 wOBA, but Lee posted a .412 wOBA in 2009, blowing him out of the water. Lee was better in 2008, and in 2007… you get the idea.
The only number in LaRoche’s favor is date of birth. He is four years younger than Lee, so his slip in 2010 can be perceived as more of an off-year, while Lee’s slip is assumed to be age-related decline. It fits the narrative: guys get worse in their mid-30s, so we’re more apt to accept Lee’s regression as real, while looking back at LaRcohe’s 2006-2009 performance and thinking that he still has time to rebound.
The problem is that Lee is starting from a much higher tier, so even if he’s regressing, he still has a pretty long way to fall before he reaches Adam LaRoche levels of expected production. After all, Lee is a guy who put up +12.3 WAR from 2007-2009, more than LaRoche has accumulated in his entire career. We shouldn’t let one season where they were equally productive let us fall into the trap of believing that they are now on the same level.
If Lee is only worth a one year deal in this market, than LaRoche should be as well. I can’t see the justification giving the inferior player a longer deal, even if he is younge
by Dave Cameron - January 4, 2011

With the off-season winding down and a need at first base, the Orioles targeted Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche as the best options remaining in free agency. They ended up signing Lee because he was willing to accept a one year deal, while LaRoche was holding out for a multi-year contract. His demands are reportedly going to be met, as he’s rumored to be nearing a two-year deal to sign with the Washington Nationals.

The shakeout seems a little bit backward to me. LaRoche is an inferior player to Lee in just about every way, and yet he’s the one getting the multi-year contract. Let’s compare their skills, shall we?

Power? LaRoche has a career ISO of .216, boosted by his one big power year back in 2006. Lee also has a career ISO of .216, boosted by two big power spikes – one in 2005, and one in 2009.

Contact? LaRoche has a career 25 percent strikeout rate, and posted a career high 30.7 percent mark last year. Lee has a career 23.2 percent strikeout rate, and was just above that at 24.5 percent in 2010.

Patience? LaRoche has a 9.2 percent walk rate for his career, compared to 11.2 percent for Lee. LaRoche has had a double digit walk rate once in his career, while Lee has done better than that every year since 2001 with the exception of 2004, when his walk rate was 9.9 percent.

Defense? LaRoche has a career UZR of -15.9, while Lee is at +7.3. Don’t like UZR? Cubs fans gave Lee a 61 in the Fans Scouting Report, compared to the 52 that Arizona fans gave LaRoche.

Recent success? LaRoche had a .339 wOBA in 2009, compared to the .340 mark that Lee posted last year. If you go back one year, LaRoche did post a .357 wOBA, but Lee posted a .412 wOBA in 2009, blowing him out of the water. Lee was better in 2008, and in 2007… you get the idea.

The only number in LaRoche’s favor is date of birth. He is four years younger than Lee, so his slip in 2010 can be perceived as more of an off-year, while Lee’s slip is assumed to be age-related decline. It fits the narrative: guys get worse in their mid-30s, so we’re more apt to accept Lee’s regression as real, while looking back at LaRcohe’s 2006-2009 performance and thinking that he still has time to rebound.

The problem is that Lee is starting from a much higher tier, so even if he’s regressing, he still has a pretty long way to fall before he reaches Adam LaRoche levels of expected production. After all, Lee is a guy who put up +12.3 WAR from 2007-2009, more than LaRoche has accumulated in his entire career. We shouldn’t let one season where they were equally productive let us fall into the trap of believing that they are now on the same level.

If Lee is only worth a one year deal in this market, than LaRoche should be as well. I can’t see the justification giving the inferior player a longer deal, even if he is younge

Copy & paste went a little crazy there, eh Sizemo?

FYI - I really like Derrek Lee, and I think he'll have a great year. And if he doesn't, I bet he'll at least be better than LaRoche.

The only things that put LaRoche ahead of Lee on my lost were age and stability. A's you said, LaRoche is four years younger than Lee, and with that in mind, giving LaRoche a two year deal made sense. The stability that comes with a two year deal would have been a nice security blanket next winter when the O's great first base race starts up yet again.

Of course, all of that went out the window when LaRoche was demanding three years.

All of that said, I'm quite happy with Derrek Lee for 2011. I'm thinking something like a .280/.360/.490 line with 25+ homers and plus defense makes sense for Lee. Not to mention that his presence in the lineup, along with Mark Reynolds, should bring back the 2008 version of Nick Markakis. And it'll take pressure off of Adam Jones and Matt Wieters.

Yup, I like Derrek Lee.

Welcome to the fold Fullpack!

Depth will be very important if the starting unit struggles. Can never have enough

Sizemo, hey brother, a naysayer is one who doesn't have their facts straight, or the alter ego of not brooks, squirrel, myself and many others that study this stuff, yet argues until they're blue in the face with incorrect info. Your research on Gregg pretty much makes my point as he's always in the bottom tier of relievers, not just closers. When you are a closer IT'S NOT OK to have middle reliever numbers. There is just too much at stake. I'm pleased to have him as a set up guy, but right now KOJI IS THE MAN GOING IN. Gregg will have to take the role from him if he can earn it. I truly hope he does because it can only help the team. I'm looking for special things this year and can hardly wait for opening day. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT BOOK...you may want to proofread next time.

Really, Christopher? You are concerned with AM "blowing" money, while every other BIRDFAN for 14 years has been aware that in order to attract talent here, we would have to do just that. You have to be the ANGELOS CORPORATE ACCOUNTANT, or perhaps you just fell off that proverbial TURNIP TRUCK. Come on man!

What about Bedard as 5th starter?

I love this lineup but not a lot of depth if any significant injuries.

--

Seattle re-signed him to a minor-league deal

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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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