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January 27, 2011

What would happen if O’s got Guerrero?

Judging by the public outcry every time Vladimir Guerrero's name is mentioned these days, the first thing would probably be Orioles fans taking to the streets en masse, then rushing to the ticket booths to get 2011 season-ticket packages. However, that's not what I'm getting at.

What I mean is what would happen to the roster if the Orioles were able to sign the veteran designated hitter (and I have my doubts that they will, but I seem to be in the minority these days).

This is mostly speculation because the Orioles aren't commenting, but the first and obvious result would be former designated hitter Luke Scott's becoming the team's everyday left fielder. There has been talk — mostly generated by fans — that the Orioles should and/or would trade Scott, but I just don't see that happening. Scott is 32 years old. He remains arbitration-eligible, and he'll likely make close to $6.5 million this season. While I think criticism of his defense is a little overblown (I won't quibble with him being called below average, but I've seen plenty worse around the league and in the organization), most teams view Scott exclusively as a DH. If a team is still looking for a DH in late January and still has some payroll flexibility, it would sign Guerrero rather than trade for Scott. So Scott's trade value simply isn't high at the moment.

Scott was the Orioles' best and most dangerous hitter last season, so there is no way you can leave him out of the lineup. But if he plays left field regularly, either Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold almost certainly will be left out and off the Opening Day roster.

Reimold is the right-handed hitter, so he could play left field while manager Buck Showalter sits Scott against tough lefties. However, that's about all that's in Reimold's favor.

He has a minor league option left while Pie doesn't, meaning Reimold wouldn't have to be exposed to waivers and potentially lost as Pie would. Despite being a very good athlete, Reimold struggled mightily with his left-field defense last year, perhaps a result of not being completely healed after surgery on his Achilles tendon. Pie is the superior defensive option and the better choice to be used as a late-game defensive replacement for Scott in the outfield, a strategy that Showalter almost certainly would employ. Pie can also play center field, allowing Showalter to give Adam Jones an occasional day off.

This is my opinion more than anything, but I would be surprised if signing Guerrero resulted in an immediate trade of Pie or Reimold. The fact remains that Pie has yet to stay healthy and Jones has been banged up quite a bit over the past couple of seasons. The Orioles are relatively thin in outfield depth, especially in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

It seems to me the best thing to do would be to keep them all and hope both Reimold and Pie stay healthy and have strong spring trainings. If that's the case, you can always trade one of them late in spring training if an outfielder-needy team comes calling.

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 9:35 AM | | Comments (105)
        

Comments

but the valid point remains...

isn't it sad that Scott was our best bat, hitting a whopping 282 and hitting 27 hrs? the 27 hrs is fine, but scott doesn't scare the pants off many.

meanwhile, you have a bat that would be a clear improvement just waiting to be picked up... c'mon. do it.

I view Vlad as a short term no-so-cheap thrill and would prefer watching Pie and Reimold get the at-bats. Watching these young players develop as part of a developing team is now fun. Given a chance maybe Pie and/or Reimold turn into the Os LF for several years. Let's see.

Agree 100%, Whats wrong with Scott in Left....nuthin. Reimold gets a year of every day at-bats and our Lineup looks pretty friggin' solid. Why would anyone want to trade Scott when you can have both Scott and Guerrero in that line-up? Those trade Scott comments were stupid. If you are gonna raise ticket prices then lets get some mashers in there to make the games fun to watch!

Jeff, I for one, am very much on the fence about signing Guerrero. On the one hand, his name has cache, and his overall production over the past several years is undeniable. His presence would add credibility to the lineup and the Orioles would have two of the best RH hitters of the past decade, Lee and Guerrero, but two guys who are also a little past their prime. And if you look at pure power and disregarding average and Ks, you also have Reynolds

On the other hand, Vlad is 36 and is very much a one dimensional player. He was at one time a fast guy who could and did steal bases and play a very good RF, and who had an outstanding arm. Those days are long past, though, so he would take up a roster spot of a more versatile player. Plus, even though he had good numbers last year, his decline in the second half was very noticeable and he pretty much disappeared in the post season. What's more, if the sign Vlad, likely Reimold would start in AAA, and Pie might not get the chance to continue his development. I don't doubt Reimold might could use another stint in AAA to make sure he is over the heel problem and his personal problems from last season. But you also can't forget his first season, with 15 HRs in half a season and a decent LF. He would be the first guy up, but also, like you mentioned, possibly the first guy traded.

So, I'll ask you, not if they WILL sign Vlad, but in your opinion, should they? And anything new on the pitcher front?

Thanks again. On a day like this, a little baseball news goes a long way.

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Jeff Z's reply: I'm on the fence too, Ken. Two weeks ago, I was against it, but I'm now leaning more toward "go get him." Not sure why the change of heart, but probably has a lot to do with the fact that he's there for the taking, and his pricetag has come down, and he flat out makes the Orioles a more dangerous team. Originally, I was thinking along the lines of he's still a feared hitter and he'd help them win a few more games, but it's not like he's going to be the difference between going to the playoffs and staying home. I hope nobody is fooling themselves into believing that. Why not just let Reimold and Pie play this year, and if both falter, you know finding a left fielder has to be on next year's agenda. But the bottom line is he, at least on paper, would make them a top five lineup in the AL, he'd likely help the development of hitters like Jones, Markakis and Wieters, you could always move him if he has a good second half for prospects and the fans want to see him, which should absolutely be taken into account. So yeah, I'm now on the side of 'go get him." I wouldn't give him $8 million for one year, however, not when Manny went for $2 million, Thome for $3 million and Damon for $5 million.

Hey Jeff,

First of all, from one Loyola alum to another, congrats on the award. Much deserved (long overdue in my opinion) and a huge honor for you.

Second, when you say you're 'in the minority' does that mean in comparison to the fans clamoring for him, or other writers/insiders who think a deal will get done?

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Jeff Z's reply: Thanks Steve, much appreciated. I mean pretty much everyone. It's almost being treated like a foregone conclusion by fans and some reporters. I just find that hard to believe when the O's and Vlad's representatives had barely talked before this week. I also find it hard to believe that a bunch of teams, including the Angels and Blue Jays, wouldn't become real interested if Vlad's price tag dropped in the one-year, $5 to $7 million range, which it appears it has. This guy hit .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs last year. Make no mistake, I think the Orioles could get him if they make a push and they are certainly in the hunt, but I guess I just don't feel as strongly and positive about it as everyone else. But that's just a gut feeling because both sides are saying precious little.

Golly, when was the last time the O's had to figure out a roster because they were flush with HITTING. Bring it on! We can juggle DHs that bat R or L, have much more depth on the bench, more OF options, plus we can go to a late-inning threat who can win a game for us with one swing of the bat. Guerrero will bring excitement that has been missing for over 15 years. Regarding LF, consider that Yogi Bera played LF for Yankees in 1960 WS.

I think the solution is pretty simple. Reimold starts the year at Norfolk to show that he can play every day, and play well. Pie is the fourth outfielder which might keep him healthy and allow Showalter to pick the spots where he can be most effective. If Reimold has an exceptional spring you could always trade Pie since he is out of options and probably has some value to other teams...Jeff, do you see money as the only reason for not signing Vlad, or do you think the O's have other reasons/reservations?

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Jeff Z's reply: I think money is a part of it, it's a part of every decision these days. But I do think they have other reservations. I think they view this year as sort of make-or-break with both Pie and Reimold and if these guys are in the minors or on the bench, they won't know exactly what they have heading into next offseason. I think there are concerns about Luke Scott playing everyday in left field. Remember, Buck is a huge proponent of putting a strong defensive team out there and their outfield defense was superb over the final two months and that certainly helped improve the pitching. Also, I don't think anybody can be sure what they have with Vlad. He did struggle at times during the second half and he will be 36 with bad knees when he reports to spring training. Then, of course, there is the money issue. More my opinion than anything else, but I would think Vlad would have to come significantly down from one year at $8 million for the O's to get serious about him.

I doubt that Vlad comes but, if he does, waiting is the most logical option. To paraphrase AM, let it "play out" and then decide you stays and who goes.

Pie is the logical choice to trade if Reimold has a decent spring, or better. He's better in center, which is filled, and still some upside to lure a team to part with a decent pitcher. Package him with Tillman (or Bergeson?) and you might get Saunders, Floyd, or Carmona to be more than just an "inning eater".

Dear Oriole Fans,

I do not believe Vlad is the answer.

i believe they should stay with Scott.

He is dangerous - Let him continue to prove it!!!!

Think about it.

I have the definitive take. You sign vlad, you sit Scott against tough left handers, this keeps vlad fresh all season and keeps scott more consistent. You start Pie in left, Riemold goes to Norfolk. this also gives you options like starting scott in lft to get scott and vlad in the same lineup. If Reimold tears up in AAA than you have a good problem...can you say trade bait.

Easiest answer yet ...

A 14th straight losing season!


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Jeff Z's reply: I put that one right on a tee for you Jason.

Jeff,

I think one valid point being missed is that even $5-7 million for one year is a lot for a part-time player, which is what Vlad would be in Toronto or Anaheim. Only the Orioles could really guarantee him a lion's share of the starts at DH.

Not to mention the risks of putting Vlad on the turf in Toronto for 81 games.

Call me crazy, but I think the O's do work something out, and I think they announce it at FanFest Saturday, which would certainly get everyone there fired up.

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Jeff Z's reply: I guess Greg, but I'm not entirely buying the fact that he would be part-time player in Toronto or Anaheim. He really wouldn't start at DH in Toronto over Edwin Encarnacion? I was under the impression that Lind was going to be their 1B. And as good as he is defensively, you really can't see a scenario where Bourjos starts in Triple-A and the Angels go with an outfield of Wells-Hunter-Abreu, opening up the DH spot?

Believe it or not, the Orioles are not far from being in the wild-card picture this season. Here's how they can make it happen:

* Sign Vlad. Not for $8M, but for $5M or so for one year. No, he's not going to hit 30 HRs, but he does bolster the offense.

* Make Pie the 4th OF and send Reimold to AAA for regular ABs. If either one of them will net you a SP, trade them.

* Sign Beimel as a LH bullpen arm

* Sign Duchscherer to a one-year, incentive-laden deal.

Ultimately, Vlad isn't going to make or break this team - SP will. We need guys who can go deep in games and take some pressure off the bullpen. For that reason, I think Duchscherer would be a more significant signing than Vlad. Still, I'd like to have both.

I opt for Vlad. Despite the tail-off at the plate the second half, he still had numbers that surpass any 2010 Oriole hitter. With Lee, Reynolds, and Vlad, I think we surround Markakis, Jones, and Weiters with veteran talent to foster there next steps. Reimold and Pie would give us Earl Weaver's deep depth. There will be injuries. Let Reimold start 2011 in Norfolk and prove he is back. When an injury comes, bring him up if he merits it. Let Pie be the 4th OF, and let Showalter do his managerial magic to get him ample playing time. Meanwhile, let the additional fans come and watch Vlad, and pay for his salary. I think that signing him is a win-win. Vlad gives that additional right-handed bat to push back the negative stat that the O's have had against left-handed pitching. Go get him. He is there to be taken.

27 HRs in 447 ABS. if he was a Yankee or Red Sox everyone would marvel at those numbers and wish we had him. Sing Vlad and put Luke in left. We would be a lot stronger!!!!

I think that part of the reason for the drop-off in the numbers for both Nick Markakis and Adam Jones last year is that they were out there every day without much of a break. We need some additional rotation out there to help keep these guys fresh, which could also help to cut down on the injuries that are the result of fatigue.

It only makes sense to add Vlad Guerrero.

The Orioles need to listen to their fan base on this one.

We had an anemic offense last year, and there is no solid core in the middle of the lineup that causes any real fear against the opposing team especially the ones in the AL East.

ADD VLAD !!

Vlad is DH scott in left and possibly tarde pie and/or reimold for a pitcher i would love the move

You mention the development of Jones, Wieters, Markakis -- I think Reynolds should greatly benefit from the presence of Lee, and Guerrero if he lands here. He didn't have much veteran help in AZ, maybe Dunn being the closest thing to a mentor in the short time they played together.

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Jeff Z's reply: Yes, fair to include him as well.

Well Jeff, Welcome to my fantasy...

Like I said the other day, Vlad is like the pretty girl that everybody would have taken to the prom, but they all assumed she go with her boyfriend. Then at the last minute word breaks that he asked someone else.

Everybody assumed Vlad was going back to Texas, Texas now has two replacements for him. Boras worked the package deal to find Manny and Damon homes in TB. The Angels tried to make a bigger splash with Wells. The market dried up for DH's.

Carrying Guerrero might eat up a roster spot for a more versitile player. That's very true, but from a baseball standpoint who would you rather have? Vlad or Fox. The O's need a 4 hitter to slot their other hitters where they can be most productive.

With a RH & LH DH one the roster Wieters is not going to be used as a DH much, so a third catcher becomes less of a priority. So Fox would seem to be the first guy to loose a roster spot.

Fox or Vladimere Guerrero? Is it really that hard of a question to answer?

It's a one year deal - as a fan, why should we care what they pay him for it? He'd certainly sign for under $10mil now. The only question in my mind is does it make the team better or worse one? I think it gives them more depth and a legit lineup 1-9. And if they trade him in June and bring up Reimold then, all the better. Watch Toronto come in and sign him for $2 million more than we were ":comfortable" with. Angelos has obviously set his budget for what a last place team can generate, and that's what he's going to continue to get.

Jeff: I believe Guerrero and his agents are using the Orioles rumors to get offers from cities where he actually wants to play.

He didn't want to come here 6 years ago when the O's offered him more than anyone else. What has changed?

I agree with you; I think once Guerrero brings his price down to $5 million, he'll get offers elsewhere and he'll take one.


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Jeff Z's reply: It wouldn't surprise me.

Jeff,

I think that you and ken have done an excellent job of airing all of the pro's and con's about whether to sign Guerrero. Right now, I am kind of leaning towards signing him and starting Reimold off at Norfolk. There were scouts in other organizations and in our own who have always questioned Reimold's abilty to stay healthy. It's probably a good bet that either Pie or Reimold, or both, will spend some time on the DL this year, so having Guerrero on the team is insurance in a way. In addition he is the kind of hitter that could help win a lot of one run games, since Showalter is the kind of manager who can keep a game close. Guerrero's bat alone could make an 8 or 10 game swing in wins and losses.

It's an opportunity to get the team in a position to end the losing string, so I say sign him. Geeting a good look at Reimold and Pie would not be worth it if it results in a 14th losing season in a row, in my opinion. The streak needs to end and Guerrero could help.

I say go get him 1) he makes the O's more dangerous 2) players get hurt 3) he will make the other big bats in the lineup bigger. 4) he's a legitimate #4 in the lineup. 5) can you see the size of the chip he will have on his shoulder?

I think it was Yogi I'm paraphrasing when I say we need "deep depth". We can always move him mid season if all is not well to give Reimold some MLB AB's.

@Dan,
Scott did his damage last year with no protection whatsoever. The Yankees, Red Sox and other potent offenses wear down pitchers because there are fewer easy outs.

With the O's additions this offseason, it could easily be argued that there are 3 fewer easy outs in the everyday line-up. I expect Scott will see more pitches to hit and he will hit them.

Predicting .290 BA, 34 HR, .360 OBP, 90 RBI. And, unlike Guerrero, he can play left field when needed. Opposing pitchers are not going to be looking forward to pitching against this lineup.

Let Pie and Reimold develop at the major league level; let Scott mash and let Guerrero play elsewhere.

what i dont get is why we hang onto reimold...he is too old to ever amount to anything...what maybe 3 years...get rid of him already...its not he is the savior or the future...use him as trade bait

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Jeff Z's reply: Keep in mind John, a year ago, he was one of the best rookies in the American League and had a legit shot at ROY before his Achilles shut him down. Now, after one admittedly awful year where he struggles to come back from an injury and deal with some off-the-field stuff, he is worthless? I can't accept that. Now, don't get me wrong, he may never amount to what the team had hoped, but he at least deserves another shot somewhere to prove that last year was an aberration.

I still think signing Guerrero makes a lot of sense. The extra tickets sold will more than pay for his signing, even if he never swings a bat. I live in York County PA and haven't attended a game in 3 years but would do so 3 or 4 games if the O's had a competitive team. I think Guerrero would get them over the hump to be competitive. I also don't see an advantage to trading either Pie or Reimold, as someone almost always gets hurt and we always need another bat. Get it done Andy and Peter, and watch the turnstiles turn!

I agree with Dave. Sign Vlad and Duchscherer (if everything goes well on Friday) I am tired of hearing about Pie and Reimold, they are still works in progress and may never become what everybody wants them to be. But signing Vlad gives us some credibility. No one wants to come here, but if we can sign Lee and Vlad (even though they are past their prime) it shows that we can be somewhat a desirable place to come to. Plus tell me what sounds better...Lee, Scott, Reynolds, or Lee, Vlad, Scott, Reynolds?

Vlad has been an oriole killer for a long time. We need to get him on OUR side!!! Sign him right now.

Vlad hits well and only struck out 60 times in over 600 AB's and he does scare opposing pichers. And remember, Lee only signed for one year also to improve his position in next years FA market. Reimold can get his AB's at Norfolk or Pie could wind up hurt again.Or Jones hurt again. So having Vlad and Scott makes sense, plus the 2-5 hitters could have a field day with oppposing pitchers.

The Orioles ARE NOT losing this year, regardless if they acquire Guerrero or not.

I have faith in Buck Showalter. Last year he had to straighten out the hitters, defense and pitching.

This year, especially if they sign Guerrero, the hitting should be pretty good, and the defense about the same as the end of 2010.

If Buck can motivate the pitching and get the kind of performance each of those young guys are capable of, this is gonna be a very interesting season.

Sign Guerrero. Lets see what 200 home runs in 2011 brings us.

How come EVERY team in OUR division, and not just the Yanks and Sox, but the Rays and Jays, both small market teams, how come they seem to "go for it" and by go for it, I mean, make every effort to build a complete, winning team, EACH AND EVERY YEAR? Why do we have to hear things like, "Why not just let Reimold and Pie play this year, and if both falter" (highly likely) then just deal with it next year! ? MEMO to JEFF, Mr sportswriter of the year (kudos bro) WE HAVE BEEN HEARING WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR FOR A DECADE AND A HALF! BEYOND REDIC! Either roll up those sleeves over there in the warehouse, tighten your belts and dig in, OR SELL THE DANG TEAM to someone who has the stomach for the AL EAST! YOU DON'T SEE the Jays or Rays laying down! Heck, the Rays signed not one, but two aging VETS in Damon and Man Ram!! HOW COME, NOW, when we finally showed two months of promise at the close of last season, HOW COME WE STILL HEAR THE SAME EXCUSES?!!! CAN someone over there at the SUN grow a pair and tell us the STRAIGHT DOPE for a change!!!
If the 89 O's where the WHY NOT O's, what is this team? Ans: The "Almost, if Only O's?" WAKE UP! Pull the trigger on the obvious moves that unarguably would make you a stronger team!
Now that the leverage is in their corner they still drag their feet. THERE IS NO ARGUMENT. Vlad's bat is STILL top shelf, top of the league, TOP 10! HE KILLS left handed pitching! YOU COULD conceivably SIGN HIM JUST TO FACE LEFTIES FOR PETE's SAKE! Much less for the affect on the rest of the lineup! WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES with this bunch! ADD THE LUMBER ANGELOS, and WATCH THE TURNSTYLES, UH...TURN AGAIN you bumbling BOZO! Ok, sorry, you're a biliionaire, and you didn't get that way by not spending money, but come on man, you are this close to saving face prior to an infinity of earth worm disgrace! HAVE A HEART MAN, and for the first time since Robbie Alomar was fielding 2nd base, give the GREEN LIGHT to YOUR GM to extend "your budget" (what a joke) so you can field a lineup that would legitimately strike fear in the opponent, and make games just as meaningful late into the season as when the above mentioned Hall of Famer was spatting on Umps. WE ARE BOILING OVER here BOSSMAN, and WE WILL PAY YOU BACK BY COMING TO OPACY in DROVES! Aren't you MAD enough by now, much like us, to well...SPIT!

A line-up of Roberts 2b, Jones CF, Markakis RF, Guerrero DH, Lee 1B, Reynolds 3B, Scott LF, Witers C and Hardy SS would be one of the better in baseball. Sign Guerrero.

Good points on Scott, Pie and Reimold but overlooked: Vlad is a RH powerbat this organization has sorely lacked in recent years. I just don't think Reimold is or will ever be the answer here. Hope I'm wrong though...

Scott used to say that he liked playing left and felt a bit awkward playing half innings, but since then he's come to love his DH role. It's true, his defense wasn't the best, but the real issue is if he'd be able to have the same production if he was playing in the field. Generally, players hate being relegated to the DH role - these guys have competed their way onto a major league roster. They are competitors who live to compete. They also don't like that it reduces their value once they hit free agency, especially for someone as young as Scott. But he's really come into the role and said he enjoys taking a bit extra batting practice in the cages between at-bats. I think this greatly contributed to his 2010 production and what seemed to be much milder streakiness than we'd become accustomed to with him.

If Scott plays left, he will not produce as he did last year. He also has a better chance of hurting himself. He's young and has more upside. Vlad's on his way out. His numbers were amazing last year, and I would love for him to have the same kind of production here that he had in Texas, but I just don't see it happening. Someone mentioned the fact that he was playing in a hotter environment with a great team that actually went to the postseason. I checked out the stats and it supports him playing quite a bit better in Texas than outside it (.315/.354/.527 vs. .284/.336/.461). It's also worth noting Vlad's progress through the year - his first half was significantly better than his time post-All-Star break. Plus, he's commented before that Baltimore doesn't have a large enough hispanic population, or something to that effect, and, right now, I'm not seeing too many others on the team.

I would love to see him repeat last year for us, I just don't see it happening. We might be able to experiment without spending too much, but I think it'd be better to start the year with Scott owning the DH role and trying to improve on last year and throw some of that money on a starting pitcher like Millwood and/or Duchscherer (preferably both).

Jeff,

I think Vlad WOULD get more at-bats in Toronto than Anaheim, but I do think the effect of the carpet there on his legs might give them some reservations.

As for Anaheim, they COULD go with Wells-Hunter-Abreu in the OF, but that would be a horrendous defensive OF.

I believe we should sign Vlad. Alternate Scott and Vlad against right/left and Pie and reimold against left/right. Scott does about 10 game at 1st for Lee, Pie does about 10 games for Jones in CF . Then if Vlad is still swinging a hot bat at the break we could listen to offers. Pie and Reimold have not both been healthy for a whole year, so I do not see everyone getting enough at bats a problem.

I see the worst case scenario for signing Guerrero is he gets hurt and can't play the rest of the season, or plays very poorly as a result. That hurts, but it's only a one year deal that doesn't put the team in a major bind the way Albert Bell did. Best case scenario is he heads an impressive offense that gets fans excited and talking about a wild card run in August (not September, but maybe August). Middle case scenario is he plays well enough to get a few decent minor leaguers in exchange for him to bolster organizational depth at the trade deadline. I think the value of the best and middle case outweight the damage of the worst case.

However, all that being said, I don't think they'll sign him.

Jeff, by the numbers, Luke Scott was the O's best hitter, but "dangerous?" He hit .214 with runners in scoring position. Vlad hit over .300. I like Luke; he's a good teammate and a pro. You've got to like a guy who takes notes on every at bat. But Markakis was clearly the most dangerous hitter on the team. With RISP, he hit .338. And he walked more than he struck out in those situations. Scott struck twice as often as he was walked with RISP. Scott was pitched to, Markakis pitched around. So who is more dangerous? I like the idea of two veteran bats in the middle of the line-up, Lee and Vlad. Along with Reynolds' power and Markakis' OBP, the middle of the line-up could be the best the O's have seen in a generation. Add to it the young bats, Jones, Weiters, and Pie, and the O's should have the most improved offense in baseball.

i do not see vlad signing with the orioles. if it comes to pass, pie in left, scott and vlad platoon, reimold at tripple A. if vlad does not sign as you say jeff keep all three of them. take simon off the 40 man roster. and sign nate robertson and jeremy bonderman.


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Jeff Z's reply: Just FYI, Nate Robertson is no longer available.

Bottom line...if you are are trying to win and want to compete...sign Vlad. If you are content with being out of the race by a date in July let another team that's more committed to winning sign him.

What's the old saying? Lies, damned lies, and statistics? Luke Scott's statistics inflate his value as an Oriole. The baseball season is long. And Luke throwing down a couple of great months, mixed in with a couple of absolutely horrendous months, doesn't do much to really help the Orioles to get into any rhythm or to develop consistency. I think that is a very fair critique. Vlad can bring it all year long. I think the O's need to be aware of this. And to do something about it.

I have to agree with one of the posters on here that the whole Vlad-Orioles connection smells of his agent playing games with teams that Guerrero would actually like to play for. Personally, I was happy to hear that we were his top choice, but I was also very suspicious to know that the team had no idea that he was closest to signing a deal with us.

With the way Guerrero wore down last year, I think we are the best fit for him. The situation we have right now is too many injury-prone players, but not enough space. Having Pie in left-field and Vlad or Scott at DH makes us a very dangerous team, especially when we can now use one of them as a pinch-hitter for Tatum in the bottom of the 8th. This might eliminate Reimold from the discussions, but again, I think the injury situation always plays itself out. If one guy goes down, then we all of a sudden have Luke Scott playing left field and Guerrero is our DH.

I say why not? If he's cheap, and he's clearly an All-Star caliber player, let's go out and get him. Too much depth beats too little. If we don't give these negotiations everything we've got (and I'm referring to the checkbook there), then we're going to end up kicking ourselves midseason when Pie and Jones come up lame at the same time.

Those who point out Vlad's number decline later in the season have never been in Arlington/Dallas in July and August--very hard on any player, much less an older player. Heat debilitates and you don't recover during the season. We don't have anywhere near that problem here.

That said, it would be good for Reimold to have a full season at AAA getting regular at bats and playing left to get back to his old self (providing the Achilles is really healed) and be ready to push up should anyone get hurt.

In addition, Camden Yards would be literally assaulted by Vlad.

Jeff, to those that want to know about the Gianoulos guy, he has made a YouTube video....And you know what his mindset regarding this organization, and the Baltimore Sun, is right on KEY!

Give'm hell Steve

Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjaAKXgOB7k

Buster Olney tweet. The Orioles could have interest in Vlad Guerrero IF he put himself on platter-1-year, $2 m. type of think. He wants 2-year deal. That Buster Olney, leave it to him to get to the bottom of this. What I have find most interesting in the past week or so is the Vernon Wells trade. How in the world they were able to dump a terrible contract like that (Wells) and add Frank Francisco a similar pitcher to Kevin Gregg is beyond me. The Angels are fools. The Rangers get Napoli and the Blue Jays are richer all the way around. Does MLB look into trades ever? Something really smells about this one. Unfortunately, there's nothing in the MLB rule book for stupidity. Oh well. I wish the Orioles could get a another relief pitcher via trade, provide some real competition in the bullpen this spring if they did! Also, a SP would be nice too! As for getting Vlad, I would faint!

I say sign Vlad and see if the Orioles might be competitive this year. I'm not saying they make the playoffs, but if the team makes enough headway this year, then maybe some of the free agents after 2011 will be more open to signing.

I expect the Yankees to pick him up anyway.

@Jeff Z,

I think that the Orioles need to move on from the Vladimir Guerrero situation, and look to toward adding some pitching depth in that bullpen. If they don't, this team will look like the 2004-2005 ballclubs when they had all that offense and no pitching.

I also want to comment if I am at liberty to, on the Gianoulos video that is on you tube, regarding THE SUN Sports columnists. I agree with him to a point regarding the columnists not doing more to figure out why PA has gone through all this trouble. Is he running this team into the ground on purpoose? I think so, and I think Gianoulos has a point.

I think that if PA gets his slots ordeal and whatever, he will sell this organization. If he don't get his way, look for more losing seasons.

Pie=Patterson reimold = bigbie. Stop waiting for average players to become superstars... not happening... get Guerrero and worry about the average players later.

$2 million for Vlad is an insult, cheap Angelos. This is why the O's will never improve until he and his non-baseball cronies are gone. Thank you for ruining my favorite team. Almost erasing my memories of Cal, Freddie Lynn, Eddie...

There are only 5 MLB players in history that have more career HRs combined with a career batting avg. greater than Vlad Guerrero: Ruth, Foxx, Williams, Gehrig and Musial. Think about that.

So Izturis will make more... unbelievable...
Cesar Izturis $2,600,000

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Jeff Z's reply: I may be wrong, but I don't think Buster was claiming that's what their offer was for. He was speculating that it may have to be in that range for O's to be interested.

Rosenthal says the O's have made an offer to Guerrero, likely in the $3M to $5M range. I would say something towards the higher end of the range, with incentives, would probably get this done.

I agree with Rosenthal that it's a great deal of Guerrero accepts and no big deal for the O's if he doesn't ... he's not a make or break player, IMO. We still need pitching in a bad way.

The only thing I KNOW that would happen if the Orioles got Vlad Guerrero for next season... I would buy in for 4 seats in one of their mini-plans. It would top off and solidify their best, most productive off-season in many years. Show me some effort to compete, and I'll spend my money to watch you try to compete. Vlad would be the last piece, and it's still a necessary piece. Beyond that, who knows what will happen...

...I agree, sign Vlad and keep Scott, Pie and Reimold. Pie can't stay healthy and Reimold could be a flash in the pan, not saying he is, but he could be. That Achilles injury really hurt his chance to show that he could be an everyday player a the major league level. Signing Vlad and keeping every creates a much needed depth in our system. The depth on our team was the reason for our demise early last year. Gonzo gets hurt and no one stepped up to close right away. Roberts gets hurt and no played 2B defensively like him or lead off for him. I like the direction the Os are going, they are signing vets, but none of them are blocking any prospects. Reimold still has a lot to prove and sending him to AAA wouldn't be that bad of an idea.

Starting to think this is getting done today re: O's and Vlad. All of the pieces are falling into place. I don't see that he has other/better options.

No brainer sign vald!
1. Roberts 2b
2. Markakis rf
3. Vald dh
4. lee 1b
5. reynolds 3b
6. scott lf
7. wieters c
8. jones cf
9. hardy ss

Hey Jeff Z,

Would the Orioles have any interest in
Justin Maxwell? I know we have a deluge of outfielders, but to me and this is just from reading a few short stories about him. He reminds me of Jayson Werth. Height, build, speed, broken wrist issue...... He was designated for assignment today.


...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: Not sure Squirrel, he was designated for assignment 20 minutes ago so really haven't heard his name mentioned. It would be cool story because he's a former Terp if my memory serves me correctly.

Congrats on your award from out in the Loo. I'm happy that you responded to so many of the comments by your readers. That's class. The real issue is that Reimold, Pie, Snyder and Bell need to force their way into the lineup of a team with 13 straight losing seasons. It could happen in ST but it must happen this year or they go into the suspect bin.

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: Thanks Gary.

Post All-star break numbers for Vlad .278/.322/.426/.748. Why sign a below average player that can't play the field for money we can use later when we have a chance? The people on this site are insane. Pie and Reimold may be Patterson and Bigbie and they'd still be better than Guerrero. Nobody wants him for a reason. McPhail has made solid pickups this offseason. Let's make some progress in the wins department and let the kids grow.

BREAKING NEWS - UPDATE: FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that the O's have made Guerrero an offer, "probably in the $3 million to $5 million range."

What if? What if? What if? Blah blah blah. This organization is infuriating. Sign him or don't sign him, just make a bloody decision already. Every year its the same boring babble and all the fans get tossed is the same tired old little of this or that. The FO never makes the big moves that would lead to significant improvement.

Trade Luke Scott! He may be seen as a DH by most teams, but I think Detroit would have an interest in him. He would platoon with Ryan Raburn in left. The Tigers have been interested in him for several years. They tried to land him a couple of years ago but had to settle for Aubrey Huff. Detroit has some young OFs that are better than Pie. How about Brennan Boesch and a low level pitching prospect for Scott???

I say go get Vlad now!!! The idea of a Vlad/Scott/Pie platoon at DH/LF is very exciting. I don't know why everyone is in love with Reimnold. He hit .200 last year at Triple-A. He doesn't deserve to have anything just given to him. Let him go back and destroy Triple-A and earn his spot in the lineup. If he does what he should, then Vlad becomes midseason trade bait.

Lind will be the DH for the Jays with Travis Snyder playing 1B.

I am all for signing Vlad and have been since the start of free agency this year. Luke is a nice player, but like with Wiggy being an All Star, being the best player on the O's in 2010 isn't saying much. I don't think Luke strikes fear into the other teams like Vlad does.

I am not ready to dismiss Reimold and I honestly don't think any team would straight up trade a legit prospect or SP for Nolan or Pie at this point, but I would like to see him play every single day for the Tides. Injuries are bound to happen so like with his great 2009 rookie campaign, let him get his confidence back and let him pound the ball in AAA and bring him up when he can play. If he doesn't get called up because the O's are doing well, is anyone going to complain?

Jeff, I know Luke is viewed as a DH, but don't you think if he played LF for the majority of time in 2011 if the O's signed Vlad that would increase his value in a trade? If Luke does an adequate job in LF in terms of defense, I would think NL teams would get in the mix if the O's are looking to trade him for pitching at some point.

What if? What if? What if? Blah blah blah. This organization is infuriating. Sign him or don't sign him, just make a bloody decision already. Every year its the same boring babble and all the fans get tossed is the same tired old little of this or that. The FO never makes the big moves that would lead to significant improvement.

Right now the Os have $58.5M in salary commitments for 2011. Vlad made $5.5M last year - he can't possibly be expecting more than that - give him $4.5 with incentives. How hard is that?

Luke Scott was incredibly consistent after his very bad April. His BA w/ RISP, though abysmal overall, improved greatly the last two months. He is the only left handed power bat on the team.

Pie played the last 3 months without any injury. Improve his plate discipline and you have a dynamic offensive player, who's baserunning blunders have been way overblown. With Showalter he gets a clean slate and the green light to be aggressive. Very valuable.

Right now they have a very balanced lineup with solid defense everywhere (shortstop? not sure)

Add a starter because if the injury bug hits the starting pitching is most thin.

One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them. I for one welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Hey Jeff,

Just like you I'm on the fence about this deal but do you think that the O's signing a big name guy like Vlad will show the rest of the league that they are willing to spend money to "compete" and thus making them a more marketable team for high quality free agents to come in the future?

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z"s reply: No. Giving somebody a one-year deal worth between $4 and $6 million is pretty low risk by baseball standards.

coach--
I like most of your lineup--the only changes I would make would be to flip Scott and Reynolds to break up the righties in the middle and maybe flip Jones and Wieters until Matt shows he can hit consistently. But no matter how you arrange it, that's a pretty impressive group of hitters.

who gets dropped off the 25 man and 40 man roster if he signs? Thought we only had room for a LH reliever and starter on the 25 man?

--

25-man wont be decided until late March. There is one spot remaining on the 40-man. The LH reliever, and possibly the starter, could sign minor-league deals.

Jeff, congrats on the award, and how likely do you think it is it that Reimold will rebound this season? I think he should be started at Norfolk and should have to earn his playing time, but do you see him living up to the potential he showed in 2009?

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: Hard for me to say Andrew since I haven't seen him since September, and I don't know what role he is going to have to accept. The O's are getting good reports about his offseason workouts, but that doesn't tell me too much. Look,. I have my doubts about him, too. I just thought the poster basically saying he was worthless was a little much.

Rosenthal is mostly spot on with his sources. Sure sounds like "The Fantasy" could be turning into a possibility.

Jeff, I've been on this early, and often, since winter meetings, this move is one that I don't think the O's would have looked into except for the prodding of fans on sites like this. Eventually the BS writers have one by one have joined in.
You seemed to be the last holdout to seeing it as a good baseball move.

As a baseball decision this really comes down to not having a roster spot for Fox.
If the O's have Guerrero and Scott to DH, Wieters would never be needed to DH, so three catchers becomes redundant.
So in my view Fox is the guy losing a roster spot.

It might be decided to send Riemold to Norfolk to get consistant at bats AND to have him play 1B on a regular basis. That would be the prime reason to send him down in my opinion, get the power bat going again and have him learn anotther position.

But the O's could carry Riemold and Pie if Buck wanted to. Question is does he have enough "at bats" for everybody.
Earl Weaver managed to carry Lowenstien, Ayala, and Roenicke and keep them all busy and he had a fulltime DH too.

To have Deep Depth you have to use it.
Two DH types can really only be done if one can play a defensive position. Scott plays two, he's no Lee at first, but he did progress last year.

162 games and 6 months will sort things out. Pie, Riemold, and Scott, have all had trips to the DL, there is no danger of any of them breaking Cal's record. Guerrero will need days off, so will Lee. So the at bat's thing will work it out.

Jeff, from a baseball point of view, does a Guerrero signing make the O's a better team in 2011?

It doesn't matter if we get Vlad or not. Either way, Buck will have this team in 1st place by the All-Star break! You're missing the 'Buck' factor. Mark my words.

The point is this, you need to take risks to be a good team. Obviously, Pie and Reimold need to be pushed SOMEHOW in order to get them to play. Maybe this is it. At worst, you get a proven veteran bat in a line up that STILL NEEDS ONE. It would give them a reason to have raised the ticket prices. It would give players that hit around him the chance to hit more HR, knock in more RBI and see more fastballs instead of junk. This is not just some "fantasy" thing, this could actually improve our team! Isnt that what we are trying to do here?

Get Guerrero !!!!!!!!!!! Anyone that's speaking against it doesn't know anything about baseball.I would rather have him than go against him.

The O's never sign the big free agents. They always get the 4-mil, 1-year-deal guys. & here's an MVP-caliber bat at a bargain basement price. The stars have aligned to let the O's get him for relatively next to nothing.

Reimold and Pie have inconsistently shown decent potential. They might be good some day, just in time to be free agents & go to Boston or NY.

Vlad is, I think, like a .320 lifetime hitter & he would likely drive in over 100 on this team.

The O's need to stop acting like a 5-mil contract is a big deal when other teams in the division routinely throw out 100-mil contracts.

i think what people are forgetting here is that Buck is really going to be relying on a great defense this year, and if they sign Vlad and put Scott in left, that the defense suffers. At times Pie played an excellent left field last year, and I believe Buck wants that defense out there for these young pitchers. So i think ultimately, Buck values the better defense over the increased offense, and the O's don't sign Vlad.

i think what people are forgetting here is that Buck is really going to be relying on a great defense this year, and if they sign Vlad and put Scott in left, that the defense suffers. At times Pie played an excellent left field last year, and I believe Buck wants that defense out there for these young pitchers. So i think ultimately, Buck values the better defense over the increased offense, and the O's don't sign Vlad.

I find it ASTONISHING that the Os would offer Vlad LESS than they paid Garret Atkins last year. And people wonder why players don't want to come here?......

Birdbrain;

Not sure how fair it is to judge Scott by his hitting with RISP last year. Scott was the O's biggest threat with little else in the batting order to protect him. Managers would have been very careful pitching to Scott with men on base. Let's see what he does with some quality hitters around him this year, then we can judge.

B;

Scott didn't "throw down a couple of great months" last year. His BA and Sl% by month after a lousy April; May 324/649, June 293/537, July 306/673, August 314/627. That's 4 consecutive months of keeping company with guys like Pujols.

For the entire year, Scott had the 11th best Sl% and the 14th best OPS in all of baseball. He wasn't good for us last year, nor very good. He was great although a lot of people don't seem to realize it. If he had done what he did for NY or Boston we'd have heard about it many times.

Just heard on MASN that the Orioles offered Vlad a one year deal worth between 3.5 and 5 mil, we`ll see !!

You better look at Scott's numbers with runners on base. He hit zilch. Only 75 rbi with 27 hr's tells you why they rarely pitched around Scott. I'd trade him in a heart beat for a decent no. 2 starter.

"I find it ASTONISHING that the Os would offer Vlad LESS than they paid Garret Atkins last year. And people wonder why players don't want to come here?"

Two problems with this statement, John. #1- Atkins could also play in the field, and #2- Atkins is not the proper comparison, Thome is. 3 million is the going rate. Are all your stocks worth the same as last year? How about your house?

Why does it matter if Guerrero's price tag came down? This team could afford to pay him 12 million if he were a little younger. Why do fans & writers always have to harp on how much a player costs. It really doesn't come out of our taxes. McPhail seems to be good at brainwashing the city into thinking that we should all be more concerned about where Angelos will make his next billion.

Re your interesting column, and one by Kevin Cowerd (didn't know he had it in him) I want to pass on kudos to you both, also to you on your recent award.
Combining the two columns, I have a few things to get off my chest. Early after the close of the season we, the fans, were, effectively, promised that the front office would pursue two top-level hitters to man the corners of the 2011 team. Then, after Andy the Turtle hemed and hawed over the asking price for players in that category and bided his time until ALL of the top level hitters were signed by half of the teams in the Major Leagues, he signed two guys, one of whom has a lot of baggage to dispel and the other who might not equal the worth of Wiggington after the season is over.(Was there a valid reason for letting Wiggy go?) But the price was right for those two wasn't it! Ah yes, the $ still comes first.

Now the conversation turns to Vlad Guerrero and isn't it sad that you have to include that his asking price has fallen considerably as a reason why the O's MIGHT be interested in him. When will the Oriole front office sign a guy without his cost being the prime reason for his becoming a Bird? I distinctly remember the Turtle telling ALL of us that money would NOT be the primary factor in pursuing players in this off-season.

As to Vlad, WHY NOT! He will probably hit better than either of the sluggers? that the Turtle signed so far, even with all of his strikeouts. (With Vlad and Jones playing, any pitcher having a curve that he can throw low and away will have an opertunity for at least two strikeouts each time through the batting order. Add Reynolds and that's three.)
I would hate to see Scott traded although I've always thought that Scott never did like being a part-time player, especially at 29/30. In my mind he would get to be a much better all-around player while playing everyday. Perhaps adding Vlad would give him that chance.
I don't think that it does Scott any good to play outfield once in awhile while DH'ing most of the time. He needs to play outfield most of the time to get acclimated to it considering he isn't All Star material out there to start with.
But that leaves Pie the odd man out and that isn't good either. I might offer a solution here which will bring howls from almost all but a few. Put Pie in center (he's as good as Jones there and may grow up to be a better hitter) and trade Jones in a multi-player deal including a pitcher and say Gonzo for a #1 or #2 starter, a solid reliever, plus ?.
What am I saying! That would increase the payroll to an unacceptable level wouldn't it. Oh my, the O's just can't do that even though Angelos, like Steinbrenner before him, could put some of his TV $$ into upping the club's payroll without setting himself up for a trip to the poorhouse. He COULD even increase prices next year with what the team would carry over from this year PLUS signing a couple more quality players. PA should try it, he might like it!

Of course Reimold goes to Norfolk in an effort to prove that he can develop into a ML player. While we continue to talk about Reimold & Pie competing for LF....WATCHOUT. Pie may fool everybody and end up taking Adam Jones' job in CF. Jones is just a little overrated as an over all player. I believe Pie will develop into a better player than Jones if given the at-bats.

ajs - Understood that comparing a postition player to a DH is an apples and oranges thing, but Atkins had 9 home runs in 354 abs the year before he played for the Os and Vlad had 9 home runs the second half of last year, a sub-par performance by his standards. Atkins also hit .226 in '09, compared to Vlad's .300 (not to mention the 115 rbi) last year. As a DH comparison, while Vlad may no longer be the same impact player as David Ortiz, Ortiz is in the final year of a $64.5 miliion dollar 5 year deal, so it could be argued that somewhere between Ortiz and Thome is the market value of a DH, the key term being market value. Thome is also 40 and Vlad is less than a year older than Ortiz.

Tom in bel air;

First of all, I doubt that anyone would give you a number 2 starter for Scott. As well, if you did manage to trade him, you wouldn't have a single left handed power hitter in the lineup. Given that about 70-75 percent of innings are thrown by right handers, and that Scott hit them to the tune of a 300 BA, a 390 Ob% and a 560 Sl%, that would be a very unwise move.

Secondly, Scott had only just over 500 plate appearances, about 150 short of a full season partly because he was sat against some tough left handers but mostly by missing about 3 weeks in July. Pro-rate his numbers to account for that and he knocks in about 90-95 despite his low avg with RISP.

Last but not least, you don't think that hitting 314 with a 627 Sl% in August, along with 9Hrs and 20 Rbis in 27 games, didn't have something to do with him being walked 16 times in September? Your kidding, right?

Jeff,
Could we stop saying"rest Luke Scott against tough lefthanders"? Very few batters hit tough lefties well and none of them are Oriole reserves.
Second, why would Tampa pay Johnny Damon $5 million to play for them. He has lost power and speed and can't throw any more.

If the Orioles sign Guerrero, my thought barring any trades would be to play Pie in LF two-thirds of the time, DH Guerrero two-thirds of the time, and play Scott in LF and as DH one-third of the time each.

On certain days, all three could be in the line-up to give Jones a breather.

In theory, the Orioles would have a power bat to come off of the bench two-thirds of the time -- something that has been lacking for quite a while -- and would have Scott and Guerrero in the same line-up one-third of the time.

Imagine Scott and Guerrero in the same line-up. Vladdy could bat fourth and Luke could bat seventh. Essentially, the Orioles could have one or the other batting second through fifth in every turn at bat.

If that produces a lead, Pie could come in as a defensive replacement.

Meanwhile, Reimold could be summoned from Norfolk when somebody breaks down. Having depth at AAA isn't a crime and wasn't that the intended theory when MacPhail was hired?

There are no more one-for-five trades to be made, so it's time to try something different. It isn't what I would have done when the offseason started but given what's left, it isn't bad either.

I'm just not so sure the noise on the blogs equals the noise in the community.

I admire those who can remain optimistic about the Orioles (to a point) because I struggle enough with just being objective. But, "the Orioles are not far from being in the wild-card picture this season." Huh?

If 82 wins was said with all of those caveats mentioned starting Vladdy, I wouldn't say anything.

But wild card? Have the Orioles been so far removed from winning for so long, fans have forgotten what that means?

In the last 15 years, the AL wild card team has averaged 94.9 wins. Not surprisingly, 95 is the mean -- happening in six of those 15 years.

Also making the rounds in AL Wild Card win totals are 102, 99, 98, 96, 94 (twice), 92, 91 and 88.

Ninety-two wins happened in 1998.

Ninety-one wins happened in 2000.

And 88 wins happened 15 years ago in 1996 by the Baltimore Orioles.

So, nothing below 94 wins in the last ten years and even with 88 wins being generously given a one in 15 shot, do you really think the 2011 Orioles are going to resemble the 1996 Orioles? Matusz better start doing his Mussina impression, and fast.

To offer Vlad for 2 million is an insult. If I were Vlad I would never play for the O's.
What would Mcfail think if I tried to sell his 2 million dollar house for $300K.

Luke Scott is fine if you can stick him in the 7 or 8 hole but relying on him to be the most productive hitter again is a very scary thought. His overall numbers always look ok at the end of the year but the way that he produces those numbers is not pretty to watch. He always gets on a hot streak, where he goes something like 10 for 14 with 5 home runs but that is always followed by a 3 for 40 and spells where he is the easiest out in the lineup. That inconsistency is fine if your name is Ryan Howard, who has similar streaks, but not when you put up the pedestrian totals that Scott ends up with at the end of the year...

Jeff: The Orioles need an experienced power bat in the lineup.. Everybody talks about reimold but he is no youg rookie at 28 years old. The good ones begin to show it in the early 20's. Get this guy for the short term & we better come up with a real outfielder via trade or something in the future. Bill Koch

Jeff -

At what point does this team go from building to attempting to contend? If I were a player on the O's and the front office continually sent a message of "holding pat..." or "building," it would be hard to get motivated.

I think the O's should go get this guy to send a message that the team is ready to play. Vlad is old, yes... but being a DH sheds years off of a hitter.

Come on O's, get some FIRE and start acting like a major league club.

Everyone has made good, logical points. How about the "fun" factor? The "buzz" factor? C'mon, let's get him. Even if we don't win more games, it will be fun watching all that offense. I LOVE offense! And, after having watched a season of Ravens faltering, sputtering offense, it would be all the more fun.

Jeff

Vlad would indeed make the O's lineup something to respect. But I don't think the O's can afford to lose Pie (who else can play centerfield if Jones gets hurt - again) and it's not worth keeping Reimold from a chance to develop by keeping him "down on the farm."

The O's need to think long term - and that means player development. And what if Vlad's 2nd half last year turns out to be what you get this year?

I have to say it again; what is so bad about Buck having to sweat over which men to plat where? Give Buck plenty of ammo and let him worry about who plays in left and who rotates in left and center field. If you think Pie, Reimold, and Scott will stay healthy all year for 162 games you are dreaming. It ain't gonna happen. Can you imagine turning your back on a .300 hitter who knocks in over 100 RBIs every season by a team that can't finish above .500 for 12 years. Its insane!

The O's need to think long term - and that means player development. And what if Vlad's 2nd half last year turns out to be what you get this year?

Posted by: Jim | January 28, 2011 12:55 PM

2nd half - .278/9/40.
And he hit .323 with 4 HRs in Sept

I think the 2nd half "swoon" has been overblown.

Every year around this time the O's pick some big name ballplayer and dangle the carrot to the fans. They never get these guys but it spikes some interest in the team, gets fans to FAN - FEST and might sell some tickets for the season. Guerrero's not coming here. He's in the twilight of his career and had issues playing for a team without strong spanish/latin connections. That was one of his reasons hesigned with the Angels than Texas.

With Vlad, the O's have 8 in the lineup with 20+ HR potential, and 3 with 30+ potential. When's the last time we had that kind of power? That's a lot more runs scored and a few more close wins instead of close losses. That's more protection for Weiters in the lineup. Adam Jones sees more fastballs. I think with Vlad, if the young pitching produces, the Os have a legitimate shot at the wildcard.

I think that the orioles are doing the right thing signing vlad . They could always trade scott or pie and try to get a solid pitcher to come outta the pen ...iam actually excited for once for the season to begain and its been a long time over due !!!

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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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