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October 31, 2008

Teixeira is out there

texgetty.jpgMark Teixeira is part of a group of 65 major league players who filed for free agency on the first day possible, which is nothing more than a formality, but still allows the conversation to continue about whether the Orioles should pay whatever it takes to put him in the middle of their lineup.

It's a fair question, since the team's true priority has to be filling a couple of the holes in the starting rotation. But there's really nothing stopping the Orioles from pursuing all their needs this winter.

There is some scuttlebutt that Peter Angelos has told Andy MacPhail to pay whatever he needs to pay for Teixeira (right), but I don't really believe that. It's consistent with the Peter Angelos of the late 1990s and the early 2000s, but not with the guy who has became a big-contract skeptic after the Albert Belle fiasco.

Strategically, I'm not sure Teixeira is the way to go this offseason, but from fan interest standpoint, the O's have to do something to stem the flow of fans out of Camden Yards, which registered its worst-ever attendance this year.

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Posted by Peter Schmuck at 10:46 AM | | Comments (125)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

The way I see it, the O's have to make six signings/contract extensions this winter. Extend Roberts and Markakis, and it sends a message throughout the entire organization that if player produce, they will be kept and rewarded. If Roberts is let go, what does that say to the players other than find a new home once you age past 30.

The O's need to then act quickly and get 2 pitchers that can eat innings, and there are plenty out there. And get them before Sabathia signs...O's should set the standard, not the Yankees this offseason.. This will show to the rest of the league that the O's mean business. Then, bring in Edgar Renteria on an incentive laden contract. This will give the O's the luxury of having a good fielding shortstop that will produce better than Castro and the rest of the bums the O's have brought in. And, most importantly, get Tex into the middle of that lineup. If they have to trade Huff to free up the payroll, then do it and get some more depth.

I know these moves will mess up the draft for 2009, but by trading Huff they can get a decent SS for the future and probably a good pitcher and another player. Matusz and Tillman will both be full-timers at the start of the 2010 season, so sign one pitcher to 2 years and the other to 3 and hope that another guy at AA this past year can impress or even be able to sign another pitcher.

As far as future drafts go...MacPhail need not waste his time with high school prospects...only go for guys that have produced in college, that way they will get to the bigs faster.

I just can't see how the O's can afford to fill all the holes in their rotation and lineup this offseason. In the Roberts discussion, "b" did a good job pointing out how expensive it would be to fill just three of these holes (with Burnett, Teixeira, Furcal). But with the O's needing two bona fide starters (Sabathia, Burnett, Lowe), Teixeira, and a shortstop (Furcal or, less expensively, Orlando Cabrera or Edgar Renteria) the total contract costs could approach $500 million. No organization can take on an obligation like that in one offseason. Maybe the Orioles should reform as an investment bank and seek federal aid this offseason?

I understand that the Belle deal hurt Angelos' wallet and his confidence, but it's ridiculous that the guy hasn't taken a single risk since the Belle signing.

And the big difference here is that Belle turned 33 in his first season with the O's while Tex turns 29 next April. Also, the fact that Belle was a total jerk and Teixeira seems look a good guy and a Baltimore kid changes things in the clubhouse.

Unfortunately, the O's won't be able to get Mark Teixeira with Belle's five year, $65 million contract. I do hope that if Angelos really did give MacPhail the O.K. to break the bank on Tex, that MacPhail can somehow convince Scott Boras to take a seven or eight year deal instead of a ten year deal. The thought of a 39-year-old Teixeira making $20 million on a .250/15/60 season at DH really bothers me.

No, not unless they get some pitching first! You win with pitching and defense, if you don't have that how long do you think fans will come to the park to see Texeira when they keep losing! Get some quality pitching!!! PITCHING!!! PITCHING FIRST!!!

If the Orioles can't land a decent player during this off season, than they should expect to have another losing season.

Come on now, what do you think a father is going to say, he wouldn't be a father if he didn't thing his son was great. He has probably been great at every level he has played, however this is the NFL and he has shown nothing to say he will be good at this level let alone great, but he is still young and you never know, but that being that we still need to go out and get some playmakers, and as far as dad saying they don't throw to him but 2 times a game, tell he to try seperation and maybe he will get more touches!

peter do you think there is any chance the orioles can land a couple big names say like TEX,Burnett,furcal or cabrera and another decent starter like lowe or oliver perez? and will we see both roberts and markakis get get multi year deals??

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Pete's reply: I think there's a medium possibility of Tex or -- but not and -- Burnett. I believe the O's will sign Roberts and Markakis, but am guessing about Roberts.

Really Pete? You don't think the O's have had a glaring hole offensively at 1B since Palmerio left for the 1st time? Will Clark, Jeff Conine, David Segui, Roid Raffy and Millar have not exactly set the world on fire. You might add Huff to the list but he played more games at DH and 3B then he did at 1B this season. Also I don't see him being an Oriole long term.

Teixeira fills a glaring need in the middle of the line up. Batting 4th he would also split up the lefties Markakis and Huff. Giving the O's a legitimate middle of the order.

And he is under the age of 30 so he could be a big part of the youth movement.

Oh and goodbye Jay Payton! Buh Bye!

Millar it was nice having you and if you were more willing to be a platoon player at DH with Scott I could have seen you sticking around.

Definitely a blog of truth, Peter. Another truth might be that Tex would have multiple choices of winning clubs, and might not be interested in the O's, other than bumping up the price.

Recruting local athletes makes sense in terms of getting fans and having happier athletes. Consider if Cal Ripkin would have been as popular if he was from Florida, or if Sidney Ponson would have gotten into problems if he had grown up Baltimore?

No to Tex. He won't be a factor by the time the O's are ready to contend, so why waste the money? The club's pitching woes will force the club to sign at least one free agent starter, at above-market rates, just so they can limp through the season next year. Why splurge on another free agent that's not going to get you into the playoffs?

Save the money, trade Roberts, Huff, Hernandez, Mora for young guys, and try to build a club that can pitch and defend. THEN you go out and land a big bat in free agency.

Albert Belle last played for the Orioles 9 years ago. It's not like the Orioles have been any better without him than they were with him.

Instead of trying to prove that a team with a low payroll can lose as much as a team with a high payroll, how about trying to prove that the Orioles can actually win some games?

Nobody without a hometown link will come to Baltimore unless they're wildly overpaid.

This year, there are two excellent potential free agents with Baltimore ties, both at positions of need--Teixeira and Burnett. Both should be signed--Teixeira for eight years, and Burnett for two years. Both should get $20 million per year.

The Orioles should also offer a two year, $20 million per year deal to Ben Sheets. If Teixeira and and Burnett were already in Baltimore, then Sheets might be persuaded to join them.

A payroll increase of $60 million would only put the Orioles third (or maybe fourth) in the AL East in payroll. Two year contracts for pitchers would cut down on the Orioles' exposure to injuries, and coincide with the emergence of Arrieta, Tillman, and Matusz.

A lineup with Roberts, Markakis, Teixeira, Jones, Huff, Scott and Weiters would be a winner, if paired with a rotation of Sheets, Burnett, Guthrie, Cabrera, and Waters. Plus, since Teixeira and Burnett are locals, the team wouldn't feel like a collection of other teams' stars, like it did in '96/'97 (see Eric Davis, Bobby Bonilla, Todd Zeile, Jimmy Key, Scott Erickson, Pete Incaviglia, Randy Myers, Roberto Alomar, Raffy Palmeiro, etc.)

Or, the Orioles could spend the offseason negotiating with Markakis and Roberts, lose out on the good, early-signing free agents, and then spend half the price of the good players on lesser free agents with an eighth of their talent. Just like last year, and the year before, and the year before, and the year before....

Strategically it's the perfect move for a multitude of reasons. As you said, fan interest and attendance are good reasons and the timing is right. The Orioles have a ton of contracts coming off the books this year and next year. Tex is young, plays great D, and I've heard he can hit a little. If you sign him to a 6 to 8 year deal he's one of the cornerstones when the young pitchers are ready in the next year or two. You also weaken the Yanks and Sox with this move. It's a no brainer to me.

Other moves would have to follow but this is a rare opportunity that the Orioles may not see again any time soon.

Peter, I believe Mark Teixeira is worth far more to the Orioles than any other team, precisely for the reason you mentioned in your last paragraph. He'll be just as valuable off the field as on. The lift it would give this fanbase, and in turn the organization as a whole, would be huge. In fact, I believe not signing him would have just as much of a negative impact as signing him would be positive. Simply put, if they want to energize the fanbase and begin to win back the hearts and minds of their many disenchanted, disillusioned, and disenfranchised fans, they MUST sign him. There's no other choice, it's a no brainer.

Now, will they? I wish I knew. Let's just say that, until I see it, I'm skeptical to say the least. I'm trying to maintain a sliver of hope, though.

Mr. Angelos: Two words for you- BLANK CHECK!!!!!

The orange Kool-Aid drinkers think Tex will be the solution to the Os problems. He'll solve the Os problems just as A-Rod solved the Rangers problems and the Yankees problems - not at all. Young undamaged pitching is the path to winning the Os need to pursue. They really need to be horrible the next 3-4 years to load up on top three draft picks to rebuild the organization from the ground up. Mediocrity in the short term (ie .500 baseball) will lead to mediocrity in the long term. Short term awfulness (and yes 3-4 years is short term) will lead to long term success. Just look at the Rays. Ten years of losing. The first five without any evident plan or direction; however, in the last five years of atrocious baseball they have set the stage for success with top notch player drafts and strategic free agent signings. Not top dollar free agents but necessary pieces to complete the team. Wise management of ones resources not profligate spending is what will build a long term winning team.

When will teams, including the Orioles, learn that the way to put fans in the seats is to win, win, win! Sure signing Texiera would be great, but they need to sure up the rotation first and foremost. While I would not object to signing Texiera, I would rather see fans come back to the stadium because we are winning, rather than because we have a hometown hero but are 70-92.

The AL East always has a shot at 2 playoff teams. Let's be honest, the Orioles, in order to immediately compete with NY, Boston, Tampa, and Toronto have to fill holes at Pitcher (starters and bullpen), 1B, 2B (without Roberts), SS, 3B, LF. You have to start somewhere and a local fan favorite wouldn't hurt. It would also give other free agents some hope if Texaira joined Markakis, Jones, Wieters, Roberts, Guthrie, et al.

No! This team needs to continue to be overhauled, which means we can't give our top picks as compensation to the Angels.
Markakis, Jones, Wieters, and Huff are a more than respectable 2-5 or 3-6 lineup.
If they spend money anywhere, it should be on pitching. Once they manage to win 81 games, then they can talk about spending top dollar for a hitter.
For now, get better the Tampa Bay way (you know, that thing that used to be called The Oriole Way).

Pete, didn't Angelos also tell you three years ago that we'd be right on the heels or in the faces of the Red Sox and Yankees? That promise worked out well didn't it? What's the one about how can you tell when a lawyer's lying? His lips are moving.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Fool me for 11 straight losing years? No way.

remember when they brought in Palmeiro and Alomar, and I believe one other big time free-agent. Lets do the same with Tex and Burnett...have a press conference with them on the same day, both holding up their new jerseys.

This is a dumb question. Pay whatever it takes to bring him here. It's time to start spending money to fill the holes that the minors cannot. The middle of the order is one. In addition it would signal to Brian Roberts and other Free Agents that they are serious about contending sooner rather than later.

Maybe the O's should sign Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds to boost attendance. Hey, it isn't like the orioles will be "good" next year, so sign both to one year contracts...publicly test them monthly to help them "clear" their names, and then trade them at the end of July for some draft picks.

Pursue him hard - and sign him. To compete in the AL East you have to be able to bop with Tampa, NY and Boston. You have to put runs on the board. Millar as your clean up hitter is not going to get it done. You need a solid 40 Hr 100RBI guy behind Brian, Adam & Nick and ahead of Aubrey. Legitimate power hitting all-star 1B do not come along everyday. Add to the fact that this guy is a a hometown product that can be a franchise face is worth the potential 10yr $100m+ price tag. There is a risk in everything you do -- but this a cornerstone marquee hometown player. You have to roll the dice. His bat alone may be worth 10 extra wins next year -- everything else will fall into place overtime. It also makes Baltimore a more attractive place for addition tier 1 & 2 FA to consider signing.

If the O's can get Dunn at 70% the money and 70% the years they should pull the trigger on Dunn. Tex is a very nice player but 1st basemen are not worth what it is he is likely to get.

Did you notice Pat Gillick will get another World Series ring?

Teixeira is about as safe as a bet as you are going to make if you are Angelos - 28 year old local boy w/power & consistency. There isn't a better fit from the Orioles perspective & they should open up the vault for him.

Having said that - people are dreaming if they think that he is going to sign with the O's. He is going to have the top 3-4 franchises in all of baseball willing to pay him whatever he wants. He's in his prime & is going to want to win. Maybe in 6-7 years when he is done with this next contract - he'll ride into the sunset with his hometown team - but not at this point in his career.

I hope that I am wrong, but I just don't see it.

Besides the money, Texeira offers another dilemma. Unless the O's show demonstrate that they are ready to compete NOW vs. later, by signing someone like Texeira, why would any quality pitcher come here.

In other words, yes the O's need to focus on pitching. But who will they get with the overall lineup we have. Last season was pretty good satistically, but we all have to agree not to expect that out of the same group in 2009.

So I think signing Texeira, Markakis and Roberts HAS to happen to attract a good arm or two.

I don't know about "whatever it takes", but they should at least be very aggressive in pursuing him. He's probably worth more to the Orioles than to any other team. By himself, Teixeira won't put the Orioles in the playoffs next year, unless he can also take a turn in the rotation and pitch like a Cy Young winner. But it would generate interest from the fans like no other potential free agent signing this fall. And it would signal that the Orioles are serious about improving, helping their case with other free agents and with getting Roberts signed to an extension.

But I won't get excited about the possibilities until they have the press conference to announce his signing.

Yes, the Orioles should go after him. A market analysis study of major league baseball teams showed that the Orioles had the projected largest margin of profit in the 2007-08 seasons with the new MASN money, money from the Nationals deal, and the projected attendance versus their mediocre payroll. In other words the O's can afford to sign him and a few others. Angelos pulled a coup on this new cable network. He knew where the money was in Comcast, and now he is sitting on it. How about putting it into high priced, valuable, young free agents like the Red sox did when they signed Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez in their prime? Those two were the steady building blocks that two World Series championships were built upon. The Orioles have no one in the minors who can put up those types of numbers that Texiera puts up every year. We can still sign him and keep on the path of building through young pitching and our farm system. Of course, we will have to be the highest bidder and overpay. But the O's do have the resources to do it now. Go for it! This year's free agent crop is really good. Now is the time to fill some of those huge wholes that we cannot fill from our minor leagues like a #4 hitter, a first baseman, a shortstop, and 2 veteran starters. You can get #4 hitter and first baseman in one man if you do it right! 2009 should be a year where we see the Orioles going forward and being very competitive. We should not go backwards anymore.

Pete,
Don't you think if the Orioles try to sign Teixeira they have to sign Roberts and Markakis to extensions? I would imagine Tex would want to make sure Baltimore is a least going to try. That may lock them into bidding for Burnett as well.

Sign him!!!! we need the big ticket draw!!!! Others on the team will become big ticket draws because of him!!! Sign the others long term firsst!! Then pay him!!! That way when he makes everyone else in the line-up that much better because of pitch selection!!! Than everyone else looks like a deal!!! All because of this!!! So spend there to save everywhere else!! I would also sign Edgar renteria!!!! he is a bargain right now!!! Tex will make him better again as well !!!Just like he did in Atlanta!!!

Tough question, unless the O's have lots of money to spend. Yes, they need at least two starting pitchers (Sheets and Lowe?) and a shortstop. That should cost a lot. They also need to sign Markakis and decide what to do with Roberts. BTW, without Roberts, who would lead off?

Tex would look great in the middle of the lineup and would likley draw other free agents, Roberts, Markakis and most importantly fans. So, sign him first and see what happens.

Having said that, is my memory wrong or has Tex's HR and BA production fallen each of the last 2 years? If so, is that a reason for concern?

If Peter's grand scheme is to throw all of his money at teixeira and keep the current stable of starting pitchers, I'd say this is a terrible idea. If he wants to add Teixeira plus 1-2 starters via free agency, I'm all for it.

We need pitching.,

A 6 year deal makes him part of the future. Offer 6yrs, 25,000,000 / year.

I'd rather Angelos tell MacPhail to spend whatever he has to to give the Orioles a major league rotation next year. Winning will put fannies into the seats, and pitching will help us win more than one position player would. Also, the "local connection" is overblown. People aren't going to the expense of a trip to the ballpark just because a kid from Severna Park is playing.

Angelos may be a big contract skeptic but he has used that an excuse to run this organization into the ground. Albert Belle's was a bad contract- 10 YEARS ago! He will need to offer more than one free agent a huge contract to stem the tide of fan apathy that has washed over this team.

Trading for good young players is great, but when the team doesn't compliment them with good experienced players or even (gasp!), star players, they jump ship the first chance they get because no one wants to lose 90 games every year.

It is pathetic that we hope players will sign here because of local ties (Burnett, Texeira, and, to an extent Markakis). These guys don't care a about local ties nearly as much as they care about money, and after 11 losing seasons, the Orioles will need to offer much more of it than other teams to get someone the caliber of Ben Sheets or CC Sabathia to even consider playing here.

But we have seen this "we will be active in the free agent market" line of bull from Angelos before. They'll make "exploratory offers" and "concerted efforts" to upgrade the team. But when it comes time to actually pay up, Angelos will either refuse to outbid another team or put on his stethoscope and deem the player too much of a health risk to actually sign.

And next spring, after Roberts is traded and Markakis is fuming after having to go to arbitration, the 2500 O's fans will sit at Camden Yards with 42,000 people from Boston as Daniel Cabrera walks the bases full and gives up a grand slam to Mark Texeira in the top of the 3rd inning.

The media guide will have Adam Jones smiling on the cover and talk about how bright the future. Bright for Jones, a future Yankee, maybe. The future never comes for an Orioles fan.- Angelos makes sure of that. We just keep reliving the past.

" There is some scuttlebutt that Peter Angelos has told Andy MacPhail to pay whatever he needs to pay for Teixeira (right), but I don't really believe that. "

It's Halloween not April fools day.

Do we even have a baseball team?

I think Mark Teixeira has everything that the Orioles want... he's young (28), he plays good defense (two gold gloves), and is an excellent hitter who will hit 30+ HR, 100+ RBI, with a .300 batting average. Not to mention the protection he would provide Nick Markakis in the lineup. The only problem is the price tag (maybe 8 years/$160 million?) that he comes with, but McPhail has said that he is willing to pay for young players that would be a long-term fix. Teixeira would certainly fit into that category. Besides, who are the best minor league first base prospects that the Orioles have? Oscar Salazar who is 30 years old and Brandon Snyder who hasn't played above single-A ball. If the Orioles don't sign Teixeira, are we looking at another season with a 37 year old first baseman (Millar)?

i really think the way the o's should go is starting pitching, grab burnett and a couple solid starting pitchers and get a SS. i really think they should lock up Markakis and Roberts too. i think that would be a good off season. i mean if they can get pitching then get Teixeira then even better. but the likely hood of that to happen is low.

If Andy's plan is 2010 or 2011, why not go for Teixeira? He could anchor that line up for years to come. Yes pitching is a bigger concern, but first base is still a hole that needs fixed.

Pete,
I guess the question is whether or not Tex is another FRobby and can lead a young O's team in the next 5 years. I believe Robby was 30 when traded to B-more and Tex will be 29 b4 next season starts. Does he want to play in B-more enough to put with another season or 2 of losing? Or, will the NY's offer too many $$ to turn down?

Besides the money, Texeira offers another dilemma. Unless the O's show demonstrate that they are ready to compete NOW vs. later, by signing someone like Texeira, why would any quality pitcher come here.

In other words, yes the O's need to focus on pitching. But who will they get with the overall lineup we have. Last season was pretty good satistically, but we all have to agree not to expect that out of the same group in 2009.

So I think signing Texeira, Markakis and Roberts HAS to happen to attract a good arm or two.

Can he pitch? Offense is not this team's problem.

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Pete's reply: I wouldn't take the offense for granted.

The Orioles offense last season was very respectable. The question is: can the Orioles expect Huff and Mora to replicate the pretty good years they had. If not then Teixeira might be needed. I haven't done the analysis, but a review of the losses last season will probably reveal that 75% were due to pitching. If the Orioles had 4 major league starters last season they likely would have won 85-90 games. The bullpen would not have gotten so beat up either. If the team is going to spend money, spend it where it will win the most games. A winning/contending team will put more fans in the stands than any single star.

The Orioles would have to be fools (and they have shown themselves to be so in the past) if they don't sign "Tex" the first chance they get. The guy is a switch hitting .300 avg, 30 - 40 hr, 100 rbi machine that they can plug into the clean-up slot and forget about for the next 10 years. This team has not had a legitimate #4 hitter since Eddie left.

Sure we have other holes, but as you said, why not fill them all if we can? This patchwork, fill one spot while two others drag the team down is not working.

If all those empty seats this past year doesn't get the Front Office moving to turn things around, I don't know if they ever will.

Go for it. Think about the fan interest with this lineup: Roberts 1, Adam Jones 2, Markakis 3, Texeira 4, Huff 5, Wieters 6, Mora 7. With that lineup, the O's can go cheap at shortstop and sign a defensive specialist; won't need much offense. The increase in attendance would offset a good portion of the costs. If any of the injured or young pitchers break through, the O's are very competitive in 2009. Otherwise, 2010 could be the O's year.

Baltimore fans are kidding themselves if they think Tex is coming to Baltimore. There will be a lot of speculation, but he ultimately will sign for big money with a winner.
The O's need more than 1 or 2 players and if Andy has any sense, he will use his limited resources to fill numerous holes.
Stick with the program.

I'd like to see the O's make a reasonable offer for him just in case he's feeling homesick, but reasonable won't be enough to get him.
They need to keep to the plan and worry about pitching first. As Texas and the O's proved this season, it doesn't matter if you score 1000 runs, if you give up 1500 you're still going to lose.

They should go after Teixeira but that shouldn't change anything else they would do if the weren't going after him. He is good offensively, defensively and he is the type of person you want on your team. I think if they can lock him up that will give us a better chance of landing some good pitchers. If we get a decent SS, Teixeira and a number one pitcher this team could compete for a playoff spot. Pitching is obviously the key to us winning. Right now we have no bait on our hook to catch a top notch pitcher in the free agent market. Sign Teixeria and use him to bait the big boys. Otherwise why would one of the big name pitchers want to come here? Besides Burnett who lives here but I don't think you sign him unless he gives you a hometown discount but in this day and age not many athletes do that.

Absolutely, sign Teixeira.

Millar and Payton are gone for free agency and if we cut Hernandez, that is 16 million per year plus for Teixeira without increasing the payroll.

SIGN TEX!!

Having Tex, the guy who grew up with the Orioles as his team, would be a big boost for all of us.

This post season made it obvious that for the Orioles to have any hope of future success within their difficult division, they need to pursue players of excellence or the potential for excellence.

It seems that a team needs a core of at least 8 excellent players: 4 position players, 3 starters and a closer.

How many of these do the Orioles have on the team or within the system? They may have the 4 pitchers within the system. It is a stretch to think that they have the 4 position players who should eventually form the core of their line-up.

Therefore, even if Tex is not enough to cause you to win in 2009, he is exactly the kind of player you need to acquire if you hope to win in 2010 and beyond. Who doubts that he easily has at least 6 more excellent years ahead of him, and will certainly be able to contribute significantly when the system produces the rest of the talent needed to contend.

I don't think that the Orioles can afford to ignore anyone of his caliber who has a serious interest in playing in Baltimore.

Are you kidding? We knew how good texiera was when he was in my brothers class at benfield elementary! Bring TEX to the O's at least there will be something worth watching.

The Orioles have GOT to go after Texiera.
If only to get a superstar that other stars will follow to Baltimore.
These second and third tier players they've been going after are fine....once you've got a powerful middle of the lineup.
Shopping list:
Texiera,
a consistent hitting shortstop......
and two first line pitchers.

I think they have to take a shot at Tex. But it would be foolish to overpay for him, then not be able to pursue the many other pieces they need to build a TEAM. The organization made great strides last offseason by trading two superstars and getting many building blocks in return. It would be nonsensical to go in the reverse direction this year.

Get Tex, sign Markakis & Roberts, get two starting arms, find a defensive SS and we're in business! Simple - right?

Pete - you writers (and us lingering bitter fans) *really* need to put that Albert Belle signing to bed already.

First off, let's state the obvious: it was not a bad signing. He produced for the money we paid him while he was on the field. Nobody...but NOBODY could've predicted that freak hip injury.

Insurance covered (if memory serves correctly) 80-85% of the remainder of that contract...so why do we keep insisting the Albert Belle deal was something similar to the stock market crash of the 20's... or for that matter another Glen Davis deal?

Anytime you sign a player, whether it's for league minimum, or $12 mill a year there is an inherent risk. Point blank. Please let's get past the Albert Belle thing.... I can understand Peter's reluctance to sign pitchers to these ridiculous contracts, but Belle was purely a freak of nature thing.

So can we PLEASE stop with the Albert Belle analogies? Great.

Now onto Tex. Peter can and should overpay for Tex. I'm usually not a believer in that... however, as I've stated before....we finally have a very good manager, an excellent front office who appears to actually have autonomy to make decisions, and a farm/scouting system that is finally coming together.

Peter wants 2.5 - 3 million fans again? Peter wants someone's jersey to FLY off the racks like Cal's did? Sign Tex. Plus we get another local boy to come home...but this one actually CAN help turn this team around.

Dump money in to 1 or 2 mid-grade SP's... and we're in a good position for next year and next years FA class. Tex signing here will do a LOT more than just bring HR's and solid defense...more so than Miggy, it will show that Baltimore is indeed a true baseball city worth coming too again (just like the golden years fro 91-97 when just about EVERY free agent wanted to come here).


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Pete's reply: Belle did not cost the O's that much after he was hurt, but it was still viewed as a bad contract and had a chilling effect on the O's. They don't really deny that.

I think your website is not working correctly. I have not tried to post anything on your site for many weeks & it kicked me out !!! Said I had too many posts in a short period !!! What's up ???

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Pete's reply: I have no idea. There are people who post here many times per day.

This is a no-brainer. The fans want him, he is a home town guy, and he fills two big holes on the team with his D at 1B and his bat. Signing him will bring fans back to the ballpark, show a commitment to winning, and will open the door to sign other free agents and may persuade Brob and Markakis to sign a long term deal. Get it done even if you have to over pay. It will pay off in the end. But you better go out and get some starting pitching too.

YES! YES! YES! For the Os to eventually contend in the AL East, they're gonna have to have the bats. Offer him 10 yrs, $200m, with an out after 4 if the Os still suck. I believe the Royals did this with Mike Sweeney a few years ago. Tex has tasted the playoffs and he'll want a another shot. It may take 2 years, but the Os seem like they're on the right track. If they aren't by 2013, let him go while he can still get another huge deal.

Signing Tex this year makes no sense unless he can also pitch 200 innings for us! The O's need to stick to the rebuilding game plan and stink it up for a few years so we can have some good draft picks. We are not a player or two away from the playoffs!

If we do not get "A list" quality free agents this offseason...the PR machine of the O's will not be able to repair the damage. This team has lost for too long...lets get it done! We need nothing short of one top hitter and one top pitcher this offseason to prove the owner really has an interest in competing against the Yankees and Red Sox.

by his numbers tex seems like an exceptional player including a really good defensive player. he is still under 30 and probably can still get better. i've also read and heard several times that tex is not the greatest of team players. if that's true i would say don't sign him. if that has the same validity as obama being a muslim terrorist i think the orioles should sign him because the o's need a good first baseman, he's from the area and the team needs to show the fans that they are willing to step up and play with the red sox, yankees, rays and blue jays. if they are going to spend big money it probably is better to spend it on an everyday player, one who could give protection to markasis in the batting order, and one who could improve the infield defense. i personally don't think it's wise to spend big money on a pitcher for a 5 yr contract. however i think they should make a real effort to sign someone like burnett to a 3 yr contract...even though last yr. was one of the only yrs he pitched to his or close to his potential. i really think you need to develop your on pitching.

Yes, yes, yes. Sign him. Imagine: Tex, RRob, Nick, Adam and Matt W, Awesome! It don't matter who pitches. Heck, Peter and his interns could pitch.

they got to start some where!

Why not go after him? They need a first baseman, and it might show some good faith to fans that the team is listening.

Peter.

Tex is a marquee name and would fill seats in Camden Yards, and he certainly would help ANY team. In the scope of what we need though it's hard to arque that Tex is the end all be all! He could become the face of the O's particularly if we trade Roberts. I can't believe though if we sign Tex, we let Roberts get a away. A better scenerio, we trade Roberts, we sign Nick Longterm, Hernandez plays First, Weiters catches and we sign two mediocre to lousy starters and we'll suck yet again!

I'm pretty sure Macphail is going to work hard to try and get Texieria, but in the end I think he will land with the Yankees. I'm pretty sure Mark wants to win and the O's still have one or two years left until they can actually compete in the AL East.

Would love see Teixeira in an O's uniform next year but I sense another Carlos Lee situation...remember back when Lee was a free agent the rumors were what a good fit he would be in Baltimore until Houston backed the Brinks Truck up to his door.

Pete-

I have been against going after Tex because of the pitching needs, but now for some reason, I think they should go after him. Maybe it's because when ESPN writers matched pending free agents with 'best fit' the O's weren't a best fit for anyone. The franchise, while finally on a good track, isn't even in the mix. I know it's all about the big markets on ESPN, but.......

Talk me out of this.

Have you heard who the Orioles will be getting for the Bradford trade to Tampa Bay?

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Pete's reply: Should find out soon.

Pitching...Signing a hitter simply because he's from baltimore reeks of gimmicky and thoughtless GM-ing. If somebody really thought that one player (hitter) could change a franchise, Manny would be a better pick, even if you got just a year, six months or two weeks from the spoiled star. Outside of A-rod, he's got the best numbers of any right handed hitter of his generation and is a one man soap opera that the media simply can't get enough of and fans really do love him when he plays for the home team.

27 wins...thats what the orioles need to put them at 95, compete for the playoffs and to fix the deteriorating fan base.

27 outs...the orioles spent most of the season unsuccessfully auditioning arms for the 2009 season. If you started for the orioles in 2008 and your name wasn't guthrie, i never want to see you play for the orioles again. Who knows how good the core of the 'pen is when the starters couldn't get out of the 4th inning.

27 years...If you convinced orioles fans that they were going to compete for a title in 2010, they would come back. This town loves a winner.

I loved the 2008 orioles. First time in 11 years I can say that. I love where this organization wants to go. I understand that pitching is something you have to develop, which theoretically doesn't cost the big bucks and benefits a team like the orioles who get high draft picks every year because of their record. Maybe we need new pitching scouts? Maybe we need a better system in place to develop the young arms? Maybe Teixeira can ptich?

There is no way we need to pursue Mark Teixeira when starting pitching is our biggest need by far. I agree we could pursue all of our needs but I don't see Mr. Angelos doing that. If it's about putting fans in the stands then get starting pitching because all the fans know that (pitching) is our biggest need. You get that done and it shows the O's are truly committed to becoming competitive, maybe not in 2009 but it's a start.

I know it goes against everything Peter stands for, but he has the means to sign two quality starting pitchers, a good shortstop, and Teixeira. The money he has made form this team over the years and the money from the MASN deal. Not to mention the deal they good in regards to the Nationals.

Tex is the single best player we can sign this year and in the near future.

He gives us something we need...A big bat in the middle of the lineup who gives us a high OBP and he also plays GG defense.

And of course, being from the area is a nice bonus.

No player will help us more than Tex. He is better than any TWO player we can sign this offseason, even if those players are Burnett and Furcal(second best pitcher and best SS).


After reading, yet another, story on the Orioles spring training site, I'm not optimistic things will ever change with the Orioles as long as Angelos and his sons are involved. The spring training site and various problems have been going on for probably 10+ years. The consistent theme seems to be more of what is best for the owner and family rather than the team. Move to Vero Beach and end the spring training saga.
Teixeira won't do much to turn around the Orioles, instead would just tie up too much money, which would be better spent on pitching.
I just don't understand the attaction with Teixeira. Just because he is local? Hmmm, that hasn't worked with local ownership. Also Tejada put up some pretty impressive numbers for a couple of years and how many winning seasons did the Orioles have? Zero.

I Think We Need To Sign At Least Three Starting Pitchers.Tex Is Just A Luxury.We Can Plug Anyone At First Base.

Tex is the single best player we can sign this year and in the near future.

He gives us something we need...A big bat in the middle of the lineup who gives us a high OBP and he also plays GG defense.

And of course, being from the area is a nice bonus.

No player will help us more than Tex. He is better than any TWO player we can sign this offseason, even if those players are Burnett and Furcal(second best pitcher and best SS).

"But there's really nothing stopping the Orioles from pursuing all their needs this winter."
Sorry, already posted to this but just realized you said the above. What do you mean "nothing stopping the Orioles from pursuing ALL their needs.?" Power bat cleanup, shortstop, number one pitcher?

Of course the Os should sign Teixeira. Angelos signed Belle for the wrong reason and needs to get over it. To keep all about me Albert out of a Yankee uniform, he sent his franchise on a downward spiral that it has yet to recover from. I used imagine Belle in the Yankee clubhouse, on their bench, in the field waving obscene gestures at the New York fans. Oh, what might have been. It is easy to understand Angelos' reluctance to pay big bucks again (although Miggy does come to mind), but Tex ain't no Albert Belle. Unlike Belle, Teixeira might actually like to play here. Pull the trigger!

As much as I wold love to see Tex in an Oriole uniform, I believe it would be more beneficial to sign a starter or two. Who is on the list of 65 that wold improve the Orioles starting staff???

Our focus needs to be pitching and how little of it we have. 11 years of losing and counting. We can add another pathetic embarrassing record to that: how many years are we going to spend in last place? 2? 3? do I hear more? We have virtually nothing in AAA that models major league control and consistency (maybe Waters at the absolute most). That was more than proven the second half of last season. Maybe in 2-3 years once they prove they can throw strikes consistently, average 3 walks or less per 9 innings and keep the ERA at or below 4. I keep hearing, there are no guarantees if we go out and spend to sign. True, but more of a guarantee/certainty, if we stay pat with what we have and do not sign at least 2 preferably 3 starters who know how to throw strikes consistently, we have many many more years ahead of us of losing and being a disgraceful, pathetic laughing stock to MLB and the sports world. Any smart businessman knows, you got to spend money to make money and this sport is a gamble.
If we don't shore up the pitching and FAST, not only do we face another below 70 win season but also we risk losing key members of the offense (the only reason we won as many games as we did in 2008). This off-season will be a telling tale on whether or not Roberts and/or Markakis will entertain long-term deals. Realistically, why would Roberts and/or Markakis sign long term deals here when they can play for a winning club with at least some chance of making the post season? If this club does not improve & fast and they don't sign, that will pose another set of problems including who will replace them?

Pete - when can the Orioles start signing players?

Pete - when can the Orioles start signing players?

Pete - when can the Orioles start signing players?

Get Tex, plus an innings-eater (Byrd?) and wait for the Cavalry to arrive.

One player won't stem the tide.

I have to comment about this...I hope Aaron Kuperman is not from Bmore...for God's sake he spelled Cal Ripk'e'n's name wrong...even if he is from bmore that is a huge mistake. The guy is a known around the world..he's a baseball ambassador and you can't spell his name right?? Terrible...."F"!!

I didn't read every post but PA did pull the trigger on Tejada/Lopez (ie. he's spent since the Belle contract). Too bad, we didn't get land the more productive pieces of Vlad and Pudge. But, I thought I heard PA had the checkbook open for Vlad but he prefered the Anaheim area.

I didn't read every post but PA did pull the trigger on Tejada/Lopez (ie. he's spent since the Belle contract). Too bad, we didn't get land the more productive pieces of Vlad and Pudge. But, I thought I heard PA had the checkbook open for Vlad but he prefered the Anaheim area.


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Pete's reply: That is true. O's thought they had Guerrero, but Angels swooped in.

Tex was awesome down the stretch and in the post season. In my opinion you committ 200 mill over 8.

IF he stays healthy it works. You have to gamble sometimes, and Angelos is desperate.

DO IT!!!!

peter i think the orioles should take a look at possibly signing tex,but i don't think it will happen. with scott boras as his agent and the different teams interested in tex,boars will play the end against the middle as to how much money tex will get. i agree with you,peter angelos will not give andy a blank check for tex. the orioles need a ss,but not edgar renteria.i agree with many of the others that wrote into this blog. pitching

Peter- Lets let the disapppointment begin. First, it will be when Nicky gets snubbed from the Golden Glove. Then, when Texiera hits 15 homers at OPACY next year. As a Yankee. Then, maybe they will sign Furcal. Who would be amazing behind BROB in the line-up. But then he will get hurt in Spring Training. We have not signed a decent FA since Miggy. This year they will sign 2 or 3 like when Angelos brought in Raffy and Robby. Then ED and Randy Myers. Then, something bad will happen.
Just keepin' it real.

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Pete's reply: Whew. You sound like that Debby Downer chick on SNL.

all i have to say is... if somebody would have listened to me last year, we would have the cheapest, youngest, and most talented center fielder in baseball, A.K.A Josh Hamilton. but so many of you didn't want him. as far as tex.. i say he is a bit overrated.. which is why he hasn't stuck with a team yet, because he isn't ever a priority. we need a shortstop and pitching.. anything else is gravy. p.s. we could have the best left-handed hitter in baseball but noooooooo.. i mean adam jones is good and all but.... who would you take. oh well.. in two years our lineup will have a lot of potential. on second thought, roberts, markakis, teixeira, weiters, and jones sounds like a solid core to a batting order.

People seem to forget that Texiera chose Scott Boras as his agent. Boras wasn't assigned to him, and this wasn't a random pairing. Signing with Boras means, fundamentally, that Texiera has no loyalty to any team and that has no respect for the game. He is in this for his own personal enrichment and nothing more. Any team that signs him will get one and a half years of effort out of a long and expensive deal. He'll try for the first half of 2009 to prove he was worth the money, and he will try for all of the final year of his contract so he can get a new one. Anybody who think Tex is a "different" Boras client is deluding themselves. Signing with Boras means "This is for Me. I am bigger than the game, and I should be paid accordingly."

to all you O's fans who thin mark texiera can turn this team into a winner: you're dead wrong. I followed texiera all season long and found him, statistically, to be identical to Aubrey Huff only with slightly less power and better defense. even though huff had a solid year, you're in essence replacing millar with tex aka .050 batting average increase with a little more pop. he is NOT the answer. pitching is the answer.

YES YES YES THE O's NEED PITCHING. BUT, if you do not at least show that you are willing to spend money for a marquee player, then you will never win in the AL EAST. AROD, ORTIZ, ABREU, JETER,WELLS, RIOS, CRAWFORD, PENA, BAY, NADY, all play in the east. Once Tex is here the offense is 8 of 9 complete. (Furcal might be a bargain) Then we can focus on pitching. The farm system has about 12 arms that are not that far away. Belle was 33 and an OF. Tex is a Gold Glove Corner Infielder. There is no comparison other then they both play baseball. If you want money in the future, the fan base has to be pulled back in. That will get more ratings for the TV deals. This is a MUST SIGN. Anyone can get hurt. You can not stress over that. People get hit in the head with frozen excrement from airplanes. Ryan Seacrest won the life lottery. DO IT ANDY!! PULL THE TRIGGER BABY!!!! O's 3rd PLACE IN 09 YEAH!!!!!

The O's have to sign Tex for the following reasons IMHO:

1. He's only 29 and should be able to fill a key position (1b or DH) for the O's for the next 8 to 10 years (if healthy)

2. He bring a gold glove defense to first base

3. He bring a proven power bat to the #4 slot in the batting order

4. He will take a lot of pressure off of Matt Wieters to become an instant hitting star when he is promoted in the next 6 to 9 months

5. It would be a great PR coup in the ML to sign him when the Yankees wanted him.

6. Being a local boy he will bring fans to the stadium and a solid return on the investment

7. With the batting order of Roberts, Jones, Markakis, Tex, Huff and Wieters went he is promoted, no pitcher is going to feel real relaxed facing that order.

8. In just two years in the young pitchers pan out and with Tex in the line up the O's become a real threat to becoming this years Rays

9. It keeps the Yanks or the Red Sox from signing him

10. I think he could be a positive influence on the young hitter on the Orioles.

11. PA can afford it if he wants to and Andy pushes for it.

12. Just look at the number of fans responding here!!!

Hey lets face it, Baltimore is not a paradise situtation for FAs right now. If these guys (Tex and AJ) show moderate interest in signing with the O's they should def go after them! Then once the w's start piling up that will lure more 'A' type players to B-more. Nobody likes playing to lose!

I can't stand the wait until we are good and then sign free agents theory. We will never be good with some top free agents. You need the mix. If we get better in 2010 do you think we can call the Yankees and ask if we can have TEX now that we might be able to contend. You sign him for 7-8 years, the forst 2-3 which we will suck and then once everything comse together we have him as our clean up hitter on a contender for the next 5-6 years. Wake up people.

Have any true O's fans been watching this team for the last several years? How is Tex gonna solve our two biggest issues (Starting Pitching & SS)?

One of the posters on this matter got it right. We sign Tex and basically become the Texas Rangers. Why don't you all ask Mark how that worked out for him down here? How did the A-Rod signing help the Rangers? It didn't! The price of the contract hamstrung the organization's ability to make any moves to help the team. Even when they tried to unload him, with the size of the contract it limited their options.

If you want to convince folks that the environment around here is changing, the answer is not throwing stupid money at one player. All that tells players/agents is that the O's will overpay when the client runs out of signing options.

We need to tell potential FA's that Baltimore is no longer a place that smacks of desperation and that there finally is a game plan to improve here.

So, in order to do just that, extend B-Rob & Markakis. Then go out and sign AJ Burnett (there's your local connection) and perhaps Kyle Loshe. Then bring in Renteria to play short. Continue scouring the waiver wire for younger reclamation projects. Maybe you hit on another Guthrie somewhere. Then when we open ST, give Reimold and Snyder a shot. Remember those two guys? Don't we need to see if Reimold has a future with this organization? You do these things, and suddenly you have a solid 3 starter base, and strong defense up the middle, with catching somewhat suspect. You allow Liz & Olson to compete for back end of the rotation material, and non-tender Cabrera. Then focus on the 2009 draft! Now that is a plan that will improve the team from 2008 and doesn't saddle us with contracts that don't allow for future moves (perhaps Hanley Ramirez down road?). And this plan puts more fannies in the seats and doesn't reek of total desperation.

In the end when Tex re-signs with the Angels, we don't look foolish for running after someone who really wasn't going to turn this franchise around and allow us to compete in the AL East!

If a player of Tex's caliber is willing to come here and play, then it must get done. Obviously were losing now, but he's a fan of our O's, and I'm sure he's fully aware that the pitching in our farm system is not far away, and were an up and coming team.

He also would have the chance to return home, be a hero, and be immortalized in Baltimore like one of his idols Cal Ripken. Its a pretty appealing proposition when looked at in these terms.

From PA's perspective this is a very solid investment, one that will most certainly yield a profitable return.


Sounds like Burnett is very interested in signing here as well and we need pitching, but he's a tougher call due to his injury history and high salary demands.

The bottom line is this, just because were a couple years away, or pitchers, does not mean we must refrain from fielding a respectable team. And lastly if we don't win years down the road and Tex is healthy and unhappy, we can always trade him and kickstart another rebuilding phase with the players we'd get back.

It always amazes me how many people make ridiculously wrong comments.
The belle contract was not the most recent big contract to come out of the Orioles. Check the Tejada,Huff, and Payton contracts. That's not why they are going younger and cheaper. That's just an uneducated comment.
As for money, with Payton, Hernandez (most likely cut), and Millar gone. Cut a couple of the expensive relievers, and its another type of ball game. There's actually a lot of money available right now. Matuz is expected to come up next year, as is Weiters. The smart play would be to go after Burnett. But in the Oriole tradition, they'll probably go after Tex.The big problem is that Markakis and Roberts deserve some big bucks, and that isn't going to leave a lot of cash available. Expect a middle of the rotation pitcher at best and a failed attempt at Tex. Tex will be traded in about 4 years to Baltimore anyways

Pete,

It is really time for this organization, to show it's committment to its players and fans that winning is the goal! During the last few years that has been justifiably questions by all! Even Miggie said PA told him he was just the beginning??????? A little less talk and a lot more action is what I want to see!

it used to be just about next year. Now we have to hope for 3 or 4 years from now. Kicking the can down the road dont work. Peter Schmuck keeps trying to trade Roberts, that would be a mistake. Sign Teixeira and show other MLBers that we are serious. I expect the Orioles to screw it up and sign another Omar Dhal and tell us he is a servicable lefty. I like Millar and Huff, but not in the middle of the order in the AL east. get real. Teiexira gets you other big names.

Jones, Markakis and Teixera are all around the same age, why not go all out for Tex? We would have our big 3 for a decade, 4 if you count Wieters.

I'm tired of hearing about Belle every time we discuss a free agent signing and Davis every time we talk trade.

Here's a freakin' NEWS FLASH. Everybody, I mean everybody, makes bad free agent signings and trades. That doesn't give you a pass to stop trying, unless the objective is to finish last.

The O's should stay focused on developing home-grown starting pitching. 2009 will be a losing season, that much is a given. But the hope is that by 2010 or 2011, these pitchers in single-,double-, and triple-A can mature into quality Major League starters.

Forget Sabathia - let him be some other team's $25M+ headache. He'll be 30 in a couple of years, and with all of that weight he's carrying, he'll start to break down. Remember David Wells? Great pitcher, but definitely prone to injuries...

If you sign Teixera, you're investing too muxh into one position player. The Orioles need pitching first and foremost, to go along with first base, shortstop, third base, and possibly second base and left field. Signing one player does not vault you into contention, so stick with the rebuilding plan that should fill all of the aforementioned holes in the lineup in 2-3 years.

Hey, it's our money so should the O's sign Tex? Sure, and sing CC, Burnett, Sheets while they're at it. The problem with that is that no team is going to do that and probably none of those guys will come to Baltimore anyway.
The Cubs spent 300 mill 3 years ago on a few guys but they still had to tweak their roster before they won. The price tag for Tex is likely 150 mill over 7-8 years, CC is least a 100 mill, and then Burnett, Sheets etc all around 50 mill...The sad thing is that even if King Peter did shell out 300-350 mill for those 4 players, we still are no lock to win a playoff spot as we are missing a SS , some arms and a bench.
We might end up with a guy like Burnett at an inflated price tag and only if his wife calls the shots and likes Baltimore that much. With all the bad outcomes with pricey free agent pitcher signings-Schmidt, Silva, Zito, I can't believe anyone would want to venture into those risky waters anyway. Let's assume the MacPhail is ordered to make a big free-agent splash, he better do his homework.
Personally, I'm quite content to see us swim with the youngsters and avoid a guy like Tex. Nothing personal against him but we only fractionally better with his bat. I'd rather suffer through the growing pains than see the O's make moves just to entice the fans and give them false hopes.
If the O's are really sincere about increasing its' fan base and keeping the fans it has, a novel approach would be to lower ticket prices while the 'rebuild' is going on.

1st of all, I think a lot of people forgot the year we signed Miggy and Javey because we outbid a lot of teams for the services of Miggy also we spent a lot on Ramon so the idea that the O's are so stunned over Belle, is a joke. They should be cautious because it seems a lot of guys slow it down once they get the big bucks.

On the Issue of Big Tex, I have nothing against him, but no way would he cause a 1000 people to go out and get some sort of a season ticket plan. He is not A Rod, Manny or Jeter who are guys that people have an opinion on one way or another which would generate ticket sales and merchandise sales. Tex is a very good player and I don't think we are the little orphan Orioles of the league, but we aren't the Yanks or Sox so if we are to spend, let's do it on something that we need more than anything and that's pitching.

I am not in the camp that thinks because the O's put up some great offensive numbers that you can just count on that again. I think Huff and Mora aren't a given to do what they did next year and I also think Luke and Adam will put up better numbers, but who knows? Garret Anderson could play left with Lou subbing and have Luke as the DH or maybe Giambi falls through the cracks and you have a HR hitter to protect Huff. The point is that this team can't spend all it's money on Tex, as they have to get pitching because as of today, other than Jeremy, we don't have anyone that can be trusted with ball every 5th day.

The O's need to get pitching to be competitive, let the young guys develop properly and avoid burning out the BP. Take the money and get pitchers and veteran hitters who are still producing, as this team can't throw their eggs into one basket and expect anything different. You have to do the best you can in many areas, not just one and call it a good free agency.

The gentleman at the front who wants Edgar Renteria at SS for the O's has obviuosly never seen him play. I watched him for a whole year here in Boston and believe me, Edgar Bergan plays a better defenser SS then Edga Renteria.

what are you people thinking didnt we already prove in the 90's you cant win off of high priced free agent bats? we need quality pitching!!!!! good pitching stops good hitting!!! sign c.c. and burnett then were on our way!!!!!

I'll tell you how badly the Orioles need to sign Tex. My buying of season tix next year will depend solely on that signing.

Baltimore has 2 different types of goals: survive in 2009 and thrive in 2010 and beyond. Some of their potential decisions this off-season can help them do both. If they sense a conflict in these two different goals, they should always prioritize the latter.

Signing Tex is the best thing they can do to stabilize their line up for the long term. With Tex, they will have a solid core of Jones, Markakis, Tex, and Weiter. If they have Tex, it then makes sense for them to extend Roberts, since having a quality lead off hitter would be their next biggest offensive priority.

I don't imagine that they can get any pitcher this off-season that can both help them survive 2009 and thrive in 2010 and beyond. I would not trade their assets for innings eaters for 2009. I would not sign any innings eaters to a long term contract.

Thus
1) I would prioritize signing Tex, then extending Roberts.
2) I would consider trading Huff or other assets not part of the offensive core for a strong defensive short stop able to help both in 2009 and beyond, or starting pitching able to contribute in the future.
3) I would sign inexpensive "cannon fodder" starting pitching to 1 one year contracts in order to protect my top pitching prospects to premature major league exposure.
4) I would hope to get another high quality starter with the number pick in next June's draft. Losing Loewen induces me to desire one more high potential starting pitcher in the system.


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Pete's reply: I assume that they will get another impact young pitcher with the fifth pick in next year's draft.

Way up there somewhere, someone had a question about Teixeira's production over the past few years, wondering if he was correct in thinking that Tex has taken a bit of a downturn.

Just to set the record straight, here are some numbers:

Games ('06, '07, '08): 162, 132, 157
Avg: .282, .306, .308
Obp: .371, .400, .410
HR: 33, 30, 33
RBI: 110, 105, 121
BB: 89, 72, 97
K: 128, 112, 93

In short, he's just getting better...

The reason to sign Teixeira is that he's still pretty young and will still be in his prime if/when the O's top arms are ready. There doesn't appear to be a similar player coming up to free agency in the next couple of years, so go lock him up now.

Having said that, Hank Steinbrenner appears to be willing to pay Teixeira the largest contract outside of A-Rod's, so the O's should inquire, but make other plans.

Opinions can vary on whether or not it will be worthwhile, financially or otherwise, for the O's to sign this player or that. But at least be straight with the facts, folks. Ramon is on the books for next year at around $8 million. Same with any of the current "high priced relievers" (Walker is the only one in that category anymore. Oh, and Baez - I forgot about him since he didn't pitch last year.) If they cut him, they still have to pay him. The only way to get his salary off the books is to trade him and get the other team to take the entire contract. Of course, that is easier said than done since the O's couldn't get him traded last year - he just has not performed the last two years near the value of his contract. It's likely the O's would have to pick up part of his salary to get rid of him.

I do agree with those who say that if there is a limited amount of money available it would be better spent on starting pitching. Let's face it, even if there is more money available now from MASN, there is not an unlimited amount. And if I had $15M to spend I'd rather spend it on two pitchers than one, given the state of the O's rotation at the moment. My ideal wish list would be to get a SS, at least one solid SP, and still get Teixeira just for the PR value if nothing else.


Peter-If the steady empty seats dont force Angelos to act , then nothing will (sigh) . I guess its cheaper to order new uniforms , add 'baltimore' to road uniforms , and come up with 'anniverseries' promotions , gimmicks , etc.
Mr Angelos , If you ever to invest in free agency , let MacPhail point which players for you .

Its funny how people act like the Orioles can make all these moves and others teams are going to just stand still and watch.

My prediction is that the Orioles won't sign Teixeira or any legitimate starting pitching and will finish in last place once again.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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