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December 29, 2008

O's: Warm bodies on the way

hendricksongetty.jpgThe Orioles reportedly will sign pitcher Mark Hendrickson (right) by the end of the week, barring a physical that doesn't reveal he is really only 6 feet 8. The guy is going to look really good on the charity basketball team the O's are planning for next year, but I don't know if you pencil him into the No. 3 hole in the rotation with that 5.07 career ERA.

This, as my headline suggests, is what I like to call a "warm body" signing. The Orioles have four open slots in the rotation and they've got to have some veteran arms to compete for those jobs, especially if Jeremy Guthrie talks his way onto Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.

Hendrickson is 6-9 and 230 pounds. He's been around the block, playing for the Blue Jays, Rays, Dodgers and Marlins over seven major league seasons. He's had one winning season (for the Rays in 2005, and that year he gave up 49 more hits than innings and had a 5.90 ERA.) This would suggest that he might end up as a long guy in the bullpen (he is, after all, one of the longest guys in the history of the game), but that will depend on what else the Orioles do to flesh out the rotation.

I guess he qualifies as one of those "geographical" guys Andy MacPhail was talking about at the start of the winter, just not the one you had in mind. He lives in York, Pa., so if you thought you saw him at the Ravens game, who knows?

If you've been over to, you've probably noticed that Hendrickson's career numbers are surprisingly similar to those of Daniel Cabrera, except that Hendrickson walks about half as many batters per inning.

Getty Images

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:02 AM | | Comments (106)
Categories: Just baseball


This is the first move by Macphail that I question. You "warm body" analysis is too kind. Hendrickson is not only washed up, he never was a mystery to major league hitters. I hope Macphail has more going than this, but the fact that The Orioles signed Hendrickson leads me to believe that Macphail is not even close to filling out a respectable rotation. I'm still a believer in the rebuilding program but we need to see the Orioles open up the checkbook a bit and pick up some quality veteren pitching, even if they have to overpay.

At least he's not Sir Sidney Ponson

Well, at the very least, he'll cut down on the number of free base runners we give the other team every five days.... that's better than nothing.

V is for "verily, this could be worse"

i get we need pitchers here. but this guy is a waste. he is going to be steve traschel. he won't last the season.
but i geuss you need someone to throw the ball.

Looking at the Urioles effort this offseason I'm reminded of the old commercial, a take-off on Avis-- We're number five, we don't try at all.

This guy should put some warm bodies in the seats too, right? This is your Baltimore Orioles team everybody. This must be what we deserve. You can always count on the Orioles to employ major league vets who no one else is foolish enough to hire. They should change the team name to the Baltimore Landfill.


Please carefully write your blog titles. Warm "BODIES" usually means more than 1. See that "s" at the end of the word is tricky. You are going to trick a lot of people into thinking we signed someone of value along with Hendrickson.

He is a warm body, but that's really what we need. I know folks want us to fork over more cash for a better quality starter, but why? We're not going to win short term. So let's get some durable guys who are veterans on the cheap. If we can find a way to lock up a quality pitcher for a long contract, great, but I don't really see that happening at this point.

What quality veteran pitching? Someone put the FA pitching list up a few days ago. There's nobody on that list without a question mark that's a difference maker that will be around in 2011...NOBODY! Since there are so many, the market will come down and the Os will sign better arms then MH. Maybe Garland at 2 yrs/21m is a possibility. 13m/yr is a joke. Oh yea, have Wieters/Tillman/Matuz/Arrieta/Rowell/Snyder/Reimold/Bergeson/ play the whole year at AA or AAA. Plus whoever else is saving us in '10. Saying it for the 400th time, why have Wieters crouch through any part of what could be a historically bad season.

on paper this appears to be a joke signing. he's going to be 35 so he is probably on the downside of a poor career. last yr for the marlins he had an era over 5 in a pitcher friendly ballpark and pitching in the dh-less national league. he did have one rbi last yr so he might be used as a pinch hitter. maybe he's paying the orioles to play. maybe he promised to buy 100 tickets for every game.

That's a great idea--overpay for veteran pitching for a couple years while we continue to re-build. Makes tons of sense. Let's piss 15 million away on a guy like Garland who can have put up a 5 era and be gone before we contend again. Super idea.

Orioles can afford Paul Byrd, Tim Redding, Brandon Looper, Kawakami, and Andy Pettitte or Derek Lowe. Add Hairston and Veritek too

A completely useless pickup. He has never been even an average MLB pitcher. They already have plenty of guys who can pitch to a plus 5.00 ERA.

I guess he is this year's Steve Trachsel.


I am luke-warm with this signing. I realize that we are short on starters but this guy is hardly a solid bet to win 10-12 games and even fill a hole all year. I just hope the O's cut their losses if he doesn't produce-we don't need another Trachsel/Oritz/Chen debacle.
The DanCab comparision may be valid but hopefully, the O's aren't paying Hendrickson much and as you noted, he does have better control. I just see him as a real stop-gap who only fills a role if (a)4 other starters don't step up and(b) he can give us 6-7 IP without giving up too many runs. I think a right-dominant lineup will have a field day with this soft-tosser and hopefully we dont' send him out after Olsen.

At least we have Ravens!

The only team Hendrickson could ever shut down was the orioles. Maybe the signing will bring us good luck. Maybe he will be awesome now, and the only thing that was stopping him before was not playing for the orioles. Either that or he is going to be the best intrasquad pitcher we've ever had.

The only positive that I see to this is that he has a career 3.11 ERA out of the bullpen. Maybe he takes over for Jamie Walker? If that's the case, then this signing takes on new meaning. If not, why bother signing him, unless he's going to be shuttled between the majors and AAA.

Luke warm at best. 35 year old, over the hill pitcher with a 5 era. Sounds like the Orioles to me. The next move is to find Mike Flannagan a new role. May I suggest the starting rotation.

This is a joke right? Is Baltimore the last stop before washed up players leave baseball?

I can understand a "veteran" presence if in fact they learn from veteran players, but what are they going to learn from this guy - how to rebound?

Gimme a break. This is an embarrasment.

There are no amount of words that can express my excitement over this signing. Also I think you may have blatantly infringed upon the true meaning of "warm".

PETE, gotta love all these sit at home G.M.'S that have all the answers. Now who really believes that any topnotch free agent wants to come to BALMER and await the rebuilding process? Who's out there anyway that could make a difference in the next 2-3 years. At least there iso local interest in the team be of a fair weahter nature.

Daneil is the better pitcher. He only unintentionally walked 85 guys last year. Also Cabrera has allowed less hits then innings pitched over his career.

Signings like Hendrickson, Redding and such will make people wish Cabrera was still here.

Have the O's looked in to Mark Mulder?

Pete's reply: I'm sure they've talked about everybody, but I doubt that's a likely possibility.

Did everybody miss that we expect him to be in the bullpen, with a shot at starting if he proves he should?

The Free agent list of pitchers that is availible is horrible. Not one or (3 that we need) that can really be more than a 4th or 5th starter.

Giving up draftpicks for some the "tops ones" left seems a little silly, but maybe Lowe or Sheets is worth it. Maybe Sheets will sign a Half year contract to be auto renewed at the allstar break if he is still healthy.

Everyone can rip MacPhail a new one for this move all they want. It's a relatively low-risk move and worse case scenario is that he ends up as a long man in the bullpen and spot starter. That's really what guys like him are. His career ERA out of the bullpen is 3.09 I believe.

I don't mind this signing at all because now we won't have to call up our Starters in the minors to flesh out the bullpen like we've done the past decade.


I wonder though. Is there any talk of us slightly over paying Ben Sheets for a 1 or 2 year deal to come play for us and re-establish himself as a non-health concern?

Pete's reply: Right now, I don't think Sheets is looking for a prove-it deal, though that could change if he doesn't get a lot of interest in the next few weeks.

As the Ravens head to the playoffs for the second time in three years, we see the Orioles dialing up the same recipe that has brought them 11 losing seasons. Mediocre to below average free agents who get overpaid, while competing against the blue chip Yankees, Red Sox, and the newcomers in the Rays and their young talent. This is all happening while Angelos is sitting on a huge pile of MASN money. It sickens me. We we are at least three years away from anything to cheer for. And that is rolling the dice that these double A players will do something on the major league level. I am so discouraged.

Gee...thanks OLE PETER A
You really went out of your way this off season to "do whatever we have to" place a winning team on the field.

You are not only an embarrassment to the Orioles tradition, but to MLB as a whole!

Be nice when you sell or move into your old folks home!

"Warm Bodies".....sad when the local sports beat writer has to describe a team move in such a manner.

"u" stands for Utterly disgusting...this foff season!

Just when you lose one that caused stomach discomfort (Cabrera) you get another. Guess we will have to keep a supply of Bromo-Seltzer around. Please no more deals like this, it scares me to think of talent being kept down for guys like Hendrickson. Loved him in college basketball and the charity team needs help, but please. Really Peter, is this part of the plan? I would have rather seen the Orioles sign someone like Penny, Sheets, Lowe or even Redding.

Pete's reply: It's part of the plan only in the sense that Hendrickson is one of those guys you can run out there when you don't want your good young prospects to get their brains beat out. It's not a big acquisition. It's a housekeeping move. Don't know why everybody gets all up in arms over this kind of thing. Everybody in baseball signs these types of guys to fill out their spring rosters.

WOW!!!! I'm heading for the box office to buy full season tickets again NOW!!


I'm with Cush. Go after guys who can eat up innings while the prospects learn their trade. This is no time to get impatient.

I personally do not like this addition as it really does very little to move the O's forward. He is a guy with a career 5.07 ERA, so expect about the same or worse for the O's along with a lot of frustration.

...The Yanks pick up Sabathia and Burnett and we pick up Hendrickson...shhheeez!

Great signing. This should put us right in the faces of the Yankees and Red Sox. This team is a winner. I know you've heard that tune before but this time it will literally come true.

If I can interrupt the whining for a moment, what makes everyone think that MH is going to start for us next year? Did AM tell any of you that? From what I've read, all MH was told was that he'd have a shot at earning a spot in the rotation, not that he was being guaranteed the 2 or 3 spot.

Has anyone noticed that MH was pretty good out of the bullpen last year? To save the snivelers the trouble, he gave up 28 hits in 33 innings, only 1 HR, with 9 walks and and 20 Ks and an ERA of 3.03

Has anyone noticed that Sherrill is the only lefty in the bullpen and that it might not be a bad idea to have another one?

Good grief people, lighten up! How many times have I read comments about the losing attitudes of Hernandez, Payton and Miggy by people who come on here with a worse attitude than any of them?

There's two months to spring training. Somehow, I don't think AM is finished. Some of you need to take a deep breath, and maybe a valium.

Hooray!!! We did it. We got a take the heat off the other crappy pitchers.

I am usually a positive guy, but this off-season (ramon trade not-withstanding which I loved btw) has really been grinding on me.

Please MacPhail, tell me you've got lines out to other REAL pitchers. I am a bit perplexed right now.

All star rotation:


62-100 here we come!!!

Hendrickson is gonna get somebody the left-field bleachers.

I would MUCH rather see the kids come up then throwing bottom-feeder starters.

At least with someone like David Hernandez you don't know what your getting. With Hendrickson, you do and it isn't good.

I'd like to see Pettite with 2 years and 20 million to eat innings, tutor the young guys and bring a veteran presence to the clubhouse. Just keep him away from the pharmacies...

Pete's reply: If you start paying guys $10 million per year to "eat innings," you're going to keep losing for a long, long time.

Last summer, when I took my kids to the beach, my 5 year old daughter and I built a sand castle right along the edge of the water. Nothing can be more fun then building a castle in 60 seconds or less only to watch it get washed out by high tide, than make another before the next wave. This seems like the kind of "rebuilding" we've seen from the Orioles over the last decade.

Pete's reply: Well, you can only hope this time is different. If it isn't, you might as well start watching MMA.

Just waiting for the ravens training camp to start. Oh, it's still football season.

I can't even say what I think here in a family newspaper.


If this is what MacPhail is going out to get to fill the starting rotation, we are in big trouble next year. This acquisition is starting to make Cabrea look good, and I thought I would never hear myself say tha.

Peter..On the subject of 'warm bodies', how many of these fringe pitchers do we sign now? Obviously we need a proven starter or 2 but why not wait until spring training is underway and we can assess the guys from '08? It's not as if teams are fighting over each other to sign the Hendricksons/Matt Clements,etc.
Any idea what Hendrickson signed for-hopefully not much more than a 1 mill and we have an 'opt-out clause after 5 bad starts!

Pete's reply: I don't know that, but I doubt the money is terribly significant. And don't worry. This kind of guy is not going to stand in the way of anybody out of the system who is ready to contribute.

HOLD THE PRESS.What a pickup,n0w all we need is Pudge and Sosa ,the heck with all these old timers let the kids play i have no interest in watching my Orioles . Markakis and Roberts need to move on as soon as possible because they will never play for a winner here.

Hendrickson has a 3.11 ERA as a reliever over the past 3 seasons. That's decent and much better than his ERA as a starter.

I have absolutely no problem with this signing. I only hope we can get a couple more just like him on the cheap. Anyone who is posting that we should sign vet starters for $10 million per must be out of their minds. Why? Let Angelos keep his money this year. Let him save up a little for 2010 and beyond. Our offense plays hard and we have a decent pen, but don't kid yourself in the AL East this year. We need to build through the draft and develop our own talent. Follow the example of the Twins, A's, Marlins and Rays. At least we're not Pirates fans.

What ever happened to quality,not quantity, for a starting pitcher? The "warm bodies" that the O's are talking too really stink. Why not pay to get a quality arm, figuring that he will pitch in 2010 too. Where is the down side? You can never have too many good pitchers. Plus you have one less spot to fill with a rookie in 2010.

u as in unimpressed with the pitching options the O's are going after.

I said a week ago during the Tex hoo-hah that I thought Hendrickson would be a good signing and I'm glad that McPhail got it done. His numbers aren't great, but his value is enormous. He's inexpensive, he's left-handed, and he's happy to be in Baltimore.

All I ever want out of the O's is to be competitve on a nightly basis. I don't care about their team salary or Angelos or who is not on the team. I just want to know when I show up to the park that the O's have a decent shot of winning that game on that given night. Players like Izturis, Freel, and Hendrickson help with that. They aren't megamillion players, but they are solid veterans who have been around the block and can help a team win on any given night. Defense, speed, and a lefty- not bad additions Mr. McPhail. Bring in Zaun and, I wish I could name a free agent pitcher I was excited about but there are none, a solid inning-eating #2-3 guy and this will be a sucessful offseason.

That is as long as they bring back Millar as well. For a team that will be picked to finish fifth in the division by EVERY pre-season publication, Kevin Millar's value to the team will be so much more than what he does on the field. Make him a player/coach, I don't care, just make sure he is in the clubhouse next year. I have this vision of him pantsing Texiera in some mid-week, mid-season game next year, and while he'd never do it because he is a consumate professional on the field, it doesn't mean that the thought wouldn't cross his mind. How can you not want that guy in your clubhouse?

Rebuild is such an easy word. Why does it get missused so often here? Rebuild doesnt mean trade any player out of their teens and play only kids in diapers. It doesnt mean rush the kids up before they are ready. It means we acknowledge we arent going to win in the short term so our moves are made with several years down the road as our focus. That might mean hiring old farts to fill some holes so that we dont rush or ruin the kids by calling them up before they are ready. It means starting Wieters in triple A. "Overpaying" is only germane if it robs us of resources for the future. Who cares if Hendrickson loses 20 games this year? Someone was going to lose those twenty, no one available was going to convert those starts to wins and his doing it means we dont risk ruining one of the kids like we did to Penn and Olson and possibly Liz by bringing them up before they are ready. There are NO, zero, zip pitchers available for cash that arent just as big risks as they are potential reward. So fans can accept it or not but the coming season just doesnt count. It will be judged by the development of the minor leaguers, not the won lost record. You can accept that or not. No one asked you. The owner didnt ask your approval. The GM didnt consult you. You dont like it? Tough. Go buy your own team and run it the way you want to. You dont want to pay to go see the games? Who cares? Stay home. Continue to whine about it. The owner knows you will be back like the good little sheep you are once the team wins. Enjoy your whining on blogs. Enjoy your feigned indignance. No one asked your approval for the rebuilding plan. It will go on with or without you. So get used to it. The next 162 games which this franchise, this BUSINESS plays do not count. They are exhibition games.

Pitching and more Pitching. Add Byrd, Sheets,Lowe and Garland.. Hariston, Veritek, Dunn

Pitching and more Pitching. Add Byrd, Sheets,Lowe and Garland.. Hariston, Veritek, Dunn

Seems as tho the Orioles are leaving a lot of room open on the starting rotation- even if they do sign the Japanese pitcher. That leaves AT LEAST two spots in the starting rotation.

Patton was supposed to be a starter last year and I expect to see him in the starting rotation barring a terrible spring training.

Leaving two spots open for Penn, Liz, Waters, another serviceable vet, olsen, Burress or Tillman (but unlikely).

I dont know if Hendrickson will start the season in the rotation but I bet he ends the season in the 'pen. Olsen is probably better suited for the bullpen but man it would be nice if he morhped into a Jamie Moyer type.

Thats what we get warm bodies. I still want to know why fellow fans are letting PA get away with this. We are supposed to sit and wait while Mcphail builds a Twins Team on a shoe string budget while PA is sitting back reaping the windfall. I agree with building the team through player development but sign the young players we have to build on instead of the wait and see game. Roberts has been waiting for 3 years, Markakis will get played along. Pete know you have been on PA to open the books but why are you not continuing to report on the highway robbery PA continues to pull. I don't get it, maybe my fellow fans are to passionate to rally but I know if the Ravens were handled like the O's, heads would roll. Please Mr. Biscioti BUY THIS TEAM!

I just wish the O's had gotten something for Cabrerra rather than just letting him walk.

Hendrickson usually pitched well against the O's and I think the O's will take anybody willing to throw the ball over the plate...I can't say I blame them.

The old adage is that you can't defend a walk or a home run. The O's staff seemed to give up both in succession far too often over the last 5 years.

Hendrickson-35,era>5, no potential, might win 4 games, never showed much promise and definitely no future
Cabrera-27/28, era is there a choice?
whats the management thinking?

I don't know what this signing proves other than to sustain the level of ineptitude that's already in place. Hendrickson is a horrible pitcher, has always been horrible and will continue to be horrible. Oh well, maybe he'll "eat" some innings. Lord knows, that's about all people care about anymore in this sport. Hey Peter, maybe the Orioles will sign the both of us for minimum salary. Then we can stand on the mound, lob the ball up to home plate, get hammered and give them 6 or 7 innings. I don't know about you, but I would be thrilled to make a million dollars in return. I mean, if that's all they need....what the hay, right?

Hey, DCab minus the walks, and I'm guessing less money, too? Nothing to get hyper about, but maybe not the worst trade off, either -- if he's the no. 5 guy.

I like the team's longterm outlook, but 2009 is going to be UGLY.

And really, if they're tanking 2009 anyway, shouldn't Huff be traded while his value is high?

Just another move by the O's to save cash.

They dump the 27 year old Cabrera, so they could sign the 34 year old Hendrickson for less cash.

Granted, we were all frustrated by Cabrera, but there is no denying that Cabrera's career stats show a .259 BAA while Hendrickson throws slop up there at a .290 BAA rate.

Cabrera also wins at a higher percentage than Hendrickson.

Other than saving cash (same reason the O's half-heartedly pursued Tex) there is absolutely NO REASON MacPhail pencils in Hendrickson for Cabrera.

I was thinking "another Steve Trachsel" earlier today! The good news is, he's a lefty who walks fewer people than DCab. Maybe what he really needed was a change of scenery. Maybe he's like those kids who are too smart for the classes they're taking, so they do poorly...he was bored in the NL East, he just needs more of a challenge, like the AL East and the Yankee's half billion dollar-heart-of-the-lineup! (I hope you sense the sarcasm there)

But since I'm from York, I'll say: go Mark!

what a waste signing hendrickson. a very sub par pitcher.there are better pitchers out there,but the orioles can only sign some other teams cast off.

Don't understand this move at all...I suppose Pete's "warm body" theory says it best. I'm trying to figure out how the O's PR people will put a positive spin on this signing:

Hendrickson...the only Mark we can afford

Hendrickson...the only Mark willing to play here

Hendrickson...the other white Mark (sorry about that one...)

Won't cost us any draft choices...

Pete , do you still think there is a plan after this signing ? Surely the O's are running out of Kool -aid by now

Pete's reply: Of course I do. Try to look at the big picture. Every major league team brings in these kinds of players to fill out spring rosters. Treating him like he's who they wanted instead of C.C. Sabathia is just silly.

Maybe Andy's working his way up from the #5 starter slot...

Good move though. I can't imagine they're paying him more than $2M and you've got to start somewhere. Now let's grab one of the Japanese guys and a Paul Byrd and give the last rotation spot to whoever earns it in the spring.

Sign Ivan Rodriguez to a 1 year deal. Then sign Jason Giambi to a 1 year deal. Then sign maybe a Ben Sheets and another veteran pitcher to at least make us competitve possibly until the young guys are ready to step up.

Strong character and an excellent (former)NBA player in that he's never been arrested or indicted.

To quote you: "Hendrickson is one of those guys you can run out there when you don't want your good young prospects to get their brains beat out. It's not a big acquisition. It's a housekeeping move. Don't know why everybody gets all up in arms over this kind of thing. Everybody in baseball signs these types of guys to fill out their spring rosters."

Well, Pete, small market teams make moves like this. So does that mean the O's are a small market team too? Or just a team that is unfortunately unwilling to spend on some decent arms while the kids develop? These "housekeeping" signings produce ugly innings by journeymen who will get their own brains beat out and provide nothing more than what we had the last 2 months of the '08: ugly, boring, lopsided loses and a decimated bullpen. That is why the natives are restless.

I REALLY REALLY hope Millar takes Tex's pants off. that would be THE greatest thing ever.

Pete---when you get a chance, i'd like to know which of our minor league hurlers will be in camp......i.e. Penn?
Bergesen? etc. Thanks!

Pete's reply: Everyone on the 40-man roster, plus non-roster guys. I don't think the non-rosters have been announced.


If I was crying I would be laughing my @$$ off! Maybe this is an attempt to fool us all into believing that maybe, Olsen, Penn, Liz and whoever are actually ready? I'm turning the corner for the new year, before I read the signings I take two valiums and it basically makes the reality of our SP go away. Where did Hendrickson come from anyway was he pitching for the Tractor Chris Hoiles in the Independent league or what! We can only hope he was signed as a long man (he is tall you know) but seriously Pete this would be hysterical if I weren't crying right now!


For your sake alone, I hope and pray that you are right about the "grand plan", if not you may go down as the biggest apologist in the anals of sports reporting. Loyalty is a wonderful thing and your steadfast support is commendable but as a 45 year fan of the O's I believe the odds are stacked heavily against you!

Go Trojans!

Pete's reply: Loyalty to whom? I don't owe anybody at the warehouse anything. Quite the contrary. I consider myself a pragmatist. I look at a situation and try to figure out the best way to get where you want to get. It's not about who I like better or who's going to agree with me. The fact of the matter is this: Andy MacPhail's plan is currently the only hope for this organization. The alternative is to start over with someone new or go back to the haphazard year-to-year free agent strategy that helped create the mess the team is in. I'd rather see if MacPhail's plan can work, since he has made more good trades (Tejada, Bedard, Hernandez) than bad (Bradford).

I would rather have Sidney P back. The laughing-stock of all of the league. I hope they lose a 100 . Angelos deserves it. 12 straight losing rebuilding years and one common denominator, not one number 1 or 2 pitching signing. We are always waiting for next years free agents because they are better than this years . I've heard enough, we have rebuilt before. Since Albert Belle got hurt this guy won't spend enough to make a team. Go Angels, that team has a good owner.


If we sign Sheets and Petitte to two year deals, that's the 20 million we'd give to Tex and we'd have a solid top 3 of our rotation to build upon for the next 2 years or so. If McPhail wants to roll the dice with guys like Redding and Hendrickson, this team won't win 65 games.

Pete's reply: If they spend $20 million on those two guys, there's a chance they don't get 30 starts total from the two of them, and then everyone will nod knowingly at each other and say, 'See how stupid Andy MacPhail is."

The plan of a japanese guy and paul byrd is one that will surely drop the O's attendance below 1.5 million as they continue to wallow in obscurity while we "wait" on some of these young prospects to come along. If we had 20 million in the budget for Tex, then we should still have that for 2-3 very solid starters.

Pete's reply: Which two guys in this market are worth $10 million per year? The injured guy from Milwaukee? The 40-year-old guy that was cast off by the Yankees? I just don't see that making sense unless you're goal is to win 75 games every year for the foreseeable future.

all you guys complaining have no idea what is going on. we have plenty of good young arms that are going to be ready in a year or two. why overpay veterans to come here when in a year or two our whole rotation will be filled with exciting young homegrown kids. this year is gonna be bad, suck it up and realize that there is a very bright future riding on the shoulders of matusz, arrieta, tillman, patton, bascom, bergeson, hernandez, spoone, butler, penn, and more!

I think they should sign Brad Ausmus to help Wieters develop his game-calling & defense (hitting doesn't seem to be a problem..). Then you sign Derek Lowe and hope he can duplicate the (successful) Boston years. Add a Paul Byrd if the money is right. That gives you a front three of Guthrie, Lowe, and Byrd. The Birds need to accept that Olson, Penn, and co. are not Mussina or even McDonald. Let Huff play first, which allows for an outfield of Scott, Jones, and Markakis...with Montanez and Freel as the bench players. And, if he's out there in July and the team needs a spark in the clubhouse, bring Millar hard is it, Andy??

Pete's reply: I'd love to have Derek Lowe, but he's got too many better options.

The Orioles reportedly will sign pitcher Mark Hendrickson, and the fans are happy to have him if he is effective in relief. Honestly, though, who the heck cares? This is such a lame move, is there any sense of a winning strategy here? The Orioles are a once great franchise waiting in the wings for new management and ownership, let alone pitching.

He pitched well out of the bullpen? If I remember he pitched in the NL in home parks in Florida and Los Angeles. Those would be more pitcher firndly parks wouldn't they?

Lets let the Orioles go back to St. Louis. The Browns had better players and much better pitching. Move the Nats to Baltimore, change their name to the Senators and get them back in the AL.

Pete, you knew this would get a rise out of these starving fans, you are one sick puppy.

How about about a story about the top 10 worst signings, missed opportunities or decade of misery. Oh wait that is what we have been doing.

And we let Danny Cabrera go for this????? What has this team been smoking all these years. pathetic

Here's a guy who since he has been in the league (not including his few games in his first season which wasn't even classified as a rookie) has had an ERA BELOW (do you hear me, "below") 4.68 only once (as in uno)! Most worrisome is that he couldn't even pitch to a below 5.00 E.R.A. in his combined two seasons in Dodger Stadium--the best pitcher's park in baseball. I know they couldn't find a worse, I mean cheaper, pitcher. They really had to dig to the bottom of the trash heap to find him. He's the kind of player most teams consider "addition by subtraction".

The O release states 5.07 era. The truth is last year this 5 year old retread had a 5.45 era and a pathetic 1.5 WHIP - in and out of the bullpen! He's horrible. The orioles are a disgrace.

I dont get this signing but dont get much of what the Os are thinking or if they are thinking period. You cant steal someones blueprint designs to build a championship they have to be your own. Establish your own identity dont try to be like the Rays or Marlins or even Yankees or Red Sox. If I was the Os since they cant seem to buy free agents I would target guys that teams want to unload like Adrian Beltre, Hank Blaylock, Barry Zito, Andruw Jones to name a few. Some one tell me honestly that those teams wouldnt eat a considerable portion of those big contracts just to rid themselves of finicial obligaitions? Sometimes players just need a change of scenery.

Pete's reply: You're serious? Barry Zito?

I Say sign as many as you can. The worst thing that can happen is that we end up in last pla.... oh nevermind.

I demand the name, address and phone number of the site owner. I want to know his politics, his race and his religion. I also want to know the level of education the site owner has completed. My time is dear. Move!!!!!!!!!!

Pete's reply: Huh?

Thank god I don't have to spend any money on this god-forsaken franchise in 2009 while that piece of garbage lawyer scum Angelos eats all the MASN profits and tells Orioles fans to go take a flying leap.

Here is what will happen in 2009:

Tillman will blow out his elbow
Matusz won't be able to get out hitters in Norfolk
Arrireta will make it to the Orioles and post a record of 7-7 with a 4.80 ERA

And Angelos will keep pocketing money and laughing at anyone dumb enough to pay for this product.

Pete's reply: Some of that's going to be hard since Matusz isn't going to Norfolk and Arrieta will not be here this year. I certainly hope Tillman doesn't blow out his arm, and hope you aren't rooting for that because you've become so bitter that you're starting to enjoy the trainwreck.

I'm an avid fantasy baseball guy. A buddy of mine had Hendrickson for most of the season. He actually pitched well the first half and then he fell apart the second half. Where's Jeff Ballard or Bob Milacki when you need them?

Signing Hendrickson as a reliever makes no sense at all. They already have the same pitcher in Olson,Burress and Waters.I don't know if this is a warm body move as much as a look busy move.Now the o's have a ton of pitchers they don't know whatto do with because so many of them just aren't that good. They have no trade value either so we'll wind up just releasing them. What about Bass? They have to find a slot for him and Sarfate.

The Angelos Orioles are making it very easy for me to find other things to do with my time & money this summer. Although it will be interesting to see if Guthrie can handle starting 162 games.

I would like to know the contract terms before we all go off like rockets in Gaza. If this guy's getting 1-2 mil for a yr or two then I don't see a problem. He performs pretty well out of the pen and gets mashed when he starts. Middle releif anyone? If he keeps one more prospect at AAA this yr I say good. Stop rushing these kids.If one on the young guys DOES step up then he has earned the right to play in the ML. At the end of last yr we were promoting guys on the "can you fog a mirror" principal. I say better to let this guy take a few lumps in a few spot starts than rish rushing a REAL prospect to the ML. He won't block anyone either. at his salary (I assume) he can be thrown overboard if enough new talent emerges this yr or next. I say pitch him in the middle relief role, let him spot start when nessisary and if he gets ends with a .500 record and an ERa under 4.50 it was a worthwile signing.

Pete, I don't quite understand why the O's would let a young man like Daniel Cabrera go and turn around and sign this kind of veteran. I can see signing fairly washed up veterans while you wait for your youngsters, but we still need some of the same production we could have gotten out of Daniel. I realize the number of chances he has been given, but what if the light bulb all of a sudden goes on in his head. He has shown that light on occasions in the past. We are not going to win many games this year so what would it have hurt? I hope Daniel goes to the Nats and finds his potential because he was one of the few that seemed to want to be hear, he worked hard, and seems like a genuine really good guy. If for nothing else the O's should have given him another year since they are partially to blame for bringing him up before he was ready.


The fans aren't neccesarily disenfranchised over the Hendrickson signing specifically, it is the fact that this is how it happens almost every year (exception was tejada year). The front office keeps signing the low end players. Don't teams generally sign the quality players first and then fill in behind with the low end of the market? Isn't this sort of backwards to sign the low end players first??? "Hey Andy, this is Angelos. Lets start at the bottom end of the free agents where there is no competition, you know, ERA 5.00, 35 years old, and work our way up. Maybe Lowe will still be around in March and we can pay him with a low ball contract!"

It is what it is. Maybe in 2 years we can all laugh about not getting Tex and signing a boatload of warm bodies (which, as history has proven, is all we will sign this year).

A far less than a .500 pitcher with an above 5 era. Great! The Birds are headed in the right direction. Yeah, for Angelos and his growing pockets. What a disgrace. Thank God we don't need the Orioles, The Ravens have taken over big time.

Hmmmm...did they sign Hendrickson to pitch batting practice? Yep, that might be a good move, it would give our hitters some confidence before each game starts... but then reality would set in when they have to bat against real major league starters. In truth Hendrickson may be a nice guy and a good family man but he ain't no big league starter. McFail I ask you is this the start of a pattern? Oh please, I hope not!

Was that a misprint "the #3 hole"? Didn't you mean the #33 hole? Pete, where do they come up with these guys? Are they actually trying to make the team worse? If they are, they're doing a damn good job! When people wait 11 years, they really don't want to hear about another rebuilding program.

What was the point in cutting Cabrera and then signing his older brother? Any chance Rocky Coppinger wants a job in this year's rotation? What's it going to take to get the Orioles to spend some money? Not pretend to spend money (like with Tex), but to actually do it.

Just remember that AM said that the offseason would be about acquiring "inventory", not about quality. At this point, the O's need to add numbers and sort it out until their farm system or free agents can be persuaded to come without having to overpay. Look to 2010 to be the first year of quality free agents.

All this hub bub over this acquisition? Good God folks, take it easy. I, for one, am not buying mlb playoff tix this year cause we will eliminated by Easter. Sign Markakis, trade Roberts and save the kids for 2010.


What ever happened to Danny Baez; will he be in training camp?


Pete's reply: Yes, I believe he will.


Given the O's the benefit of the doubt about this Hendrickson signing, as a long guy, didn't we find out last year with all the 4 inning starters we had a bunch of inadequate long guys? Maybe he will work out? I just thought the objective was progress????

Warm body? I don't thin so! Dead on arrival!

Warm body? I don't think so! Dead on arrival!

hey Pete, in 2005 Hendrickson pitched for the Tampa bay DEVIL-RAYS!! happy new year to all my friends and family in Baltimore. go Orioles!

I'll say it again; we need to start spending thru the nose to sign the best young Dominican and Venezuelan talent.

Peter, why do you insist on building thru free-agents and the amateur draft alone?

Pete's reply: I don't, but the Orioles new commitment to foreign scouting only started a few months ago. I don't know if they're totally up to speed yet.

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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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