In retrospect, should the Orioles have signed Victor Martinez?
I had a chance to talk briefly Wednesday with Detroit’s Victor Martinez, a couple hours before he had a double, single and homer in the Tigers’ 7-3 win against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Martinez, if you remember, was the Orioles’ No. 1 target this winter. They offered him $48 million over four years to be their everyday first baseman, but instead he took the Tigers’ four-year, $50 million contract.
“I really appreciated the amount of interest the Orioles had in me,” Martinez said. “It was a pretty tough decision.”
Really, the deck was stacked against the Orioles getting Martinez. The Tigers have won more recently, they are in a division that isn’t as deep, they gave him more of an opportunity to catch and several of Detroit’s team leaders are fellow Venezuelans.
There’s also the fact that the Tigers train each spring in Lakeland, which isn’t that far from his home in Orlando. And, yes, the bottom line is Detroit also offered more money.
Eventually, the Orioles found the help they needed from the right side of the plate (Martinez is a switch-hitter) by trading for J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds and signing Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero.
Martinez, 32, is a career .300 hitter in more than 1,000 games played. He’s also just one guy, and the Orioles added four. That said, Martinez would have been locked up for four seasons; of the new quartet, only Reynolds is guaranteed to be here beyond 2011.
So I want you to look at this team now. And think about what they did in the offseason. And then tell me, in retrospect, did the Orioles make a mistake by not upping their offer and signing Martinez to be their first baseman/DH/backup catcher through 2014?
Or, given what they did after Martinez signed with Detroit in November, is it OK with you that he went elsewhere?
Daily Think Special: Did the Orioles swing and miss by not signing Victor Martinez?