« MacPhail leaves meetings | Main | Homeward bound »

December 11, 2008

Orioles: The next frontier

The Orioles haven't officially given up on signing Mark Teixeira, but I've got to believe that Andy MacPhail has already begun to refocus on the equally daunting task of rebuilding the starting rotation.

Now that CC Sabathia has signed with the Yankees and A.J. Burnett is no longer a serious possibility, the market should begin to pick up. That said, MacPhail has sought to temper the expectation that he'll be able to sign a couple of decent veterans to stack behind Jeremy Guthrie.

danielap.jpgWhen he was asked Wednesday whether he was confident there would be adequate pitchers available who fit the club's needs and financial parameters, he speculated that the supply-and-demand dynamic when it comes to starting pitchers might not work in the club's favor. Asked again today, he said something similar.

"I don't think you ever feel confident that there's enough starting pitching to go around,'' he said.

That's why I've changed my opinion and now believe the Orioles will tender a contract to Daniel Cabrera (left) tomorrow, though I've heard they have been leaning the other way. Considering the numbers that are being thrown around for the second-tier free agent pitchers on the market this year, maybe Daniel is worth the $4.5 million he might get in arbitration.

AP photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 3:12 PM | | Comments (58)
Categories: Just baseball


Peter. I really hope you're wrong about the O's bringing back Cabrera, especially at 10 times the salary paid to Markakis. Part of the rebuild should be to shed ourselves of non-productive players, like we did with Gibbons and Ramon.
DanCab has more than his share of chances and it's time to move on. If we can't find someone to put up similiar numbers at a fraction of the cost, then why have a farm system?
Do you really think he's suddenly going to be a capable starter after all these years? Let some other team suffer through the walks, wild pitches, fielding lapses and meltdowns.

Pete's reply: I didn't say I favor the idea. I just think that's how it's going down.

SI says the Yankees jumped back in with a major offer.

I'm about ready to puke.

No TEX, no front line starting pitching. More of the same. Gotta love Angelos!

Let's go Red Sox's! Let's Go Red Sox's. Red Sox Nation rules again. Speically since we have Tex for the next 8 years to come. Have fun in last place birds. Let's go Red Sox's, Let's go Red Sox's.

I think you might be right Pete. At 4.5 million and a 5.25 ERA thats a bargin compared to Garlands 10 million and 4.93 ERA...

Daniel will eat innings and provide relief for the bullpen. Honestly I dont know who the O's will consider pitching behind Guthrie and Cabrera, maybe maybe maybe one of Liz, Olson, Burress, Patton, Butler etc will turn out but that still leaves 2 hurlers to account for.

More Cabrera? Yep, this IS the same old O's team of the past 20 years. What a joke. There's no way I'm ordering MLB Extra Innings to watch this shipwreck again this year. Good luck to the young, up and coming players. See you on Sportscenter.

hi pete.. heres my question.. if the o's did in fact offer between 140-150 over 7 years to tex.. why not at least match the nats of 8/160? its actually less per year and another 10-20 mil would be worth it? or why not just go and offer the 10/200 like boras had suggested earlier in the offseason? for an extra 20-40 mil just do it?

Peter, are the O's looking for mid-level (low dollar) guys that will hold rotation spots for one or two years and push the minor leagues guys to really earn a rotation spot when the time comes?

I am so disgusted with the Orioles right now. I know I am only one fan, but when the Nationals can outbid shows the truth about Ole Peter A!
How can anybody support the O's as long as PA is at the ownership helm.
He is the most paethetic excuse for a team owner that I can ever remember.
No wonder no agents take the O's or AM seriously. The team is nothing but a low-balling fiasco of a franchise.

So now that we havent spent the money on Tex, why are we not going after starting pitcher


WOW YOU REALLY DID WONDERS MacFAIL! A shortstop that nobody else wanted. And how much is Pete paying you?

NO MORE KOOL AID for this past fan!

D stands for what......
A & P

Why not go after Sheets and Dunn. Supply and demand if you don't meet the price you don't get anything.

Peteeeeeeee you're so negative my man! sure we need oitching, but why not pick up the best bat on the market while we're out there? oh, and thank heavens that this Peavy deal is reportedly dead. I don't want any Pie. I like LUUUUUUUUKE alot more out there with his offense, maybe throwing Reimold in the mix as well. PS, TITANS!!!! AFC SOUTH CHAMPS!

My God Pete, Are you saying that Cabrrera could end end being our No. 2 starter going into the season? There must be some veteren pitchers within the Orioles' price range who can throw the ball without hitting the bat or the batter. I'm OK with the moves to date and I never thought they would sign Texiera, but it is agony to watch Cabrera pitch.


I'd roll the dice and go with 200 innings each from Burres, Olson, you, and Roch before I would bring back D-Cab!

If the Orioles don't land Tex, they might as well trade Roberts, trade Huff, trade Luke Scott, etc. If you have absolutely zero chance of competing in the AL East, why bother with ANY veterans. Maybe in 2014 we can be competive again. Camden Yards 2009 - what is the sound of one fan clapping? Major League Baseball, particularly the Orioles' version, has become a disgrace.

I don't like it but of course you tender a contract to Cabrera. We need four starters, maybe we sign two FAs, then we go with Cabrera (again) and trot out the latest installation of minor league cannon fodder.

When it comes to pitching, I think we can only hope to endure this year while our young guys continue to season for a spot next year. Sign one or two veterans who can slide down into a 4 or 5 spot when our young guns hopefully emerge in 2010. So from where I sit it looks like we have little choice but to stick with Daniel.

From what Andy has done I have faith in him, but I think he is handicapped by the team for which he works. We all know who is at fault, and we all can look forward to another dismal season... and another... and another... and by this time I'll have found a new team.

Even though I don't enjoy watching him, and the team justifiably has no confidence in him, I would definitely bring Cabrera back next year for a number of reasons. He's pitching for his first free agent contract, which improves everyone's preparation and focus, he's 27 which for many players is the first year of their statistical prime (Guthrie was knocking around the minors to middling results at 26, not that they have anything else in common), and because no matter what, we won't have to make a substantial financial commitment.
And, we should remember that before Trachsel's retirement parade signing last year, the last free agent pitcher to agree to come pitch here was Ponson. Who was the last free agent we signed before that, a washed up Pat Hentgen? Anyway, I understand that he's worn out his welcome, and the team wants him gone, but until we actually sign a couple pitchers, I don't think we can let him go.

I'd love for us to get Mark Teixeira but I'm really not convinced he's worth $200 million (and I think he might just get it). Just for fun, I looked up Nick Markakis' stats and compared them to Teixeira. They're surprisingly comparable albeit Teixeira has more power. Why Tex is a $200 man and Markakis is slotted at $60-80 million is beyond me. I'd say, make Markakis happy with a nice substantial offer (he's our own homegrown star right in our midst) and work on the pitching.

I do wish we'd have Teixeira AND Markakis on the Orioles but if I have to pick one, I'd pay the guy in the Baltimore jersey right now.

People, don't give up hope yet.

Everyone is ready to jump off a bridge because the Nats "outbid" us, but those are just the initial offers. Nobody is telling anybody anything - all of the teams' offers could be well beyond what was reported earlier today. Those are likely very old numbers.

Don't jump on PGA - if anything, he is going to save the deal and make a big, late push for Tex. His legacy is at stake and he knows it. But the media doesn't want to come out and say anything before it's official.

More active inaction from the O's. #12, #13, #14 losing season here we come. The others buy whatever they need why we just hope that maybe some prospects pan out (Who we can't sign long term anyway).
Being an O's fan ain't easy. You will not turn it around without spending money, plain and simple. And, the fact is, no one is gonna pick the O's over Boston when the money is the same. If you don't over pay, its over.

What a lot of 'Gloom and Doom' fair-
weather fans. Tex has not signed for any team yet including Boston. Keep the faith, Tex could still sign with the O's then you will all be heaping praise on the front office (with of course a fair amount of egg on your faces).

Peter- I think the funniest thing about all of this is... the Red Sox don't even need a 1st baseman. lol. I mean, were doomed. 2012 is the next FA class with any real players. That is the reason you got to overpay if you truly want to turn it around. But, who knows, maybe 9 of our farmhands will all pan out simultaniously and be better then the top 9 players that the yanks and sox just buy with no budget. Then, we still have to beat them to go anywhere. awesome.

Re: Cabrera -- I'm not a huge fan of the guy (few on here are), but as inconsistent as he is, he has a track record of making 30+ starts and throwing in the neighborhood of 200 IP per year and winning about 9 games. I don't think you can expect him to be a #2 starter or win 15 games, but I think you have to bring him back unless the O's plan to sign 3 pitchers that are better than he is. Fingers crossed on the Tex sweepstakes. Last, I think that the fans of the "Red Sox's" should jump off the bandwagon for a minute or two, and learn how to spell.

There is a lot of interest in Cabrera around the league. Baseball people believe it sometimes takes longer for really very tall pitchers to master mechanics. Randy johnson was horrible for a long time. If we let Cabrera go, teams would be lined up to pick him up. Tender him an offer and trade him. You will be very surprised by the market interest in him.

im so tired of hearing about all these high priced players that other teams get that the orioles never get. we definiltely have the money but we dont have the sense to spend our money on proven players. well probably get tex 10 years from now when he's facing retirement. the orioles are boring and will continue to be boring for the next couple of years. i will just watch the games that guthrie play and thats it. we need to get rid of roberts and get whatever we can get for him before he demand to leave and embarass us even further. nobody wants to come here and play baseball for the same reason i dont want any baseball fan to know where im from. we are the laughing stock to baseball and i dont even see any light at the end of the tunnel. even if our farm players start improving enough to start contributing we would need damn near all of them to make a significant change for this team to be competitive. the orioles suck.

I really think this is the Orioles chance for the future. We need Tex. This is our one chance to get a quality free agent because of his ties to Baltimore. It won't help us all that much this season but 2010 will be when we are ready to compete. Itzturs is a good pick up I'll take a .260 average with a gold glove any day. Our offense will be good enough to make up for that. If we get Tex we will be a great team for the future!! 2010!!!!

i think we can close the deal with tex if we give him 10 years at 18m that will get him in baltimore but the offer has to have a time line on it so boras cant go shop it to the yanks !!!!!!!

second i dont see why we cant get a trade done for peavy seeing how olson was the major piece anyway. what are your thoghts on these comments???

Pete's reply: Peavy has a no-trade clause and won't come to Baltimore. Boras isn't going to be manipulated like that, but 10 years at $18 million might get it done.

To Everyone who is ALREADY disparaging Angelos and the team...:
Not everything needs to get done at the meetings! There is still 3 months of offseason left. Be PATIENT!

It never ceases to amaze me how no matter what the O's do Angelos is blamed... I bet even if he shelled out every red cent for every player available and we won the series in 5 games people would complain that he didn't spend more so that we could win the series in 4 games!

Angelos has had his faults over the past 17 years, but frankly one thing he hasn't been afraid of is spending money. Don't forget that in '96 every thought was that we should trade Bonilla and Wells, and Angelos is the one who wouldn't pull the trigger, and we went to the ALCS.

Bad decisions aside (and there have been MANY) he has always spent money. His biggest fault is that he didn't put good baseball people in charge and all indications are that he is listening to Andy Mac.

I know Tex is Superman b/c he grew up around town, but we made him a fair offer, if you want to be upset if he signs elsewhere, be upset with him, not with PA. The money was offered.

Are the Orioles focusing on Sheets and B. Penny since they are not garnishing any attention right now. Heck, there's been more of a focus on R. Wolf than those 2. Whomever signs Sheets will get more value than the team that signs Burnett.

I still think the orioles will go higher on texieria but will be outbid if it comes to just money. I also think cabrera could be traded if kept, if only for a similar type pitcher from another organization if we sign mid to back end veterans otherwise we use his innings to protect the minors developement. Let him throw again his innings and era were better as a thrower.

If hes not going to sign Texiera, than he needs to use that money on other players. Will this team ever win again? McPhail has done a good job with his trades. But I think he is as cheap as Angelos. He hasnt signed any of the younger players(Markakis, Guthrie, and Jones) He cant sign big free agents. We cant just wait for the farm system. You have to use free agency in the modern era. Where is the MASN money? I guess they like the color green, the money and the empty seats at Camden Yards. Why didnt they get Cal Ripken to call Tex and tell him whats it like to play here? I mean isnt Cal going to own part of this team eventually?

Pete's reply: You sure ask a lot of questions. The O's can't tell Cal to do anything. He doesn't work for them. I don't know how much MASN money there is with those ratings.

pitching pitching pitching...why didn't
O's pay 50k for every pitcher in the
rule 5 draft...tex is not worth the $$$$'s,,,we need pitching...we win with pitching and $$$'s to markakis and roberts..with the new
ss and the existing outfield and that we got rid of herendez we have gained
by not deviate from the plan to rebuild the O's with young

New season - same crap with the O's. PA please sell the team to cal so we can watch our team play the red sox or yankees at home and not be outnumbered in camden yards 5 to 1 by their fans. This team will always stink as long as PA owns this team.

Let's face it-Cabrera is the second coming of Arthur Rhodes. He will make an excellent relief pitcher one day. Nothing else.

Give me a break -- did anybody here really believe Teixeira would really sign with the Orioles at any price?!? I would have been stunned if we had signed him.

The Orioles made a very significant offer and it is not the Nationals who are going to sign Teixeira. Angelos is the only reason we were still in the bidding today -- otherwise we were out of the process last night.

There is only so much insanity that can go around. I cannot find any fault not signing Burnett to 5 years or missing out on Teixeira if the numbers come in at near $200 over 10 years.

Would you want to sign to a last place team if you were him? We are going to have to build with youth to start attracting top talent again.

Pete, thing is this - your comment underscores the gravity of the situation for the O's. This team is on the verge of total collapse in fan support. The attendance figures this year will make last season's debacle look good by comparison. It is almost inconceivable that Cabrera could be pitching here again. The Oriole's organization is one of the true laughing stocks of American sports.

Another off season of promises, another off season of no results. One common presence year after year, little Peter. If memory serves correctly when lilttle Peter bought the O's he promised a winner and all he has done is go o the bank wth our money. Plenty of payroll room for Tex AND AJ.

Maybe I'm missing something... I thought the Birds -- although their current bid isn't the highest -- were still in the mix for Texiera. Of course I know the "confederate money" history as well as any Orioles fan, which doesn't lend to optimism. But things change (just ask Tampa Bay), the Orioles made a competitive offer, there's still room to negotiate, and Tex grew up as an O's fan. Why is it a foregone conclusion that he won't sign here?

You gotta know that if the O's go after anyone named Sheets, it's gonna be Larry.

Ben, you are not going to win in todays big league without big bats. Markakis is a really good medium bat who has to be backed up by a reallly big bat (Tex) get it? Hey Angilos-get it? O sorry you don't care. Let me tell you New York, they want to win!

Ben, you are not going to win in todays big league without big bats. Markakis is a really good medium bat who has to be backed up by a reallly big bat (Tex) get it? Hey Angilos-get it? O sorry you don't care. Let me tell you New York, they want to win!

The O's offer to Texeira is the usual subterfuge where we allegedly go after a front line free agent, make an offer that sounds large but they know will not be accepted, and then tell the fans "we tried". The O's management has been and remains a joke.


I'm a die hard O's fan from North of the border in Sydney, Nova Scotia Canada. I've suffered along with all of you for over the last decade. I'm sick of all my Blue Jay fans ranting on at me about how bad the O's suck, to hell with them though because the Blue Jays are perennial chokers. Regardless, this is my point. You know, when fans get up (if they bother to show up!) in the middle of a game and protest about the bullshit product that is on the field, alarm bells should be ringing Petey. Pony up and bring Teixeira home. Yeah, it'll cost us a fortune, but acquiring a guy like that makes Baltimore more attractive to other players and shows that we are moving in the right direction and making the right strides to get their. I know we're re-building and McPhail is doing as good job. Grabbing Teixeira and beating out the Nats, Yanks & Red Sox to do it would be an unbelievable coup, but it would make me believe in them again and make the LEAGUE believe in them.Also, I'm sure we could attract a half decent pitcher(s). We do have some spectacular young talented OF in Markakis, Sleepy Joes & Luke Scott. Along with quality vets Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff & the newly acquire Cesar Izturis. On the offensive side we could compete with the other bad boys in the division. Now as for the black vortex of death (AKA the O's Starting Rotation).....WE GOTTA GET THAT MORMON BOY SOME HELP!!!! Tillman & Matusz are still 2 years away and Olson & Liz still don't look ready. Has Hayden Penn ever rolled out of bed without something wrong with him???? For Chrissakes.....don't bring back Steve Trachsel or, as much as it breaks my heart because I love his intangibles, Daniel Cabrera or Jim Palmer. We can't take it anymore. Get one or two quality established names. I'll give props to Andy checking out the Japansese market, hell go grab both Uehara & Kawakami, they're worth a shot! I don't have qualms with the slow methodical approach, I'm sick of my heart-wrenching with hope only to be broken. GIMME SOME ACTION!!! Mend my broken heart and let's go out and reclaim our place. Ripken retired years ago.....we need a new one. We had Boog now let's go grab Tex. Jesus, he's only a switch-hitting powerhouse gold glove first baseman. CC didn't go home because his home (e.g. All of California) didn't think he was worth it! TEX IS WORTH IT!!!! PETER YOU KNOW IT! ANDY KNOWS IT! I KNOW IT! THE SCHMUCK KNOWS IT! EVERY O'S FAN KNOWS IT! Open up that purse and hire the boy! All I'm asking is that Andy & Pete do the right thing and bring the boy home and MAKE US BELIEVE AGAIN!!!!!! I think that's you?

What does AM mean there is not enough pitching to go around? Does that mean we are just waiting for someone to just fall in our lap. We need pitching. Identify your targets and go after them hard. Even if that means paying them *gasp* market price. But, no, we would rather wait and pick someone up on the cheap who noone else wants. After all his catcher will be someone noone else wants. And then Pete will be surprised when noone pays to see them.

Most of you are pretty innocent in this blog. To think that Angelos SERIOUSLY intended to sin Tex is crazy. The man is just like Dan Snyder...MONEY MATTERS, not wins.

Angelos cares spit about putting a competitive team on the field. He is raking in the cash, as much as he can, then he'll bolt when he gets the right offer for the team. Same with Snyder. It's all about the CASH man. I have been a Oriole's fan since the '79 World Series & had to endure the Jacobs years & now the Angelos era...sad...real sad, but whats my alternative, the Nationals? Another joke for this area.

I'm not a hockey fan, never have been, but GO CAPS! There is a team, & an owner that FINALLY did the right things. For the rest of the teams in the Balt/Wash Metro Area, it's just SHOW ME THE MONEY!


Pete's reply: I can't agree about Angelos. He's got more money than he'll ever be able to spend. I don't think he just wants to pull money out of the franchise. There are plenty of legitimate complaints about the O's ownership, but I don't buy that one.

Toadly agree with Julia. Lock up Nick and go from there. And, heck, give Cabrera one more year. Forget the game: take the wife out to dinner that night.

What the heck is a "Red Sox's"?

Btw - does anyone realize that a major league average free agent pitcher goes for about $10m a year? Sign Cabrera at $4m. You have no one who's better and I'd rather save the $6 million and use it somewhere else. Pitcher's are a crapshoot, anyway.

I guarantee the Yankees will rue the day they give Burnett 5 years. Pitchers are such a precious commodity - that's why it's smart for the O's to continue to draft pitchers each year - they are severely over-valued (see the Bedard trade for evidence of that). Continue to draft guys like Arrieta and Matusz. Bring the best up when they're ready, and when they are, trade the 2009/10 first round draft picks for the position players you need.

Why Tex is a $200 man and Markakis is slotted at $60-80 million is beyond me.

Because Texeira is a free agent and Markakis is "owned" by the Orioles for the next few years. At this point, the only leverage Markakis has is arbitration, but he's still having the O's bid against themselves.

Seth -

You too. Take a hike with your Redsux. We have 11 straight losing seasons. It took you guys what, 100 years! And how about that Bucky Dent! Bill Buckner, yeah! There's some fine moments in nation history. OK end of rant to these Bozo's.


It just kills me to see people put in a post that $140 mil is low balling someone. I'd like to see Tex here too, but this guy isn't about saving this franchise. It's a business decision for him. I've been saying that this guy hasn't been a local kid since he left high school over 10 years ago.

You think they have any shot at maybe getting Looper & Byrd?

Pete's reply: Yeah, I do, but who really knows in this market.

Well, I know I've had it with the Orioles.

The team isn't worth placing my attention on any more.

I'm gone

I'm sick of the Orioles.

"Randy johnson was horrible for a long time. If we let Cabrera go, teams would be lined up to pick him up."

Cabrera has put up 5.00+ ERAs in his past two seasons. Randy Johnson's first 5.00+ ERA season was in 2006, when he was 42 years old.

The Cabrera/Johnson comparisons were reasonable in '05-'06, when Cabrera was actually a decent, but inconsistent, starting pitcher. But over the past two seasons, Cabrera has been consistently awful.

Johnson didn't really excel until he was 29, so you could say that, by that comparison, D-Cab has two more years to put it together. But Johnson also put up below league average ERA's and 200 K's per season in his 26- and 27-year-old seasons as he seemed to get better. Cabrera's strikeout numbers took a huge hit last season and he seems to be getting worse.

All of that said, $4.5M to give Cabrera one more shot to put it all together seems like a good deal to me. Especially considering the fact that this team has one starting pitcher.

Discounting Cabrera's "potential" - based on his performance so far he has been effective as a number 4 of 5 starter. Let's accept that he can fill that role, give you a bottom of the roation starter that goes 200 innings a year (and 9-10 wins) and pay him accordingly. With todays market, that's reasonably 4 million or so for someone with more than 3 years in the majors. If he pitches more towards his "potential" then he's a bargin.

I am a die hard O's fan and have one LARGE COMMENT! I keep reading "we need to spend our money" well folks, unless you area stock holder in the Orioles IT IS NOT YOUR MONEY!! So if PA does not want to spend, take the money you do spend on the O's in the way of tickets and merchandise and pick a team that does spend money and root for them! Become a Nationals fan, take the Metro down to Washington and root for them, they are proactive and want to win and we could root for them, lets show PA that OPACY will be empty except for when the Yanks ans Sox come to town. Lets hope the Nats do sign Tex like Peter suggests, then we become Nats fans and screw PA and the O's. Heck DC is only a 30 minute ride down 295!

Ed in Alaska, a disgruntled O's Fan


Why do you think I moved to Alaska from Maryland? It was as far away from the pathetic O's front office as I could get.

Ed in Alaska

Heck DC is only a 30 minute ride down 295!

Ed -

Living in Alaska seems to have warped your perception of the reality of a little thing us Lower 48ers call "traffic".

From Baltimore, DC is more like an hour and a half long game of "Red Light, Green Light" on 295.

The Orioles have become a small market team because Oriole management think small. They will remain a rebuilding club because about the time that they get enough home grown talent in place the crop that are coming on now will be signing with the Yanks and other big thinking organizations. I use to think Glass in KC was a conservative small market owner but he's looking like a spend thrift compared to the Orioles. I am becoming convinced that Andy is going to make the O's a terrific AAA club.

Post a comment

Please enter the letter "d" in the field below:
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.

Schmuck column archive

Upload a photo of yourself or a friend wearing the new Peter Schmuck T-shirt, which is on sale at

Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to sports blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected