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December 9, 2008

Izturis looks like the guy

cesargetty.jpgThe Orioles have all but finalized a two-year contract with free agent shortstop Cesar Izturis (right) that is believed to be worth about $6 million -- according to a pair of sources close to the situation -- but may have to wait until after the winter meetings to announce the deal because he almost certainly will be required to undergo a physical.

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail would only say that he has been making solid progress in the negotiations with Izturis's agent, but his upbeat response to inquiries about the negotiations seem to point to the situation being very advanced.

The range of possibilities has narrowed over the past few days, but after Adam Everett signed with the Detroit Tigers, MacPhail said he was still happy with the way the shortstop situation was playing out. He seemed to indicate that the team is about to clear its offseason schedule to the point where it can focus entirely on the more complicated matter of adding a couple of veteran pitchers to the starting rotation.

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Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:25 PM | | Comments (34)
Categories: Just baseball


I still don't know why we want Felix Pie? He is the second coming of Corey Patterson, and the Cubs gave up on Patterson and now allarently, have given up on Pie. On top of that, we are going to give up a starting pitcher for him, when that is our most pressing need?? Not sure I understand where MacPhail is on this one. To date, we haven't gotten anything special in our trades with the Cubs (Sosa, Patterson, Moore, etc., etc. and this doesn't look any better.

i am no longer an Orioles fan if this is true... not even Tiexierra AND Burnett would bring me back into the fold- after over 30 years of fandome, i am going to denouce the Os and probably baseball in general for lack of a rooting interest if this Izturez deal is true. its these disgraceful moves such as this that makes the team/ front office look inept, and thballclub a laughing stock for so long. this guy is an absolute zero. how many times must i say tht automatic outs in this division lose you 90 games. oh im sorry- he gets a hit every 4 or 5 times up to bat- and theyre ALL singles... how does this help us... Iztarez is just the waste of skin type of guy that fits the Os mold of hte last 10 plus years perfect. i thaught Mcfail was supposed to bring hope.. instead its more of the same no count bumbs we seem to always sign. why would we not get Greene? Iztarez is such a joke, the Cards dumped him for Greene, whom we couldve had so let me get this strait... we turn down a great trade for Greene, and he ends up replacing some bum we get instead? why why why! how could the Cards rather have Greene the IZtarez, but we would rather have iztarez so they replace him with the superior guy and were stuck with this never will be... that proves mcfail is an inferior Gm to whoever runs the cardinals, and his stupidity will cost us more losing. i give up.

Pete's reply: Wow, 30 years and you pick the benign Izturis move as the straw that broke the camel's back?

Wow. We've added quite a bit of team speed in one day now.I like the versatility we've added in Freel. He looks like a bench player who may actually warrant quality playing time, not just a fringe guy whose best value is giving our regulars rest which is what we've become accustomed to.

The next things on the list are: starting pitching, deciding on Teixeira, deciding to extend or trade Roberts,extending Nick, and finally adding a backup veteran catcher to ease Wieters in. This list is something to be hopeful about considering it sounds as if we have the inside track on Uehara. If we add 2 starting pitchers I think that makes the decision on Teixeiara and Roberts for us.

Thanks Pete for all the updates. You're doing a yeoman's job for us fans from afar. If this is true and they signed Izuturis and the trade of R. Hernandez, I'd have to say AM has had a hugely sucessful Winter Meeting. The more I read about the prospects the more I think he stole them in the trade. They both seem to have a lot of upside (though not happy with the SO of Waring), plus he accomplish getting some much needed minor league position player depth. If even one of these two Japanese starting pitchers could go .500 and eat up 200 innings that would be a plus. They still need more starting pitching (who doesn't?). Keep up the good work there in Vegas and put it all on red next time you are walking by the roulettes.

Os have made solid moves so far. Time to sit at the big kids table and land us a BIG time hitter. Make Tex an offer..7/$120 and see where that leaves them. No, we won't win with him next year, but years 3-7 could see MT anchoring a very competitive lineup with strong starting pitching. Just because the Os land a big FA, doesn't mean they have to abandon the overall rebuilding plan.

Oh yeah, Garland at 13m/yr? Puh-leeze.

Pete --

I just wanted to thank you and Jeff for the consistent updates from thr winter meetings. Good stuff. I would also like your opinion on what veteran pitchers we're looking at. I've heard such names such as Paul Byrd.

Pete's reply: I really haven't heard them talk much about the pitching yet. I think they were trying to get these things out of the way because they knew the agents wouldn't commit a lot of pitchers early in the offseason.

The photo of Izturis is on the RIGHT, not on the LEFT as indicated in the article, Not unless you were looking out of the computer at us as you posted the article! Scary to contemplate.


Pete's reply: Are you suggesting that I goofed?

Great! Gold Glove at short. It was such a relief when Adam Everett signed with Detroit and I knew the Orioles wouldn't have a chance to go that route. They're going to be so much happier with Cesar Izturis.

Pete, I know that I threw a lot of what ifs at you yesterday, but it seems like they are starting to come true. What's your take on the Ramon trade? Seems that we have a versatile 4 OFer who also can play 2B/SS plus 2 young INF prospects and we save 2 mil.

Looking at all the options, Cesar seems like the right choice. The contract is only 2 years/6 mil and the guy has the glove that you need with young pitchers. I don't see any negatives in this signing.

For all the talk about Andy not being able to beat a turtle in a race, he seems to stick to his guns and gets what he wants by not panicking. Fans will always say we could have done this and that, but he has a plan and I haven't seen any moves that would indicate that this is the same old O's.

I have to assume Lowe is out of our league, but is Looper someone that the O's like? Good #s since being a SP, but haven't heard anyone knocking down his door, as he sure seems like an upgrade to me.

I like getting Ryan Freel and two mid-level prospects for Ramon Hernandez.

And I like the nice touch exhibited by Andy MacPhail, making the trade on December 9th. No this deal is not one of the greatest in baseball history, but December 9th will always have a special place in the hearts of Baltimore Oriole fans.

It was on that date in 1965 we said to Cincinnati Red Frank Robinson, "Welcome to Baltimore."

And Frank gave the Baltimore Orioles and their fans a Triple Crown season, exceptional leadership, and we all celebrated in 1966 the Orioles' first World Series Championship.

Is getting Freel setting the O's up for a Roberts trade? It seems he's a nice leadoff guy who could replace BR at second. Numbers are actually similar to BR's though the city would obviously be sad to see him go.

I grew up in Ohio and still follow the Reds (and now the Orioles living here in Baltimore). This is a good deal for both clubs. Ramon isn't great, but the Reds really need a bat in that position, and Freel will be a nice addition to the O's (and losing Ramon will be addition by subtraction). Freel was a fan favorite, and can play basically any position. I know the O's need some big-time bats at 1B and the outfield, but a quality utility man is always underrated. He's a potential leadoff man, too, if they trade Roberts.

I'm find with Itzuris at short. While is offensive numbers don't wow me, he can do all the little things that as shortstop should do. He's a great fielder and won't cost the Orioles outs on defense.

Additionally, he can do a lot of the little things offensively ... LIKE moving a runner over ... that has been a plague in the O's offense for years.

2 year contract is perfect. If his offensive numbers come up ... he'll be easy to trade and/or resign. If he's a bust, it won't be too hard to dump him.

Typical Oriole move. Third tier free agent and last place again. Where is all of the MASN money going? The Orioles are loaded with cash and are putting nothing back into the team. Why would I ever support that? I am not going to a game this year, even for free! Enough said.

Pete's reply: I don't know how much MASN money there is with their ratings.

I agree, go after Texeira, whomever said 7/120 had it dead on and the guy just might take it. I'd even go 140. If Mac can sell Tex on the O's immensely talented young arms and the thrill of watching the start of a maybe HoF career, then the O's might be more than just another stop on the schedule next year. Tex will still young enough to be a big part of an O's contender and he plays a position that ages well.

Izzy is a good piece and Freel, when healthy, is a high energy player. But Tex is the big one and I like hearing that Mac, if true, is looking into a veteran starter who is not named Trachsel.

Baby steps, people, we're getting there.

Pete where does Lou Montanez fit in all this.

Pete's reply: He needs to win a job like everybody else. You do that at the major league level. The Double-A stats only get you the audition.

is it true that mario mendoza ia available?

It's nice to see there are some fellow O's fans who understand the concept of 'rebuilding' unlike the idiot who is disillusioned with the franchise because we aren't going after overpriced, injury-prone free agent pitching.

Andy has done an excellent job thus far. In a short time he has successfully gotten rid of several overpriced, underachieving veterans who were not going to be a long term solution for our beloved O's. In return he has filled the minor leagues with young talent. With Wieters and Tillman at the helm, Double-A Bowie was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 games over .500. Hopefully the success at the lower levels of the organization is a sign of things to come.

While it will always be difficult to compete in the AL East, no team is immune to aging players and bad contracts (see 2008 Yankees). MacPhail has the right solution to make the O's contenders (building through the draft, and philospohically emphasizing the importance of defense and pitching), and he understands which players to bring in during the purgatory phase of the rebuilding process - - players like Izturis.

There are a lot of stocks that are good buys at the moment- - count the orioles with Mr. MacPhail at the helm among them.

Why didn't the O's go after Furcal?

how about chico escuela? bin berry berry good......

"I don't know how much MASN money there is with their ratings."

Are ratings involved? I understand that Comcast, DTV etc. have to pay MASN a fixed amount per subscriber, something like $3.00

Com'on Schmuck:
If Greene was available, the signing of Itzuris for 2/$6 mil is more of the same and certainly not benign as you claim but a futher slap in the face to Oriole fans. I have always been a proponent of building it strong from the bottom up and I like the McPhail approach up to this point. But if you think Itzuris instead of Greene (provided he was willing to play for the O's) is a wash, you're nutter n' fruit cake.

dude this is aiming towards the guy who said Izturis made him not become a fan

so you'd rather have

10-35-.213 (khalil greene)


24 RBI, .263, 24 SB (izturis)

and did macphail fail when he traded tejada and bedard?

you couldn't be any more wrong man.

Ryan Freel is not an every day 2b. Take a look at his numbers and you'll see that defensively he is not very good when he plays long term at any infield position.

If Roberts is traded, Felipe Lopez is still on the market. I know he has worn out his welcome in other places and he isn't exactly Brian Roberts, but he has the same skill set. Speed, extra bases, can get on base, can steal bases, and is a good defender at 2b. He's also still very young. I haven't heard much buzz about him as far as teams looking to obtain him, so chances are good he'll still be around if a deal for Roberts is made.

He is not going to play SS. He never has in the majors and has played a whole 17 games there in the minors.

If nothing else changes what the signing of Freel could do is push Luke to full time DH and Freel as full time LF and possible lead off hitter or 2nd hitter behind Roberts, which allows Mora to bat 5th or 6th and Markakis to go back to batting 3rd where he belongs.

Montanez's defense is very poor and is something Trembley wasn't too happy with. For some reason it seems like Reimold will be playing full time in AAA this year. The organization, for whatever reason, seems pretty convinced that he is not an every day player.

"g" is for Go O's!

People seem to forget what Khalil was even before last year when he hit his all time low.

One year of 20+ HR. He still hit under .260.

Career .248 .304 .427 hitter.

Defensively he gets a lot of credit. Numbers tell a different story. Steady, soft hands for sure, but his range is a question.

His propensity for injuries also has to be a concern.

Then there is the whole issue that he will be paid $6.5 million and is a FA at the end of 2009.

All the Padres wanted was a very young LHSP that would be very cheap and under control for several years in return.

Ryan Freel is an upgrade over Brandon Fahey in the multi-position dept. Izturis improves our infield defense drastically and shouldn't spend time on the DL (like Greene does every year). And they were able to move Ramon and his lazy habits. All in all, not bad SO FAR.

It seems from the comments that this offseason will be a failure if we don't sign Tex, but even if we do, the best we can hope for next year is .500 baseball.

All u people who say that taking izturis and not greene was a bad deal....u guys need to actually read stuff. Izturis gives us a solid shortstop option with some good at bats and we signed him for only 2 years/6 million. Getting greene, we would have to pick up his salary and we would only get him for 1 year....this would've been the stupid option and is exactly why we didn't do the deal. We finally have someone smart in the front office

I'm a little tired of the think with your heart fans going crazy over Texeira! Yeh, he's from Maryland! What's your point. Even if he would agree to play for the O's at this point (which he won't), his bat will not make a difference in the standings for at least three years. I hope Andy continues to think with his head rather than with his heart like these fans. If Texeira were a free agent when we were close to contending AND we needed a bat, then I say brake the bank. We need pitching, pitching, pitching. This is all about bring the "hometown boy" home. It's not about winning. If it's not about winning, we shouldn't do it!


It's not a terrible signing, but he's the type of player you sign in January after you've exhausted your other options. The fact that he was viewed as their top option is the problem.

pete you are doing a great job reporting on the winter meetings.
have you heard anything about
possible pitching help for the O's???

Pete's reply: All I know is that they aren't going to get Burnett and Andy didn't seem confident anything would happen soon with anyone else.

Deke- 30 years of fandom and youve havent learned a thing. You have no idea what the variables were in the Greene dealings and how they'd affect the club's decisions in other areas. We didn't have to give up anything for Izturas. We might actually need Luke Olsen this season (who'd we'd have lost for Greene)- and maybe the O's havent given up on him. We have NO PITCHING right now.

And granted, I am a Greene fan as well- but put his numbers next to Greene's last year and you look like a fool. Greene blew up 2 years ago, but rapidly came back to earth last season. I'm guessing his true talent lies somewhere in between. He's got pop in his bat, but not the speed and defense of Izturas.

I for one could care less if a so-called "fan" like you wants to remain on board. MacPhail has only done good things in his short tenure so far.

Looks like another Belanger type to me and that's great. Good in the field and on the bases, although we probably could have had Lugo with the Sox picking up a big piece of his salary. Not sure; but I think Lugo's glove is not as good as Izturis. Now let's go after Tex and Peavy.

Sounds better than what they had a SS, though that doesn't say a whole hell of a lot. Not great offensive numbers but if he plays solid defense than that's a big step up from this past season and the contract is the right size for a guy like him, so a decent move by Macphail.

I don't know much about Freel, except that he can supposedly play as an outfielder and infielder. Which did he play in Cincinatti? What do the O's expect from him?

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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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