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November 19, 2011

A little more on Matt Antonelli

The Orioles are on the verge of signing their first free agent for the 40-man roster.

His name is Matt Antonelli, a right-handed hitting 26-year-old second/third baseman who was the 17th overall pick in the 2006 draft out of Wake Forest University.

Not exactly Prince Fielder, but this is the kind of depth signing one can expect from the club’s new executive vice president Dan Duquette.

The deal, which will include a 40-man spot and an automatic invite to spring training, is pending a physical.

But if he’s healthy – and the Orioles have no reason to think he is not – he’ll compete for a big-league roster spot in spring training, giving the Orioles insurance at second base and Chris Davis some competition at third.

This guy seems to be an interesting flyer – in 2008 he was considered by several media gurus as one of the top 50 prospects in all of baseball and Baseball America had him ranked second in the Padres organization, which gave him a $1.575 million signing bonus.

But he struggled mightily at Triple-A, dealt with some injuries, didn’t produce in limited action in the majors (.193 average in 57 big-league at-bats) and by the end of 2010 he was non-tendered a contract. Last year he played primarily at Triple-A Syracuse, the Washington Nationals’ top affiliate.

He did pretty well there with a .297 average, .393 on-base percentage and .460 slugging while hitting eight homers and driving in 30 runs in 300 at-bats.

He takes walks, plays solid defense at two infield positions and is considered a strong make-up guy with plenty of toughness – as a high school senior he was the Massachusetts player of the year in football and hockey (and second in baseball).

He could very well be the Orioles’ starting second baseman next year if Brian Roberts can’t play and the club utilizes Robert Andino in a super-utility role. Or Antonelli could prove to be a Quad-A player at best and could spend most of his time at Norfolk or in another organization.

These are the kind of moves a team like the Orioles should make to improve depth. Of course, these aren’t the kind of moves that placate a disgruntled fan base, either.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:00 AM | | Comments (23)


Member of the disgruntled fan base. This is so typical of the Angelos Unawarehouse Regime.

These kind of signings are good for bench depth but not for fan depth.

If you want to bring back the fans go out and sign Fielder. He is still young so he can fit in with Wieters, Jones , Markakis, and Hardy. If it doesn't work out we could always trade him at the all star break for some good prospects.

Also why not bring Machado up soon, and move Hardy to 2nd Base.

Dan,was wondering if you have perused Matt Antonelli's self made and monitored website/blog?It is quite an array of not so bright ramblings and interesting ego among many things.
As far as the O's signing him,it seems like a solid,painless,low risk move with some potential.
Other question..I wonder what the current status of David Eckstein is?He was out of baseball last year due to donating one of his kidneys to a family member,but if considering a comeback he might be a possible addition for the O's to look at.Lord knows he is more than solid and a great leader,winner and clubhouse presence.

Hahahaha!!!! This organization just does not get it. *cries*

Maybe we can convince Mrs. Angelos
to sue for divorce. Worth a try. (Hey, it worked in LA.)

I like this signing. I think that have gotten a great utility infielder who come become a star 5 tool player full time. I am not sure why so much of the fan base is against this move. He really looks like he has a lot of potential to be a future star. I think he is going to surprise most people when he gets some everyday playing time. It looks like Duquette has found a gem. Looks to me like the people who are complaining have obviousely not taken a look at his full body of work. This guy could be an Adam Jones type of player if given the chance. I am highly impressed with this small acquisition. I think this is a steal and a great pick-up for a team needing a solid 2nd baseman to replace Roberts. He walks about as much as he strikes out. He has a high on base percentage and he can steal some bases. He is like the second coming of Brian Roberts and he could even be better if given some full time playing opportunity. I will definately approve of more low key acquisitions like this this off season. Duquette really got a good one for not that much money. This kid is the real deal, he just hasn't had an opportunity to show himself. If he can duplicate the production he had in the minors into the majors he is going to amaze a lot of people who arelooking at his major league stats during limited bench play for the Padres. Great pick-up, he's not Prince Fielder but he will be a productivbe and versatile addition to the team.

I like the acquisition too, although we cannot forget gritty Robert Andino, the incredible progress he made as a player and a man, and him being a favorite of Buck. I think the 2nd base job should be his until someone takes it away. He does need to improve his base stealing skills. This new guy though, yes, looks good too.

I'm just so disappointed and fed up with an Oriole organization that accepts losing with open arms. We just suffered our 13th losing year in a row- and our mission is to strengthen our bench?????????

Another low risk move designed to build organizational depth on the 40 man roster. The guy could be a late bloomer that got his shot at AAA and in SD before he was ready.
I'm hoping that the O's are able to add some pitching depth through similar signings and possibly Rule 5. A competent GM is going to use every path at his disposal.
I'm not saying the O's are planning an offer to Prince Fielder, but if they were, now would not be the time to lay an offer on the table. Put an offer out there now and Boras will only use it to shop around. He's famous for that so now GM's tend to wait him out and wait for him to try and solicite bids. Trust me, the final bidder for Prince hasn't emerged yet.

Once again I say to "fans" who use Prince Fielder as a yardstick for measuring Oriole acquisitions.....
Why in God's name would you want that fat pig in an Oriole uniform ?
Mark Reynolds gives the Orioles respectability at 1B for the first time since Palmeiro. I'll take him any day of the week over bufoon-looking Fielder.
He's got just as much if not more power than Fielder, too.
I guess you people just like throwing away money.

Seems like a good player to have in the organization.

ATTENTION FANS WHO LIKE TO BAD MOUTH ANGELOS NO MATTER WHAT: give it a rest. Please. Jeez, you guys could eat a bad hot dog at Camden Yards and somehow it'd be Angelos' fault for "cutting costs".

I hate to tell ya: You can't just go sign a top 5 player at every position this offseason. 1. That's impossible. 2. We're in the 19th largest media market.

Deal with it. Yes Peter has meddled in the past, but he didn't while Andy was here. So stop it already.

The fact that so many people are made about this move just shows how little baseball intellect there is around here. They sign a decent depth player, something every team in the majors does on a regular basis, whether it's the Yankees or the Pirates, yet when the Orioles do even the smallest thing to strengthen their club, "fans" jump all over them. It gets old, it really does.

They've made two moves that could really help, Antonelli and O'Day, yet some people think it's ridiculous. What's ridiculous is the sniping and all all kvetching so common by so many people. If the Orioles piss you off that much, say bye bye now, and good riddance. Enough is enough!!!!!

And for every person who feels they should sign Fielder, there is another person who is against it. I frankly hope some other team gets saddled with that overwhelming contract and the Orioles put their money into the rotation.

What the Orioles need to sign is a 1954 version of Johnny Antonelli.

Any mention of getting two front-line starting pitchers so we can contend? Offensively, O's were good enough and even 'pen looked good at end of season. Didn't brass promise to plow MASN profits into O's ? Well, now is the time to step up to the plate. GET SERIOUS STARTING PITCHING.

Stop with the whining about Prince Fielder. He is overrated, overpriced, and vastly overweight. We need smart, fit, talented people to complement Wieters, Markakis and Jones. Never heard of this guy, but his last year's stats look promising. We'll see...


If baseball really wanted to level the field limit the compensation for top 15 teams letting guys walk only compensate for the true stars like wilson, pujols, fielder.. Then give the lowest 10 teams an extra pick between the 1st and 2nd round. Orioles need 1-2 starters vs bats . Spend their money on pitching this year, unless filder or a LF/3B really wants to come here. Resign scott if price is right and no other bat surfaces.

Hi Chip

Have a clue

The 2 signings thus far should make the fan base in Norfolk much happier. The Tides were horrible this season.

Now they are blocking my facebook post in order to supress the truth about their actions with PRESS+. DO NOT TRUST THE BALTIMORE SUN THEY LIE AND STEAL AND CENSOR THE TRUTH!

They have stolen money from my bank account because they said they had a computer glitch that turned all cancelled trial memberships into full subscriptions. They took my money from my bank account and thousands of others who cancelled their trila memberships and held it for several days. They made interest off the thousands of dollars they stole and then said they refunded it, I have yet to recieve a refund for the money they stole and no one I have tlakded to has received their money either. The Baltimroe Sun and PRESS+ lie, steal and supress the truth about their thieving actions. They steal from their readers and say they will refund the money which hasn't occured as of yet. What an organization. First they charge their readers to view online content then they blatantly stela money from their bank accounts, make interest off of it, and then say they will refund it back to you and blame it on a computer glitch that turned all cancelled trial memvberships into full access memberships. Seeing as how I do not yet have my money back in my bank account nor do I have a full time membership they are liars and thieves. Boycott the Sun. They lie and steal from their readers. Check you bank accounts and credit cards for the transactions if you cancelled your trial memberships and you will see I am telling the truth. What a low class organization the Baltimroe Sun is.

Ok, then. Thanks for posting George. Not a Matt Antonelli fan?

Wow, it's truly impressive to see some fans so satisfied with a 13 year losing record. I guess maybe Angelos knows what he's doing- some fans are happy with the smallest of crumbs.
But for fans who actually want a winning team there is no way around the fact that they will have to acquire a couple of GOOD, proven stars.
So, it's just a difference of expectations here. Some of us are tired of under .500 every year. We simply can't accept it any longer.
Strengthening the bench is just not going to get us there.

I don't care either way about Fielder. The Orioles need some sort of difference maker. They aren't "growing" any.

This move isn't even a solid major league move while waiting for a the right difference maker to come along -- as if the Orioles have that defined.

The Orioles should be getting frequent flyer miles for all of the "fliers" they have taken the past decade-plus.

Print the Series tickets baby!!!
Look out AL East...the birds are back!

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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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