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December 15, 2008

Is D.Cabrera a commodity?

Baltimore Sun baseball guy Dan Connolly just got off the phone with Mike Powers, the agent for just-released pitcher Daniel Cabrera, and Powers says he's been on the phone a lot since the Orioles chose to non-tender D-Cab on Friday night.

Powers says that 11 teams have expressed interest and one has offered a multi-year deal. Of course, the devil is in the details, but I'm not surprised that some teams are making a play. There are probably 20 pitching coaches out there who think they can make Daniel into a right-handed Randy Johnson. There were almost that many who tried to do that here.

Apparently, about half of those teams are National League teams that were willing to overlook the fact that Daniel is 14-for-14 at the plate during this career. That's 14 strikeouts in 14 at-bats.

By the way, I'd like to make a shout out to President George Bush for the deft way he dodged those shoes that were thrown at him by a reporter in Iraq. The incident got me wondering if I could have been a Secret Service agent. I'm not a real brave guy, but I think I would be willing to take a shoe for the president.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 3:52 PM | | Comments (62)
Categories: Just baseball


Does not surprise me that he is wanted...the O's should have kept him...he is good and terrible...but they have no one but Guthrie and there is no guarantee that they can sign any free agent vet starters..none at all....when old vets start getting more moeny than they could have had DCab for then you have to wonder...especially washed up ones....strange situation for sure....just hope ti works the way the O's want it to...


When thinking of those coaches who can "fix" Daniel, I am reminded of that comment credited to former Red Sox manager and coach Joe Morgan when he was told the Orioles were working Sam Horn out at first base.

"Let 'em hit Horn a million ground balls. I've hit him my million."

I don't know if the quote is accurate, but it's a great line.

Hey Pete , that was "shoes" (multiple) not "shoe", thrown at the prez . By the way , maybe the O's should sign that guy as he appeared to have more than D. Cabrera .

Any updates on Tex?

Pete's reply: If I had one, you'd be the first to know.

The President showed some good moves, bobbing and weaving. The fact that there was a second shoe leads me think there was grassy knoll nearby. The President did well employing the shoe-a-dope defense.

The shoe thrower should have been shot dead by the secret servce

Hi Peter, Just a little background in my being an Orioles fan from New Jersey for about 40+ years, also was an Orioles stockholder with the Hoffberger family. This is a short note regarding the possibility of the Orioles making Dodgertown into Birdland South, It has been and is still one of the premier complexes for spring training. I'm a little partial because of my also having a home in nearby Melborurne Beach. In todays edition of it seems the Orioles are trying to hold up an agreement with Vero Beach to occupy Dodgertown as their future spring training home, seems to me this is a no brainer to have the Orioles and their minor league affiliates under one roof, no longer having to traverse the state to see their minors. I know you have the "STROKE" to get the Orioles to sign the agreement with Vero Beach and Indian River County. Regards,Tony T.

So whats the deal w/ teh O's pitching situation. Do we expect Albers to throw 200 next year? What about these Japanese FA's we were looking at? I heard Boston offered one 7 mill/yr. I guess that scared us off.

I guess we will be at Ollie's again to find bargain basement crap to supplement our rotation. Do people not realize that this team stinks...we won what 63 games last year & nothing is being done. Some say, we are rebuilding. But the act of rebuilding requires activity. Trading contracts, signing young players.....we are sitting on our hands. The embarassment continues. Angelos is the worst GM in history. And yes,,,he is a GM


It would be nice to get DC in the Burgh, but probably not gonna happen. Orioles should of gave em another shot. And since I'm on a Baltimore site I'd like to congratulate you guys on another butt whoopin courtesy of them Stillers :-)

It's just too bad they couldn't get anything for him. They had so many chances to trade him earlier. Who the heck are going to be their 2-5 starters?

Much like everyone else, I have been thinking about the Texiera offer. If the Orioles made a 7yr 150 million, they would not have made their best offer first, right? In other words, shouldn't we expect the Os to go 8 or 9yrs 170 - 185 range before they let Tex get away. AM seems like a pretty deliberate guy and I doubt that he would get Peter to agree to make there absolute best offer right out of the shoot. Plus they have had some dealings with Boras over the last couple off-seasons. He never takes the first offer unless its an ARodesque gross overpayment.

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I believe the O's will make another big offer of Tex. Even that may not be enough to get him here, but I don't think the the O's are out of the sweepstakes just yet.

So now that the O's need four - count 'em, four - starting pitchers, who among the free agents available should they go after?
And, what pitchers already with the club might have legitimate shots at starting?

The Iraqi Prime Minister looked like R. Hernandez on the "2nd" shoe. Kind of half-heartedly reaching for it.

His $3 - $4.5 mil salary for 2009 would buy a lot of pork bellys. The team might be then able to offer the porkbellys to Tex as a sweetener for his deal.

Cabrera has stunk it up too long. He would show flashes that he was turning that 'corner'...but then regressed back into his bad pitching. Adios.

I think there should be a punishment handed down to the idiot that is hurling his size 10's at our president. I don't care if you like him or not...that is intollerable. Don't they like to stone people over there still? How bout this....instead of stoning....we can 'shoe' him to death.


I think it's the first unqualified success Bush has had in Iraq. Nice of the shoe thrower to give the President something to hang his hat on as he leaves office. That's the stuff legends are made of and positive ones were in short supply.

By the way, if you listen close in the video while the thrower is being dog-piled, I'm pretty sure you can hear him say the Arabic equivalent of, "Don't tase me, bro."

I made that part up.

Buster Olney wrote a great piece on why the O's (and Nationals) shouldn't be trying to land Tex. I admit I got caught up in the rumors yesterday and hoped there would be some big news. But, taking a step back, I think Buster's got a point.

for throwing a shoe????

Not surprising that there's a lot of interest in Cabrera. He's young, durable, extremely talented and he'll probably come cheap.

Unless the O's can sign three veteran starters, they're really going to regret non-tendering D-Cab. And that just goes to show you how awful the pitching situation is in Baltimore...

Bush doing the rope-a-dope? Well, at least we know he's got the 2nd half of that down....

did you see the smirk on his face? "He ACTUALLY threw a shoe!?!??"

A lot of people forget just how in shape Bush is and both he and his father were former college athletes.

As for Daniel, I wish those other teams luck and with the market for pitching being the way it is, I am not surprised at all to see quite a number of teams being interested in him. I think the love affair with his new team will be over the moment he lets up a HR and drills a couple batters on that team afterwards...or walks them trying to do so.

Sure there's a 'market' for guys like Cabrera-even Sir Syd got numerous chances...Most of these don't pan out but there is such a shortage of pitching that teams will look at almost anyone that still has a pulse. Moyer just re-upped for 2 years at 46, Arthur Rhodes apparently signed somewhere (St. Louis?) and don't count out Kenny Rogers coming back.
I'm quite happy not seeing DanCab back in the orange and black(and grey too) but I'll bet the O's players hope he goes to the NL. You take your life in your hands facing him as he is wilder than ever...
It will be interesting to see what team picks him up and for how much. I'm guessing someone like Atlanta or even the Blue Jays or Tigers..probably for 2 mill/yr.

There's no reason not to let Cabrera go. I'm sure we can find someone else to lose 18 games for us. I think it's time we gave Garret Olson or someone else the chance to lose 18 games for us.

You're one heel of a guy, Peter!

jack in hebron,

The guy would fit right in. He missed high and outside.

Are the Orioles eligible to re-sign Cabrera if they want? Clearly they did not want to take a chance on paying him $3-4M, but would they have been willing to go $2M? Which is what I think he will end up getting from somebody. Personally, I think the O's just don't want the aggravation that comes with him, even with the potential upside, at just about any price.

What he does or doesn't do with another club is irrelevant. Bottom line is that he failed miserably during his stay with the Orioles. Fans and reporters alike should close that door firmly behind them. That ship has sailed.

There should be no surprise that many teams would have an interest in signing Daniel Cabrera.

The surprise is that the pitching deficient Orioles gave up on his raw talent.

If the Orioles are willing to trade Garrett Olsen...wouldn't it have been a great package deal for someone with an excess in shortstops to trade for D. Cabrera and Olsen???
Instead of non-tendering DC and getting nothing in return for all the Cabrera tears we cried?

I think it was a bad idea to let Daniel Cabrera go. He wins at least 10 games a year, and he'll only get better with maturity. Some guys just mature much later than others.

Politics aside for the moment, Bush's dodging of that shoe showed quite extraordinary reflexes. Most 20-somethings couldn't dodge a shoe that gracefully.

Pete...just catching up on the blogs after a weekend sans laptop. I've never been moved to write you, but I want to share a few of my thoughts:
1) I had reservations about you replacing Roch. In short, I'm glad you your blog, dont "shut it down."
2) Most "real" fans knew signing Tex was a long shot, but we really held out hope. It would be a huge boost for the franchise...let's hope Tex is feeling like Santa this year.
3) I have faith in AM, but seriously doubt he can be effective with King Peter in the throne. I hold out hope for the day he decides he's had enough fun and Cal and his group can rescue the Birds.
Keep up the great work, Peter. Merry Christmas!

I really enjoyed the segue or lack thereof going from Daniel Cabrera to the shoe incident.

Here, I'll try to patch it up for you:

The guy thowing the shoes probably has better command of the strike zone than Daniel CaBBrera. Maybe McPhail should dispatch a scout or two to Iraq to tap the untapped resource of Iraqi ballplayers (shoe throwers). Have there ever been any Iraqis in MLB?

The way Bush dodged those shoes leads me to believe this was not the first time he has had footgear thrown in his direction.

D.Cab can't field his position and is a deer in the headlights at the plate so would be a total liability in the National League. However, he was still the 2nd best starter on the O's rotation and we may live to regret this move.

His agent is putting the best face on this issue. If anyone signs him it will be a one year deal loaded with incentives and options. My guess is that a year from now he will pitching for the Tomato Growers down in Mexico. It's all hype. I'll bet he can't dance either, because he fields his position like a bullfighter with a cape.

Was it that the Orioles didn't want Cabrera, or that they didn't want him for the estimated $4 million he was going to get in arbitration? If it's the latter, maybe we should be trying to resign him for a lesser amount (maybe $2 to 2.5 million). To be honest, I'd even be willing to give him a 2 year deal at $5 million total, with a team option for a third year at $5 million. I'm convinced that much of his problems stemmed from Ramon's poor game calling.

Cabrera has frustrated every O's fan since he showed promise as a rookie. His inconsistant pitching has given us reason to say, "Here we go again". Another typical start of 7IP 12 BB 5 H and 8K's. How many times do we need to walk the bases loaded? He can't avoid the big inning. He has had many chances to work on mechanics and command. When you don't improve and correct your problems after 5 years, it is time to move on.

The problem is that Cabrera could go somewhere else and be a completely different pitcher. He could use a change of scenery, like Ramon, and show his true potential that we thought he had.

I don't know if this was such a good move when we do not have a replacement. Is it possible that we will be forced to bring up our young prospects sooner than we want? What if we are not able to bring in some of those "stop gap" veterans? At the very least, we could have offered Arbitration and traded or released him later if there was a hard time signing free agent pitchers.

With the flux of the O's rotation, I'm surprised they didn't spin the tires on Cabrera for another year. I mean, he can at least eat innings and give near-.500 ball. Curt Schilling took a while to figure it out, and he turned into a good pitcher. (Granted, I know that happens once every 10 years, but Cabrera is still better than having to use guys who just aren't ready like Liz or Waters.) Does nontendering Cabrera have to do with his seeming lack of interest in the second half?

Pete's reply: That and a lot more.

Brady Anderson would've leaned into the shoe like a real man.

Great point on the at-bats. I saw him try to bat @ Washington last year. Brutal!

But the real problem with Daniel this year is that he lost some of his velocity. That might have been the final straw.


If any team wants to take a chance on the Wild Thing.....then so be it....just makes sure the netting behind home plate is strong enough to withstand his wild pitches

You wouldn't take a shoe for President Bush. Those shoes looked at least size 11.

Pete--What's the "lot more"? Do the Birds know that he has serious arm problems?

Pete's reply: No, I was just referring to all the stuff that has gone on over the years.

Bring back Kris Benson - he ate innings. Is he still married?

Pete's reply: Yes he is, and he was at the winter meetings with Anna. She had a sprained ankle, so she was tooling around on one of those little power chairs and playing high-stakes poker.

Can anyone seriously say Cabrera would be worth $4.5M? I don't care if he could pitch 300 innings. Steve Trachsel has better numbers at his age. Taking a roster spot with him and that salary would be a colossal waste.

Just think Pete, without the bad decisions like the Gibbons' 2009 salary of $6.2M and Danys Baez's $6.1M and Walker's $4.5M, we could afford whom ever we want.

Add that Bradford is gone at $3.6M, Henandez at $7.5, and even with the bad contracts above, the payroll is so low, all Angelos and McPhail can do is decieve the public when it comes to being able to comptere in the AL East.


You're getting a lot of flack for no good reason. The true Orioles fans know that it's a long shot to sign Teixeira. However, I think that Olney is wrong about signing him. The Orioles are going to lose another $24 million after next season when Mora, Huff, Walker and Baez are all free agents. Would I trade those guys for Teixeira and a $3 million 3B? Yes!

Regarding the starting rotation, I agree we need to make a few moves there. Right now, I think Garrett Olson has a spot wrapped up if he's not traded. I think that Chris Tillman, Brad Bergesen and David Hernandez are going to get a shot to win a spot in the rotation too. I do think that the Orioles will go out and sign a guy like Paul Byrd and maybe a Randy Wolf to take up a couple of spots. They need to hurry, though, because after Lowe and Sheets sign with someone, those guys will be next on the list. Maybe Mark Mulder would be an interesting pickup. Other guys that could fill in the rotation include Troy Patton, Radhames Liz, Matt Albers and Danys Baez. Hopefully some of the young guys can step up and prove that they belong in the majors!

Actually, Bush ducking the shoes reminded me of our '08 shortstops dodging ground balls. And, Pete, you could probably get a Secret Service job for the asking -- a record number of the current agents have resigned or put in for early retirement, effective Jan. 19th.

Why are Major League teams interested in a pitcher that cannot throw stikes, and routinely leads the league in walks, hit batsmen, wild pitches and passed balls? Good riddance!

You talk a big talk Petey, but Maxwell Smart will cut you down to size.

Pete—Bush spends an hour and five minutes each day working out by dodging shoes spit out by a pitching machine. He then practices in front of a mirror for another 36 minutes, holding his arms in a tough-guy arc, loosening his jaw, pursing his lips, bobbing his head, and winking an eye.

Then, it’s time to go to bed.

I think if Daniel had been with another team, the O's would have given him a shot so it doesn't shock me that other teams are willing to sign him for a minimal amount, but regardless if you like Miller, Leo or Kranny, they are respected pitching coaches and if neither of the three could improve Daniel, I don't think anyone else can.

I loved the parting remarks that Ramon made, in which he was a little surprised that he was traded because he gave everything he had to the team. I am a little scared if I am Cincy because if we saw Ramon at his best, his worst, must be sitting behind home plate on a lawn chair and shouting to the pitcher "come to me, I don't walk to the mound." He should have lost 15 pounds by just walking to the mound when Liz, Olson and D Cab were pitching, with all their wildness.

Pete, do you think the O's are giving up on both Japanese pitchers because of the interest from the Sox and Braves or are they waiting to see about guys like Looper and Moyer before they make an offer? I've never seen either of the Japanese pitchers that the O's are interested in, but I would love to start getting some players from Japan because it seems like to get to the higher echelon of Japanese baseball stars, you need positive word of mouth from one of their countrymen about a city and team.

Pete's reply: I don't think the O's have given up on anybody, but I'm not confident they would give one of those guys more than three years and $21 million, which is the reported Red Sox offer.

The guy should be punished. It wasn't "just throwing a shoe," over there that is an insult akin to flipping someone the bird over here, and regardless of what the object was, it's still assault. I'm officially all for pulling out everyone now and letting Iran bulldoze those people and letting them see what real oppression is. Anyone who doesn't believe that these "Iraqi freedom fighters" are really Iranian are sheep. They've proven it time and time again but most media outlets brush it off.

On to Cabrera. He had his chances here, he blew it. He would have been making way too much money here to hit batters and walk the bases loaded.

Are you guys really going to miss Cabrera and his 3 1/2 hour games? There was no way the Orioles could have traded him knowing that they had to either sign and chance trade then go to arbitration or flat out not offer a contract, so MLB teams were waiting for the latter. This is a good for both sides. Of course this gives the fans more to complain about when Cabrera puts 3 or 4 good starts together for the Pirates (or whomever) but we have seen that before also. I guess if Daniel gets his control down and pitches well, that will once again point to our pitching coach, but I am sure whatever team lands him, the pitching coach for that team will start putting his resume out on the Monster MLB job board!

Why don't the Orioles just go back and sign Ponson, Benson, and all the other washed up pitchers who are free agents like always. Seems like the O's are trying to take last place. They are all ready a joke compaired to rest of MLB. I think bud should either make the Orioles sell there team and move to a new location b/c the Baltimore Orioles are a joke, or they should just go away period. Like many Oriole fans here I am just sick and tired of watching washed up crap.

Cabrera made nearly $3 mil last year. I'd be shocked if anyone is going to sign him at last year's pay per annum.

The Sam Horn analogy is a faulty one. Hand-eye coordination can't be taught. Improved. But not taught.

Cabrera can throw hard. He has shown durability. Accuracy is a matter of mechanics, and mechanics can be taught.

Now, that doesn't mean mechanics can always be learned. And it takes a certain discipline to maintain a learned discipline as well.

Cabrera might find the right coach that turns on the light. There are late bloomers after all.

Or he might find the right team that utilizes him as a middle reliever/spot starter type. That way if things are going well, his team has a chance to get into the game and he is a mid-game closer. And whether he can do his job on that given day or not, he'll probably be available the next day.

That certainly can be more valuable than having these stupid 12- and 13-man staffs of specialists these days. Heck, I'm still not convinced eleven is even necessary. So a guy like Cabrera has an intangible value in that it could open up a spot on the roster for an extra fielder or hitter.

Cabrera is just not worth the $4 mil or whatever the O's might have been saddled with. Sometimes $20 mil is worth it; sometimes $4 mil is money down the toilet.

My concern is the Orioles have done zip to replace him. As maddening as he was, the Orioles are now a lesser team and they will be unless they acquire someone or someone they have steps up. Given the boatload of hurlers the Orioles went through last year, I'm not extremely optimistic of the latter.

I think it was time to cut the cord on Cabrera. They had babied him long enough. Most anyone will match the era and wins he gave us.
Signing Iszturis will give us great defense up the middle and help whoever is pitching. As I stated before, why not go after Sheets and Garland and fill in with whoever emerges from our youngsters? Sign Tex and we look pretty good. My lineup:
Roberts 2B
Markakis RF
Huff DH
Texeira 1B
Mora 3B
Weiters C
Scott or Montanez LF
Jones CF
Iszturis SS

SP Guthrie, Garland, Sheets,Patton,Albers
RP Ray,Johnson,Sherrill
You could fill out the rest of the staff with holdovers and farmhands and fill in a catcher and Freel and another utilityman and I think we would have a fighting chance to compete, even in the AL East.

I think we should have kept Cabrera around because we have 1 other starting pitcher. I mean seriously, what is the plan for our rotation? Bring 'em in by the boatload from Japan? If we want to build a winner we need to shut this thing down with Texiera, resign Roberts and Markakis to long term deals, then trade for a front line pitcher. With Weiters, Matsutz, and a #1/2 we could be competative in a year or 2

yeah they should have kept him h'es an innings eater.

I could not agree more on the shoe incident. I don't care if you think GW Bush is the most vile man in the universe, he is our President and we should always have his back.

I would also like to know if that clown realizes that GW Bush was very instrumental in facilitating his right to throw that shoe. I suppose he would have never been seen again had he done that to a former leader ;o)

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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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