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January 22, 2011

OK, go get Vladimir Guerrero now

It has been a popular topic for months among Orioles fans: signing designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, whom the club flirted with before the 2004 season but couldn’t land.

Frankly, I didn’t spend much time analyzing what Guerrero could do for the Orioles in 2011 because I didn’t think it had any chance of happening. He has turned them down once before, and the club has shown very little interest this time around -- despite some reports to the contrary.

The Orioles have pretty much spent their allotted budget for 2011 and still want to shoehorn in an innings-eating starter and a lefty reliever. We’ve been told by plenty of sources that they haven’t pursued Guerrero with any vigor, so I haven’t wasted my breath.

But I've come around to the idea. If I am the Orioles, I sign Vladimir Guerrero today. Maybe even yesterday. In fact, I give him to a two-year deal if that’s what it takes.

That statement isn’t in reaction to what the Tampa Bay Rays did Friday, signing the two other prominent DH/outfielder types on the market in Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. No reason for me to knee jerk, because we all know Andy MacPhail won’t.

Anyone who has watched the Orioles president of baseball operations work in the past four years knows he’s not going to make a move to counter what a divisional rival did. That’s absolutely not his style. He has his plan, and he’s not peeking at anyone else’s test papers.

But the Rays’ moves do play a small part here in my thinking because another suitor for Guerrero is gone. The Toronto Blue Jays might still be lurking in the shadows for Guerrero, but they just traded for more offense, dealing Vernon Wells to the Los Angeles Angels for Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli. So their likelihood of adding Guerrero drops some, too.

That leaves three teams as obvious fits for Guerrero: the Orioles, the Angels, who didn’t re-sign him after the 2009 season; and the Texas Rangers, who didn’t pick up his 2011 option.

Guerrero will be 36 in February; he no longer can run or play the field. The Orioles are a young team that is seemingly several years away from competing, so adding another aging slugger for a year or two seems counterproductive at the least and, possibly, a complete waste of valuable financial resources.

Plus, the club’s best hitter last year was Luke Scott, the Orioles' starting designated hitter. You can’t take Scott out of the lineup. And putting him in left field everyday may not only weaken your defense, but it would also rob young outfielders Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold of playing time.

Despite those complications, Guerrero almost certainly would propel the Orioles from a solid offense with upside to a formidable one. Truth be told, the Orioles’ lineup right now is made up of some pretty good hitters but no one that really scares other teams.

That’s where Guerrero comes in. He still is one of the more dangerous hitters in baseball. He batted .300 with a .345 on-base percentage and a .496 slugging percentage while hitting 29 homers and driving in 115 runs for the 2010 Rangers.

Nice numbers, but here are the stats that stand out to me:

The first is .325/.406/.588. That’s his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage against left-handed pitching in his career. He hit .338 against lefties last year, which has been a real problem for the Orioles in the past. In 2010, the Orioles hit .248 with a .303 on-base percentage against lefties. Newly acquired Derrek Lee helps that cause, but adding Guerrero would improve it immensely.

The second is 60 -- that’s how many strikeouts Guerrero had in 643 plate appearances in 2010. Sixty strikeouts for a guy that batted cleanup in 145 games last year. Guerrero is a notorious free swinger and bad-ball hitter, but he continually makes contact (even if the ball bounces in front of the plate). Much has been made of Mark Reynolds and his penchant for striking out 200 times a season. Want to neutralize that concern? Bring in Guerrero.

The third, and maybe most important, is $6.5 million -- that’s what Guerrero made last year, including a $1 million buyout. It was supposed to be a make-good contract that would land Guerrero another multiyear deal. He made great, and is still unemployed. A $5 million to $6 million offer might get it done this late in the game, and a two-year deal for slightly less annually almost certainly would. Remember, the Orioles gave Miguel Tejada a one-year, $6 million deal on Jan. 25 last year. They also paid (gulp) Garrett Atkins $4.5 million in 2010.

Normally, I am pretty conservative in throwing around the Orioles’ money. To me, it doesn’t usually make sense to spend on veterans who won’t be around if and when the current crop of young players carries this team to respectability. But Guerrero is different. He’s an elite hitter who can make this offense lethal, which could be huge if the Orioles’ young pitchers defy the odds and all take a step forward in 2011. And if they don’t, and the Orioles are mired in fourth or fifth place in July, Guerrero could fetch the Orioles a usable piece at the trade deadline.

Initially, signing Guerrero would move Scott to left full-time -- which isn’t a problem. Scott is not a detriment out there, as some believe. It likely would move Pie to a fourth outfielder’s role, which may help him stay off the disabled list. And it likely would move Reimold to Triple-A, which, hopefully, would allow him to get his confidence back after a regrettable 2010. Or they could deal Pie or even Scott for starting pitching (based on this winter’s maneuvers, Reimold doesn’t look like he’ll be traded anytime soon).

The bottom line is simple for the Orioles: Go get Guerrero and then try to bash your way through the AL East. A month ago, that marriage seemed laughable. But Guerrero is still hanging around, and the DH chairs are being filled.

And the Orioles are, surprisingly, in a position to make it happen.

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:00 AM | | Comments (84)
        

Comments

Dan,

I think the biggest upside is that it allows Reimold to play every inning of every game......in Norfolk. I really don't like Reimold sitting on the O's bench. He needs at bats.

This would also pressure Pie into hitting more consistently. He hasn't proven himself with all the talks of his potential. I'd rather have him on the bench as a late-inning defensive replacement, pinch hitter, pinch runner.

I doubt it happens - I think PA will spend a lot until they are showing signd of contention first - but it would be interesting if it did.

Amen Brother!!!

Agreed. Sort out Scott/Pie/Reimold later.

Why not?

At least the higher ticket prices will go to a new addition.

Everything you said is exactly what I have been saying.

One other thing to consider is what is the worst case scenario, we don't do well and have to trade him for some prospects. The farm obviously needs help so what the hecht, look at what KC has done with one year deals.

Pie is better suited on the bench and Scott isn't a horrible defensive player out there. We can save a spot with a utility/catcher in fox and get a quality fourth outfielder while sending Nolan down for a FULL year which he needs.

Most importantly, we need quality starting pitching. Not talking about the guys left over except for maybe a great year from Duscherer. Talking about making a real deal from a team looking to make a move.

DAN, have heard these names at starting pitcher as possibly tradable, what do you think:
Gavin Floyd and Wandy Rodriguez.

Obviously, they would take alot but signing Vlad might give us that extra bat to include.

Anyhow, its refreshing to hear some new thoughts that I agree with completely. This is all probably an impossibility but you never know with Buck.

I guess Andy is listening to you

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/01/orioles-vladimir-guerrero-close-to-a-deal.html

Guerrero had a phenom 1st half last year but steadily went down hill the 2nd half and sat on ice cubes during the post season. I think that's what soured the Rangers on him. If the Orioles sign him and move Scott in a trade what are they going to use for left handed power? Markakis and his 12 home runs? The American Leagues right handed pitching will eat them alive.

Fox Sports Radio's Jim Bowden just reported that the Orioles are close to a one-year deal with Vladmir Guerrero.

He also stated that the deal may be "humbling" for Vlad, whatever that means. Luke Scott to left field with Reimold/Pie being left to battle for fourth outfielder.

According to Jim Bowden on Twitter the Os are close to a deal with Vladdy Daddy

Yes! please sign Guerrero, if Front Office doesn't take action or at least make a good offer they're making a huge mistake.

I'm 100% with you Dan. Vlad would be absolute perfect protection for Reynolds and several other young O's.

Jim Bowden reports that the O's are even "close to a deal" with Vlad. Any truth to that rumor?

Either way, I'd love to wake up tomorrow to find that Vladimir Guerrero is an Oriole.

Here's hoping...

Whether or not Guerrero is right move, the idea that they are at their budget is just not acceptable. What happened to the money supposedly offered to Victor Martinez and Adam Dunn? Peter Angelos is billionaire, or awfully close to it. Between the Orioles team and MASN, their is no doubt he and his partners are only getting richer while the team and it's fans suffer. It's inexcusable and unacceptable for them not to put the money back into the team. They can afford Guerrero! After saving money for years, you'd think they could afford just about any player!

They play in a beautiful stadium built by Maryland taxpayers, with frequent multi-million dollar renovations and upgrades, while paying nothing or next to nothing in rent, for God's sake! They gouge their fans every chance they get, and then they are "at their budget". I don't believe they can't afford better players. This budget is a joke! And they have the nerve to raise ticket prices. They owe their fans better than this!

Hey Dan watever u smokin man pass that here dude 4 real haha. Guerrero would be a nice pick up if you could get him on a manny contract 1 year 2-4 mil . Im sorry but ive got to give Pie and Reimold atleast 1 more year to see what they can do, especially with the youth movement this club has been goin the last few years . no reason 2 throw Pie and Nolan 2 the side 4 a year or half a year of an aging Vladdy maybe 5 -6 years ago but not now

All good points on Vlad!

Looking at the Jays, I am impressed they were able to get rid of Vernon Wells. Napoli will probably get most of the time at 1B and Rivera will most likely get the DH spot. I think the Angles are now in the midst of 2 bad winters in a row. Big gamble on an injury prone player who's not done a hell of a lot since his big deal was signed. It seems like Abreu will be the DH there. I honestly think Texas is looking for a DH for a small amount of ABs because Young will get most of the time there and at 1B so I don't think Vlad will get 500-600 ABs there so it's down to Baltimore.

He's older than when we last went after him, but listening to the insider talk, he is the ultimate clubhouse guy and I know I've said this before, but we all talk about Lee having a chip on his shoulder so Vlad must have a boulder on his after what he did for the Rangers.

Dan, you talked about Reimold getting regular playing time and I've been saying for quite some time that if he is as important as the O's say he is, he needs to get his ABs, confidence and not play sparingly. When it comes to the 4th outfielder role, I could see Pie getting a lot of playing time spelling Jones and alternating with Luke. Scott could end up a big trading chip at the break because he still has one more year of arbitration. I don't see any negatives to signing Vlad for a 1 or 2 year deal.

With Vlad, the O's would have their best lineup since 1997 from 1-9 plus we can now lay claim that we might not get our man right away like Lee in 2006 or Vlad in 2004, but we get them in the end!

Sometimes like in the NFL draft, someone just falls into your lap and I think this is the case with Vlad and it would be a damn shame if the O's didn't get this done.

I think this would be awesome! I have seen this rumor on several sites now, which leads me to believe it is true. This would give us the pieces we need to trade for another starter and maybe a second lefty in the BP. Look Reimold could be a bust and if he is he will have no better trade value than right now.

NO BRAINER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

Vlad lifting flies to left at Camden Yards?

PLEASE!!!

Hall-of-famer in the house!!!

Comeback player of year 2010 in
the house!!!

.320 lifetime batting average in the house!!!

DH for the American League's championship team!!!

Smiley in the house - no grumbling and
no dissension in the house!

Fans from afar in the house!!!

Increased attendance in the house!!!

Bucky wants him because Bucky knows
guys who play hit!!!

Peter Angelos will smile at the turnstile counts again!!

Orioles hitters will play relaxed because Vlad is in the house!!

Oriole pitchers will pitch relaxed because Vlad is in the house!!

And, for the first time in a decade, I
will walk through the turnstiles at the Yard to see one of the top 100 position players to ever play major league ball!

For me, it's the best move the Orioles will have made since the Pappas for Robinson deal!!!

I JUST LOVE ME SOME NO BRAINER STUFF!!!
-----------------------
------------

I think this is a bad idea. Vlad will be 36 and your ready to give up on Luke Scott and Felix Pie.
Pie earned the chance to start. Look at the stats. He is an offensive sparkplug to a team who's only other one is Brian Roberts. He has a good glove, too.
Luke Scott earned the right to the DH position last year with a .285 batting average, a higher on base average and a higher slugging percentage than Vlad had last year.
I love Vlad. Always have, always will. The time to get him has passed.
The O's are in prime position to give a couple of guys, who have earned it, the starting position until they don't perform.
Like Reimold last year. He earned the chance to start and lost it with his play. But he earned the chance.(hopefully will get another)
Scott and Pie have earned their chance too. Taking that away for this short term (maybe very short)improvement is very short sighted.
You said sign Vlad for 2 years if thats what it takes. While admitting he can no longer run or play the field.
I am glad Andy is in charge. Now if Andy is using Luke for a trade to get the last starter or set up guy we need then this would make sense.

Leave Vlad alone.
He's multiple injuries waiting to happen.
I'll lay odds Scott has a better 2011 than Vlad.
Also... forget signing a "veteran" starting pitcher.
What is Guthrie... chopped liver ?
Guthrie, Matusz, Bergesen, Arrieta, and VandenHurk make a very good rotation with Tillman and Britton waiting in the wings.
Also: Reimold will not make the 25-man roster.

Just looked up more MLB stats on Vlad.
Try these on:
Top 15 in Hits for year.
Top 6 in RBI,
Top 15 in HRS.
Almost doubled his last year HRS total. from the previous year.
ONE STRIKE OUT PER TEN AB.
Oh, Yea, He'll have 250 plus at bats in Camden Yards.
Pull the trigger!!!!!!!!!!

I don't really see the point. Guerrero is not going to be around, in all likelihood, when/if the Orioles reach contention-level. Furthermore, he buries Reimold. At bats in AAA is not what he needs: 2011 is put up or shut up time for him as a MLB player. Personally, while I like Nolan I am not convinced by him so it's no great loss, but I guess I don't see the point. Guerrero might add 1 or 2 wins, but for what? Unless the Orioles have a trade brewing, this is an unnecessary complication, and a rather knee-jerk signing if you ask me.

I have always liked him, it will be nice to see him hit. What were his home/road splits last year?

Having grown up in an era of Glenn Davis, this worries me. I know it is different. He's a cheap free agent (for what you expect to get) and we are not trading talent for him. However, if it leads to the trade of Pie or Scott for something less than a solid building block (e.g. a younger innings eater, a future star), I fear how we will view this in 2014. That said, if he produces like he did last year and the rest of the Os go through no major injuries or steps backward, I think he potentially makes us a contender. I think the best case would be that we sign him and do not unload the others.

It doesn't make sense NOT to sign Vlad. He would cement the lineup and make the team even more competitive in 2011. Forget the innings-eating starter. Look at the failures--Trachsel, Millwood, Eaton, etc., and lefty relievers are a dime a dozen. Spend the money, Andy Mac, on someone who will actally help the team. Don't do the usual and wait until someone else swoops in on Vlad and steals him.

Glad you don't run the team.

Scott is slightly below average on defense in left field but I do not honestly think Pie or Reimold are much better out there. Reimold starts season at Norfolk. Give him a chance to get back on track with no major league pressure. O's owe fans someone who can at least provide some excitement at each at bat. Best case is we catch lightning in a bottle and contend for a wild card. Downside risk is minimal. Come on Andy, get this done.

Dan..........I love it.

Sign him now. Make the other guys earn their playing time. Teams are always looking for bats at the deadline like you said.... he could land us some serious talent.

Question for you Dan:
As for Reimold, why do you think he won't be traded anytime soon. I mean, I know you said based on the Winter Meetings, but does that mean he didn't fetch any interest... or were the O's not willing to deal him?

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: I'm not Dan, but hopefully you won't mind me answering. The Orioles pulled out of the Reimold and Simon for Bartlett trade, largely because there were some people in the organization that weren't ready to give up on Reimold. He's been working out hard with Brady Anderson and the team has gotten extremely positive reports about his health, conditioning and mindset. Also, Reimold's value simply isn't very high right now after his disastrous 2010 season, so the Orioles would be selling low if they decided to trade him.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am personally pumped up about the upcoming season. Should be a fun team to watch!
Now let's give Maine or Duchscherer a contract as well. One of those guys would be worth the risk!

What's the problem here? Poor Buck will have such a hard time figuring out who to play because he has so much potential talent. I can't think of anything better than Buck having to sweat out who to play and who to bench because he has too many good hitters. Give Buck all the talent you can and let him figure out who to play.

Andy sign Vlad now! We need a big bat to beat the rest of the AL EAST

I completely agree, Dan. I wanted Vlad badly last year as well. Hope we can make it happen!

Dan,

Keep in mind that the 3 years during MacPhail's tenure the O's have lost more games than any other 3-year period of their existence. So, to not respond to the moves of your division (who you play more than any other team!) may not be the best philosophy. Maybe it was in Chicago or Minnesota, but this is a different world over here.

As for Vlad, I have been preaching this move all off-season. A no-brainer. Pie's weakness is injuries - solution: manage his opportunities to get hurt - plus Pie will get into almost every game.

Reimold's weakness is between the ears - he must play his way back onto the O's from Norfolk.

Scott? He won't get to as many balls as Pie, but he is not mistake-prone in left field. Look it up. He was better defensively than Patterson. Sometimes baseball people misconstrue speed for ability.

And a batting order like this will score a ton of runs:

Roberts
Markakis
Reynolds (needs to bat where fastballs are prominent)
Guerrero
Scott
Lee
Weiters
Jones
Hardy

With Pie, Fox, Izturis and either Tatum or Andino on the bench this is a balanced team with offense and defense.

Dan, you forgot this number:

.278/.322/.426

That's what Guerrero hit in the second half last year. If you watched the Rangers play, Vlad wasn't an imposing bat on teams any more -- he was the guy that teams went out of their way to face, knowing that Guerrero's bat speed has declined while his legendary love of pitches out of the strike zone hasn't.

I don't see how this is a fit on the O's.

--

That is definitely true. There was a sharp decline in the second half, and yet those numbers are still respectable in comparison to what the Orioles have had in the recent past. Excellent post, though.

Sign Vlad. No trade of Scott or Pie. Then there is actual depth when someone gets hurt. Stop worry about reserving playing time for maybes.

Sign Millwood to give Britton 1/2 year in AAA.

I agree completely. I would not assume that Luke Scott will have a year that equals, much less improves upon, what he did last yr. In fact, I would bet he will not and trading him away would be a great move since his value may never be higher. Finding a DH to replace his bat will not be a problem, as this yr's DH market shows.

I think we'd be crazy to not sign Vlad.

Even if he puts up modest numbers - dude is a career .320 hitter who will still get on base and drive runs in at a high clip. I'd be more than happy with .280/25/90 or something to that effect. As a few have pointed out, the lineup would be bursting at the seems with players vying for everyday playing time - that's always a good problem to have.

Get it inked, guys!

Even if no teams come-a-calling, I believe that Vlad would still turn the Orioles down. He is not interested in playing for a loser or in a city that does not embrass Spanish culture.
I'll bet the Pat Gillick could talk him into playing in Baltimore, with no problem. But Gillick was a real GM.

wayne,

I swear I just saw the first post worrying about what the Orioles are going to do in 2014! My God, this obviously is one patient and beaten down remainder of a fan base. I'm sure Peter Angelos is overjoyed that some of the fans are worried that he might spend too much money.

Many have overrated the power and RBI potential of the Orioles outfield. There are no proven 35 home run, 100 RBI producers among them. Scott is hot and cold and can't be counted on to replicate last year's numbers. AL pitchers have a way of adjusting. Guerrero would hit more home runs and drive in more runs than Reimold and Pie combined even if they were healthy enough to play every day. Reimold has a hole in his swing and can't hit high heat. Pie jumps around like an agitiated mime' and is more brittle than my aunt Gracie and she is 91. He certainly is not a 35,100 type player by any means. Neirther of them have displayed consistency and they are not 21 year old rookies.

As one fan wrote, this deal is a no brainer. Give Guerrero a two year deal and let him hack away every day. In our home bandbox he may hit 40 home runs. Heck, I might even buy a ticket or two with Vlad in the lineup. He can wreck a game

They could sign Guerrero and still get Pie decent time if Luke slides over to first ocassionaly. Luke could pretty much be your back-up first baseman and if Buck is comfortable with that, potentially Reimold could even make the team even though playing time would be spare. They dont have to have a Jake Fox or anyone else to be just a back-up first and third baseman

let's pray we aren't being "teased" again! Vlad would fit in great! Load up & let the pieces fall where they will! That is how Buck operates anyway! I like Pie, but we could trade for a pitcher possibly if we have to! GO & GET Vlady!

Trying to contain my excitement at the prospect of Vlad at Camden Yards for 81 games and think rationally ... and I'm still having a hard time seeing the downside here.

I'm admittedly worried by Vlad's second-half numbers last year (less than imposing), but even those numbers would look good compared to what we've seen lately from so-called middle-of-the-order hitters like Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada.

I like Pie's potential a lot, but he really is a prototypical 4th OF at this point. Whatever they would pay Vlad, I'm sure it would be more than offset by the number of fans he alone would bring to the park.

Add a SP and OMG - this could be, like, a legitimate team. People might actually have reason to be excited ... not excited like we were about Adam Loewen and Daniel Cabrera and Freddie Bynum ... but seriously, legitimately excited.

Man, I can't believe all of this happened while I was asleep.

"Give Guerrero a two year deal and let him hack away every day. In our home bandbox he may hit 40 home runs"

The stats certainly don't back up the claim of a bandbox.

Over the last decade the O's have hit an average of less than 8 more HR a year at home than on the road.

Who has ever come to OPCY and significantly improved his HR total?

I'd stay away from Vlad based on the poor 2nd half, his injury issues and the fact that Scott has earned the DH job and will likely put up better numbers. I think Tampa Bay is going backwards by signing Damon and Ramirez; that's similar to their desperation moves in the past-ie Cliff Floyd/Wade Boggs etc..
The O's should just go with what they have offensively-I'd rather see some youth like Reimold/Pie etc than gambling on a question mark like Vlad.

The money - as Dan noted - has to play a role here, too. It's crazy that guys like Luke Scott or J.J. Hardy are earning $5M-$6M at arbitration, and yet Thome and Manny are signing for $3M and $2M, respectfully.

It's possible the O's could sign Vlad for $1.5M less than they are going to have to pay Scott, use Scott and other pieces to acquire a SP vis trade, keep Pie/Reimold in left, and actually end up spending less than if they went out and signed a FA SP, as has been the plan.

Weird the way the money works out for some of these guys. Meanwhile, the Angels will pay Vernon Wells $23M this year - insane. What a terrible deal that was for them.

Also, if we don't get this guy ... let's not anyone jump off a bridge. There's no denying this is a vastly improved team, with or without Vlad.

Good points, especially Vlads ability to hit lefties...however how is he going to react to not being in the lineup every day?

ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD! ADD VLAD!

Right Now! Okay, I won't be that upset if the O's don't land Vladdy, but I think it would be a great addition to an improved lineup.

Roberts
Markakis
Lee
Vladdy
Reynolds
Scott/Pie
Jones
Weiters
Hardy

I like what Tampa Bay did. They picked up a pair of former greats, who will be traded by All-Star break, and land another couple of draft picks. Smart organization. In several years, they'll be back to the head of the pack again.

The O's making this move would add some more pop, fill in seats, and get Adam Jones on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

You hear that, #10 - you're going Prime Time!

The AL East is kinda like the Daytona 500; the biggest and best are there. If you've got a car that doesn't have enough horsepower to start with, you ain't got a prayer. The O's have a chance to beef up their power with Vlad. Do it. So what if he tails off at some point. That's when you use your depth, Scott, Reimold, and Pie, to pick up the slack. As many have said here today, this is a no brainer!

I"m against this move, though it is tempting. As Jeff Z. has pointed out, our need is for pitching. Vlad makes sense if you are close to contending, but we're not there yet. There's hope for Pie as a solid everyday left fielder, as he showed last year, but platooning him in the outfield could shut that down. The outfield situation is stable, and the infield is now relatively stable. The starting rotation is not. Work on that.

I have a feeling that if we got Vlad, we'd end up like Toronto last year- hitting a buttload of homers and landing solidly in 4th place in the division. A positive season would be a +.500 record based on pitching, not the exploits of over-the-hill DH mashers.

Oh yeah, and with that average $3 seat price increase, that equals to roughly $4.9 mil.

($3 x 20,000 est average home tickets x 81 games)

Dan,
Great piece. Vlad is still feared and even if he plays in just 100 games he will make every hitter in the line-up better, especially guys like Nick and Adam. It's been a long time since the O's could think about the concept of "batting as a line-up".

Also, there's too much talk of the "over crowding". Do the Yankees or Red Sox worry about finding at bats for the ML ready guys on their bench. It's called depth and it's what first rate organizations rely upon when injuries hit. Andy needs to step up on this.

Nashville O's fans,

How many times have you been to Camden Yards? It most certainly is a bandbox and was ranked the 4th best major league park out of 30 to hit home runs in in 2010. If the Orioles had any power it would have ranked near the top in easy parks to go deep. I could still hit one out there and I am 65.

Is there a player on this roster that can put up Vlad numbers in 2011? Probably not. Go get him.

JUST DO IT...NOW!

If the O's can get Vlad for what, in today's baseball economics, is chump change, why not do it? What a great (and highly unusual) problem for the manager to have: too many good hitters to play all at once. Sure, I wish we could have sign Vladdy five years ago, but that didn't happen. Go get the guy, and let the manager figure out how to get everybody significant at bats. I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to have Reimold start at AAA, either. I would seem pretty certain that some team would be interested in either Scott or Vlad at the trade deadline, too, if the O's aren't in contention for the wild card (or better!).

I think one thing we've all taken for granted here is that, Vladdy possibly has no desire to come to Baltimore...

Not signing the big bat may not be entirely the FO's faught.

Just sayin'.

Gil

About 100 times before I moved in 1996

Look at the numbers..... if it is such a bandbox why is there a minimal difference over 10 years between the number of home runs hit by both teams in Os home and away games? (I believe it's 15 per year, less than one for each spot in the lineup)

That would be a slight hitter's park, certainly not a bandbox.

And look at other sources. Baseball-reference.com rates the ball park effect each year with 100 being neutral. Over that favors hitters, under that favors pitchers. Check it out year-by-year and you'll see it usually varies a point or two either way.

You can't judge a park jut by the number of HR hit there. A team with a loaded line-up and lousy pitching can produce that. You have to compare home vs away, and do it over time. One year can be a flue either way.

Again, who has had their Home run totals go through the roof after coming to the Os? Or conversely, who has seen his total fall through the floor after leaving?

The only player I can think of who had a definite career year while playing in Camden Yards was B.J. Surhoff with 28 - and he hit 19 of those on the road.

Even in Bardy's huge year he hit 29 on the road and 21 at home

A few years ago one of the KC announcers told me it was a hitter's park because the Orioles were first in the league in HR at the time. Of course the Royals were a narrow second and the two teams ended up dead tied at the end of the year.

He claimed KC had a pitcher's park. Could it just be that they had lousy pitching?

I remember another writer saying Mussina's ERA would go way down once he left. I don't have the states in front of me but look it up - his ERA at home his last two years as an Oriole was something like 1.5 and 0.9 lower at home.

Great analysis, I think adding Vlad would be a great move. Worst case scenario, in my opinion, would be that the team is not competitive and we trade Vlad and June/July, then bring up Riemold at that time (like many in the O's organization, I still think Riemold can be a productive in the bigs).

My only thought is I would strongly prefer a one year deal, given Vlad's age and poor second half. I would rather increase in the annual salary a bit on a one yr deal then go for two years, and given that Vlad likely has some reservations about playing in Baltimore, I doubt he would be opposed to this.

How do the O's experiences with Sammy Sosa and Albert Belle apply here?

Gil

Check baseball-refence.com
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BAL/attend.shtml

Look at BPF in the last column. For the last four years Camden Yards has been 101 - slight hitter's park.

For the years 1997-2006 it ranged from 95-99. Leaning to the pitchers (95 is more than leaning)

At some point, u play to win the most games.

Reimold is older than Markakis and could benefit the team more by going to AAA and learning to play 1b (lee is gone next yr)

He can either be the full time 1b next yr or compete for LF depending on where the need is

If the Os are out it-- i know ha ha

Trade him at the deadline for a piece

If vlad is hurt--its only money

dont forget payroll was at 93m in 2007, so lets stop pretending that the Orioles have to have a payroll in the 70s to be profitable

remember how angelos would always say that he would spend money as soon as he got an RSN ? well its here and he still hasnt spent it.


Make it happen,if only to give us something interesting to watch.

Obviosuly Vlad is not part of the long-term solution. But perhaps he could help make the team more comepetitive now which will help attract free agents in the future.

If he was blocking someone, then I'd say that was more important. But is he blocking Pie and/or Reimold? I don't think eitehr has proven he is part of the long-term plan.

Both will still have chances to prove themselves. If they do so, room will be made for them.

Nashville O's,

I hear what you are saying, but the bottom line is that Camden Yards was the 4th easiest park to hit home runs in last year. That tells you how the park is playing. I stand by my remarks that for a Major League park the power alleys are not only too small but probably 4 or 5 feet shorter than the markers indicate and Jim Palmer has said the same thing many times. I have coached a 14 to 20 American Legion Baseball team up here in York County for many years and our home field has power alleys 20 feet deeper than camden yards. Most of the fields in our league are much larger than in Baltimore. The young men hit them out up here, and I can still do it in batting practice with a wood bat{Ok, with the wind blowing out JUST a little}

The Orioles should move the fences back 10 feet in left and right center to make the park more fair, especially with young pitching. That's just my opinion and I appreciate yours.

Please, please don't sign Vlad. He's way past it. He'll get hurt. It'll weaken the defense. At best--and that's iffy--he'll make us a better fourth or fifth place team while taking time from players who could help us in the future. Now, if you've also got a deal lined up to get something valuable for Luke Scott, then, okay, sign Vlad.

What's the point in signing Vlad? Would have to believe that we'll either challenge for a wild card spot OR are planning to trade Scott else it makes NO sense. We'd gain a bat though @37 one in decline while giving up defense in LF (Scott repl Pie) & with a big loss in team speed repl our fastest runner (Pie) with the slowest (Vlad) AND keeping Pie & Riemold from progressing. In fact w emay lose Riemold if he's out of options. They may not be part of our future but we know definitely that Vlad is not. Don't see the point, adding some offense at expense of speed & defense nets what - 2 or 3 more victories for a 4th/5th place team??

@ Don I
A.) I am not sure what you're saying here.
But I am going to try to answer your questions as well as other who "seem" to doubt the benefit of Vlad G.
1st. I would be all for it if the the O's were to make the wild card. ALL FOR IT!
2nd. Is that possible, sure. Probable, not so sure!
3rd. What exactly have the Orioles gained thru Pie's speed? Nothing! To be honest unless the Orioles start stealing bases and manufacturing runs. What good has Pie's speed been to us! Also, it's my impression theat Pie is not a prototypical leadoff hitter. So what is the benefit of Pie's speed exactly?
4th. We didn't draft Pie! It's my opinion that Pie wouldn't be here except for the fact that Andy Mac seems to love him.
Look, I really don't have a problem with Pie. seems to be a fun personable talented baseball player, but his baseball acumen has always been questioned. Plus, PIe got all that extra time with Crow, what have the Orioles reaped from that. Not all that much to be honest. Have the Orioles won with Reimold. No. Have they won with Pie? No.
Lastly, the most ridiculous thing I have heard on this blog and other Oriole's blogs that they would say no to Vlad but a "Great Big" Yes to Millwood coming back. Here's the Box score from Aug 22nd when Millwood pitched against the Rangers. See the results! I see that Vlad didn't exactly wilt in the summer heat that day!
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL201008220.shtml

Lastly, if I had my druthers I would trade Pie and Scott. Start Reimold in LF and have either Angle or Henson as our 4th Outfielder. I really think Henson has the most upside out of everyone here, I really do. But if that's too progressive for everyone involved with the O's. Sign Scotty Pod as our 4th outfielder and he also could be our lead off hitter of B Rob goes down with an injury. When was the last time the O's gambled a bit. To be honest, I don't remember maybe someone could advise me, which I am sure they will after they get done reading this little gem =P!

I just want to know how did they come up with this "budget" number? I would think that the number should be pretty high considering the fact that the organization hasn't spent money on top money players and it sure hasn't spent money on anything that has to do with helping the club win. This is the first year that I can honestly say that it appears that there was effort in trying to sign players and to trade for them.

With Guerrero.. the lineup looks like this
Roberts
Markakis
Guerrero
Lee
Reynolds
Scott
Weiters
Jones
Hardy

NO! Guerrero has broken down physically,a nd can't play in the field at all. Would rather see another young player with a possible upside. No more dumpees from the too-old-to-play list

The Squirrel
Thought my point was clear, basically we're not a wild card team & Vlad is definitely NOT part of the long term solution (Pie & Reimold may or may not be but we won't find out if we throw them under the bus for Vlad). Can't understand your comments on speed, how can U say his speed NEVER helped. You'd have to go back thru every game that Pie scored from 2nd on single or went 1st to 3rd on single & prove that a slower player would have done the same to make that claim. No problem with Vlad if we're trading Scott but we're years late on Vlad - his #'s will likely decline while with Pie & Reimold - who knows?

Raising ticket prices = spend some money!! Trade SCOTT/PIE, get a SP. Reimold should be ready next year

Why not sign Vlad and platoon the DH position vs. lefties/righties and get some real production out of the DH position for a change? This would keep Vlad fresh for an entire season and eliminate Scott's poor production vs LHP. What is so wrong with having a strong bench?

Think about this. Right now Pie is a #8 hitter in our lineup. If we can get Vad, u get a #4 hitter. This wouldonly make the O's a better team. When they sign Vlad I will then go get me a set of 13game plan. Adam

Stop the talk that the Os are a few years from contending. Tey have what it takes to contend right now and Guerrero would only add to their strength.

Has everyone forgotten what happened when Buck arrived? The team with the worst record in baseball immediately became the team with one of the best records in baseball over the last 57 games. What that proves is the Os before Buck were not playing anywhere near their capability.

Since then the Os have greatly strengthened their infield defensively and offensively. The bullpen has been improved as well. The impetus for last years turnaround was the pitching, especially the starting pitching each of whom became more aggressive due to Buck's urging. Four of those pitchers return and even if the team doesn't sign one of the less than stellar free agents remaining there are sufficient candidates for the 5th starter, including Tillman, Britton, VanderHuk (sp) and even the forgotten Troy Patton now recovered from surgery.

Sign Guerrero. Buck intends to win now and Guerrero and he'll help him do that. Buck has proven this team can play even with the big guys in the AL East. He turned them into winners. Give him what he wants-he's earned that support.

The O's once signed an aging slugger in Reggie Jackson. It meant nothing. So why bother with Vlad.

It comes down to: Will Vlad's bat win more games for us than Luke's glove will lose for us. I'm betting on Vlad's bat.

And also, between Nolan, Felix, Adam Nick, Derek and Luke, one or more of them will spend significant time on the DL or hit a long slump or just gerenerally have an off year in 2011. When they do, Vlad can go to DH, and Luke to left or first (and Pie to center or right as needed).

Signing Vlad is win-win. Do it now!

@ Tim: When was that.? The Os traded for Reggie (in 1976?) and then lost him via free agency. He went on to have the most productive years of his career.

I can tell you with almost perfect certainty that this signing will never happen. You want to know why?

It makes perfect sense.

Good, thoughtful analysis and a believable scenario

VLADIMIR GUERRERO IS NOT COMING TO THE ORIOLES!

Signing VLAD just makes too much sense - thanks, Larry C!

25-year rebuilding programs will do that to a sports organization, but, at some point, good sense has to prevail, and for
this organization, now is the time!

Orioles fans are not stupid and do not need to be sold a bill of goods they no longer wish to buy!

Why ask the fans to wait for pie in the sky when they are ready to dine a full course meal right now - look at the lineups the fans can see right now and understand that they want to be excited once again, preferably now!

Offer Vlad an incentive-laden contract with batting incentives a hall-of-famer can easily achieve and sweeten the pot with a vesting option for a second year and, once he signs, Oriole fans will show
up again in droves - you will have given them hope for a contender for the first time in years!!!

Keep Scott, period - the guy plays hit and with all the others in the lineup, the Birds will no longer be the laughing stock of the AL East.

Pie, another Jeffrey Hammonds, is brilliant, but brittle, but, as cited by another in this thread, a fourth outfielder,
one of quality with huge upside, but still a fourth outfielder.

Reimold is one of many who have played the game and may surprise somehow, but I just see a Larry Bigbie or a Ken Gearhart or a Sam Bowens, no more, no less.

So, Orioles, sign VLAD, and I'll buy game
tickets for the first time in a decade, as I'm sure other long-suffering Orioles fans will do the same!

Starting pitcher? Package Pie and\or Reimold with a young Orioles pitching prospect or two (not one of the 2 or 3
highly prized gems from the farm system we all know about) and that SP problem will also be resolved.

But sign VLAD now and give us some hope for a winning season in 2011 and beyond.

25 YEAR REBUILDING PROGRAMS ARE JUST MORE THAN WE CAN TAKE!!!

LOL @Tim Fowler

When the Os signed Reggie, he was 30


Not that it was a relevant analogy in any way, shape or form anyway

BTW, he hit 27 hr and had 28 sb's so he just missed being a 30/30 guy

He also posted an 853 ops and 5.0 WAR

Getiing Vlads would br giving the long-suffering O's fans some dividend. While he clearly is not a long-term answer, he definitely would be a bridge-type player to give us the offensive puch until we can make more future moves. Meantime, we can see the team have a better chance of contending, plus the price tag will not be over-the-top. There would be more fascination and interest, which leads to more excitement and more attendance. Getting Vlads is a no-brainer.....the sooner the better.

Does this move make the O's a better team in 2011?

YES!

If the Orioles want to have a future it is imperative that they get to .500 this season. Vlad can only help that.

Reimold should play every day in Norfolk until he's ready and Pie is a 4th OF. He should get AB's and I still think he should play CF and Jones LF.

Vlad still makes you that much better plus they can almost have him fall in their laps.

Do it!

Andy,

If your reading this go get him!!! I keep hearing about his lack of speed...and not saying he is fleet of foot but Adam Jones had only 3 more stolen bases than Vlad last year! If foot speed is the issue for not signing Vlad we might want to remember that also Luke Scott had 2 less stolen bases. So speed is not the issue. Also we might want to remember that Luke Scott is a free agent at the end of this year and his bat or Vlad's bat might be a great deadline trade piece. With that in mind a one year offer with a club option might even help next year if Vlad is able to reproduce his stats from last year. Pie would be a great 4th outfielder and with so many different players needing days off including Jones, Vlad and Lee I am sure there would be plenty of at bats to go around. Not to mention great protection in case of an injury to any outfielder. Riemold starting in Norfolk helps with organizational depth and gives him the ability to prove he's the deal from 2009 and not 2010!


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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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