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January 7, 2009

O's: More holes to fill

Finally, there is incontrovertible proof that Andy MacPhail and the members of his front office staff can walk and chew gum at the same time. MacPhail signed Mark Hendrickson during his Florida vacation and obviously kept negotiating with both of the Japanese pitchers in this year's free-agent market, finally getting Koji Uehara to agree to terms yesterday.

While the quest to sign a veteran catcher and a right-hand-hitting first baseman has moved up on the club's priority list, the O's also have been working the market to fill the utility infield role. The trade for Ryan Freel gave them added versatility, but club officials still feel they need a reserve infielder who is a dependable understudy at shortstop.

There was talk earlier in the offseason about former Oriole Jerry Hairston, but he reportedly just agreed to a deal with the Cincinnati Reds. The Orioles have had several conversations with the agent for our old friend Chris Gomez, but are concerned about his range at this point in his career. Willie Bloomquist might be another possibility.

The O's signed former Royals and A's utilityman Donnie Murphy to a minor league contract in November, but have not stopped pursuing a better option.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:02 AM | | Comments (56)
Categories: Just baseball


Please-not Millar.

Take a look at Ty Wigginton.

Ryan Freel?????

Pete's reply: That's what I get for writing at 3 am. I fixed it.

Pete - it's Ryan Freel, not Adam Freel.

Pete's reply: Yep. Late night. Fixed it.

Hey Pete, it's Ryan Freel. I think you might be think of Adam whatisface that signed with I think the Mets a day or two ago.
Catcher certainly is the bigger hole right now, but I'd still like to know what Andy's plans for the other vet pitcher spot are. Ben Sheets has a grand total of one team looking at him in the Rangers, and come on, no pitcher should want to go to that park. A two year deal with vesting options for a third and fourth and a player option for a fifth sounds pretty good to me. Gives the young guys a mentor and it gives Sheets a shot at a long term deal with little real risk for either side. Of course, this is coming from a guy that thinks a five year deal to Adam Dunn would be a great pickup, so what do I know.

While I do believe the addition of Uehara is a positive for this team, it sounds as if he is on the down side of his pitching career. Who knows, coming to play in America might be the impetus he needs to regenerate his career.
I'm still hoping the Os can sign Ivan Rodriguez. I believe he would make a great instructor for some of the Os young pitchers. I still remember vividly how I was shocked when he signed with the Tigers a few years ago instead of coming here. Even at his advanced age, he will definately by a plus for this team.

Murphy is fine as a utility man, which is why they signed him. Just not as a regular, which is not why they signed him. No need to waste time on another utility man since little is out there (and Freel can supposedly do it all but SS). But, if they trade Roberts and Freel becomes the everyday 2nd bagger, then all bets are off and they need to keep looking for a backup outfielder in case Montanez can't cut it. And, I think Salazar is as good, if not better, than Duncan. So, I'd rather see them concentrate on a catcher and another pitcher. Since they signed Uehara first, do we assume that Kawakama is going elsewhere since he was the bigger "catch"?

Pete, What's the word on Baldelli? I read that his illness is not as bad as first thought. This is a guy I would take a flyer on. Should come cheap and play LF and have Scott DH. That is if the word on his illness is correct.

Since the A's signed Giambi, that makes Daric Barton available. A couple years ago, he was their top prospect. He would be a good low-risk move for the O's to trade for. I would definitely rather see him at 1B than Sexson!

Pete's reply: I don't know about that. Billy Beane doesn't trade good young players.

I'd like to see the O's get creative with Garland. He's looking for 13 million a year - how about a 2 year 20 million deal with a club option year 3 for 13 million? This way Garland can have some incentive to pitch his way to that bigger figure. If he's successful the O's will give it to him.

Hey Peter, I just read an interesting snip-it by Rob Neyer about the A's # 1 prospect from last year (Daric Barton) and the impact of the Jason Giambi signing. Neyer seems to think that the O's could use a guy like Barton. Do you think Billy Beane has no confidence in Barton (hence the signing of Giambi) or does he just not fit the moneyball ideal Beane has? Last year he had 99 K's along with 65 BB, so that could potentially be it.

Barton turns 24 this year, so he still has plenty of upside. Do you think we have what it takes to get him from Oakland? Thanks!

M is for "Mmmm....Schmuck" =D

Pete's reply: Somebody else brought that up, too. This is going to start to sound like the Groucho joke again. If he is good enough to start here, Billy Beane probably isn't going to give him up.


Pete's reply: Thanks. I'll fix it.

The Orioles give the city of Baltimore a bad name. They have a payroll less than half of the division favorites, and far below the Red Sox and Blue Jays, too. They have no ability to evaluate talent for the rare occasions when they do spend money. They have a roster full of minor league players who are ridiculously overpaid (Mora, Baez, Walker), and a payroll full of former players who they are still paying, or had to pay others to take (Gibbons, Ponson, Hernandez). Their current best players, Roberts and Markakis, have refused to sign long-term contracts, because they don't want to play for a perpetual loser any longer than they have to. Their minor league prospects might, if the team is lucky, make up for the loss of Roberts and Markakis. At best, the Orioles will continue to win between 60 and 70 games a year for the foreseeable future.

Why won't the Orioles just move to Indianapolis already? The only people who still go to the Yawn are Yankees fans and Red Sox fans; better to make them travel to Indy.

Not to be picky, but it's not Adam Freel it's Ryan Freel.

Pete's reply: Yes, you are picky, but you aren't alone. I have fixed it and am going to stop writing at 3 in the morning.

Ryan Freel...not Adam. Do you have Adam Dunn on the brain? Are the O's getting ready to announce his signing too?:-)

Pete's reply: I suspect not. It was what I like to call a "brain cramp."

it's Ryan Freel. Not Adam Freel.

Pete's reply: You've got to be quicker on the button. You're about the 10th person to point that out. No more de-caf!!!!

Pete - Why don't we re-sign Millar? Also, There are a good handful of pitchers available. Why are we interested in signing the likes of Looper, Hendrickson,Uehara or Redding. It would make sense to sign those guys if we added a proven starter like Perez, Lowe or Sheets. We do not have any pitching, so why would we sign the same type of pitching that has plagued us recently? Please help me understand what my beloved O's are doing. Thanks.

No Gomez. Good guy, way too old, been here, done it for us in the past, let's get young.

Do you think we are done looking for pitchers? Even if the new guys do well at first, injuries happen and we are in the same boat we were last year. Or do you think AM is happy with our depth now that a few of those AA guys will be at AAA?

Pete's reply: No, not done looking for pitchers. Just looking for other positions and letting the pitching situation percolate.

Why do we need a right-handed-hitting first baseman?
After the year Huff had, he deserves to be the O's primary first baseman.
This would give Luke Scott the opportunity to become the primary DH, a position for which he is perfectly suited. That, in turn, opens up LF to Lou Montanez, who I believe proved he can hit at the major league level after winning a minor league Triple Crown. There's your right-handed batter.
As for the utility spot..... I think Scott Moore deserves a shot. This kid has a great glove, and though his 2008 minor league offensive numbers suffered partly because of injuries and partly because of bewilderment over being demoted after batting about .375 during the spring and at the beginning of the season with the O's, he's got a good, powerful left-handed bat.
Freel and Moore would constitute a good utility tandem.

Peter - It's Ryan Freel. Not Adam. You work too hard. Get some sleep

Pete's reply: You are right about getting some sleep. I've checked with Roch and he says I definitely don't work too hard.

Great title for an Orioles blog! Heck, you could use it as the title for an Orioles documentary covering the past decade.

Among the holes to fill for this year:

A starting catcher, a starting first baseman, three starting pitchers, and a lefty reliever.

Among the holes to fill for next year:

A starting first baseman, a starting second baseman, a starting third baseman, a starting designated hitter, three starting pitchers, and a lefty reliever.

Finally, the hole that should have been filled since 1993: Peter Angelos's mouth.

How about Ben Sheets? It might be worth the risk.

adam freel?

Pete's reply: Yeah, they signed Ryan's brother, too. Didn't you hear. Either that or I stayed up too late last night.

bring back Gomez and kill two birds with one stone. Don't know why they ever let that guy leave.

Just between you and me, no need to fret, as I propose a family solution to the O's holes, if you will.
First, I beg you to kindly dismiss my dismissive attitude toward the very limited Yankee flop Shelley Duncan. It turns out I may have been horribly misguided.
Perhaps the emboldened O's(fresh off signing the mediocre Japanes righty) make a move to sign Shelly, and in a coup-like performance, also nab his dad, Dave,to do some catching and Weiters-schooling. It'd be like having a pitching coach on the field, which would save wear and tear on the current coaching staff, sure to be worn out by Flag Day(June 14th for the unknowing).
Next, they sign his brother Mariano Duncan for the utility infielder role. Pretty good glove, little pop in the bat- a heady veteran who although he may have lost a step might provide some guidance for all of the young infielders on the team(that's a joke).
Just a suggestion, as I employ this out-of-the-box thinking, dilligently working to make the O's a contender once again, and place adverbs before verbs.

In a final note meant to knot the entire mess into one bright shiny bow, they ink the fictional Paul Simon character Lincoln Duncan, and let him fight it out for the 5th starter role.

Finally, see if you can't forward this missive to those in the know. They'll know how to handle it.

Pete's reply: Interesting reference. I think there are a lot of O's fans who feel the team has been reduced to "a pocketful of mumbles such are promises."

Isnt one of those players dead? CROSS HIM OFF THEN


It's Ryan Freel, though I'm pretty sure that 18 folks ahead of me pointed that out.

While I'm a bit skeptical at having Uehara 2nd in the rotation, do you think the Orioles are done here? My feeling is that the rotation looks like this:
1. Guthrie (R)
2. Uehara (R)
3. Olson (L)
4. Penn/Liz/Baez (R/R/R)
5. Patton/Waters/Hendrickson (L/L/L)

This rotation setup would split up the lefties, and give opposing teams a different look every night. It's not the Red Sox or Yankees rotation, but it could be semi-decent, especially if Olson, Liz, Penn, and Patton develop, and Uehara is solid.

Right -- because the one thing that a 65-win team with a 3-man bench needs is a veteran utility infielder.

Pete, I want to preface my comments by saying how much I appreciate your coverage of the O's. There is no question the off season is as important as the regular season, and many of us appreciate your effort to keep us current with the front-office activities( or lack there of ) . Once again we're seeing the many signings take place while the O's seem almost motionless, and once again we see the O's rumaging throught the rubble looking for ' certified ' spare parts. This is not to disparage McPhail, for many of the free agents are being grossly overpayed; an O's exercise from a couple years back that left us with the likes of Hernandez, Gibbons, Peyton etc.. There is no question, the O's need a solid-hitting r.h. 1st baseman. This slot is fairly ' picked over ' . Who do you see as out there who is viable; or might they look to the minors ? Also, I never understood why they let Gomez go when they did. He was a solid bench player. Lastly, Salazar just seems to hit everywhere he goes; what's ' the rap ' against him ? Thanks Pete: I'll just hang up and listen.

Pete's reply: If the season were to start today, I believe the O's would use Huff at first and mix and match Luke Scott, RYAN Freel and whoever in left field and at DH. No rap on Salazar other than being an older prospect. He'll get a look. As for Gomez, he basically was dealt because the Orioles were helpless, he was only signed until the end of the year and he's a nice guy, so the team gave him a chance to play on a winning team.


they still need another Starting Pitcher

Ken Rosenthal reported that the Orioles (with a little help from mlb) ended up having to Pay Sidney Ponson all of the back salary they owed him. With all this talk about Texiera finally calming down and the Orioles apparently looking for a first baseman again. I wanted to take the time to remind everyone that the O's had a trade on the table with Texas for Adrian Gonzales straight up but Mr. Angelos did not want to eat Ponson's salary. Now the O's don't have Gonzales, but Ponson has his money.

Pete's reply: I know Ponson was happy with the outcome, but I didn't know the supposed settlement was that lopsided. The people at MLB obviously did not want a precedent set in this case.

Pete's reply: I don't know about that. Billy Beane doesn't trade good young players.

Pete -- That's just not true. Andre Ethier, Carlos Pena, Mark Teahen, Huston Street ... should I go on?

I love the Uehara signing. Love it. This will probably get the O's on NHK and, between that and increased attendance from the Japanese population in the DC area, the signing will probably pay for itself. If he's actually good, it's a bonus.

We will end up with Sal Fasano as our opening day catcher.

Schmucker, once again you're right and it appears the O's have accepted their fate for the '09 season as an almost inevitable last-place finish. In their search for a cheap relaible right-handed stick, how much consideration should or will they give the Kevin Millar, or he they?

Pete's reply: I think he wants to come back, but I don't know if they want to go back in that direction.

Hi Pete,

I also want to thank you for your up to date Orioles coverage.

I know what I'm going to say is against many fans wishes, but here it goes. I actually like the direction that Andy MacPhail has taken. This team is/was a mess. They tried going the FA toute, and where has it gotten them? Nowhere. Thier farm system was a mess without any real top prospects. All of the sudden, in a little more than 1 year, we have 4 prospects in the top 50 and 6 in the top 100. I have been an O's fan since 1969 and I cannot ever remember having that many at one time. I understand that prospects are just that, but remember that Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and others were once prospects with something to prove. Like all other O's fans, I have waited a long time to see a winning team again. After 11 years, what's 1 or 2 more? Wieters, Arrieta, Matusz, Tillman, Patton, Hoes, Reimold, Bascom, and others help me to think that the future is very bright indeed. Andy MacPhail has an organization that was run into the ground by it's owner, and is transforming it into an organization remiscent of the glory of past teams.

Ryan Freel. I'll probably be person #10 to point that out.

Pete's reply: Yes, you're a tad late. I actually corrected it before you sent in the correction.

quoted text "bring back Gomez and kill two birds with one stone. Don't know why they ever let that guy leave."

I totally agree! Gomez is a great player and I really like his attitude toward the game!!! If you remember he actually won a few games for us with some clutch hitting. =)

And I'd take Millar back too just for his clubhouse presence. He is a hustler out there.

The Orioles have to develop good teams the way they did during their glory years, by bringing up very good players through their farm system – players that will be on the roster for 6 to 10 years. The collapse of the Orioles can be traced back to the collapse of the farm system after 1979. From 1954 through 1979 the O’s drafted four hall-of-famers (Brooks Robinson, Palmer, Murray, and Ripken) plus many very good players such as McNally, Powell, Belanger, Baylor, Grich, DeCinces, etc. Then look at the drafting starting in 1980. From 1980 to 1986 no player drafted made any significant impact on the O’s roster. In 1987 they did draft Pete Harnish and Steve Finley but they were lost in the Glen Davis trade. In 1988 Greg Olson did help them for a couple of years and in 1990 they drafted Mussina. From 1991 to 1998 no significant drafts and finally in 1999 they drafted Brian Roberts. Roberts was the first above average position player developed in the farm system since Cal Ripken in 1979. That is 20 years. During that time they drafted hundreds of players and you would think by sheer luck they could do better than that !!!! It will take McPhail at least 5 years to develop the kind of farm system they used to have and that’s only if everything goes well.

From the Sun, "But the immediate priority is expected to switch to catcher - with the club looking at former Oriole Gregg Zaun and likely Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez - and a right-handed-hitting first baseman."

Can't handle a new pitcher and a new catcher at the same time? What's that about "walking and chewing gun?"

Hi Pete, Love how you are covering the series of moves the orioles are making or considering, awesome! You will hate me after this but after I saw the latest rumors I thought I would throw this out to you. Do what you would like with it.
Lack of quality pitching has been an issue for ten plus years, they seem to be making strides to correct it, but I am also thinking big name pitchers do not want to come here because of the smallness of the park, not the quality of the team, please correct me if you think I am wrong. The team is not that far away on the position players, in fact scoring runs was not an issue last year and you should expect the same or better. I would anticipate the Orioles will carry 12 or 13 pitchers. The Orioles plan should be to be very competitive by 2010, anything longer than that would be too much for the fans and some of the better players to stomach. Rebuilding in baseball to make the big club competitive cannot be more than three years and the Orioles have been at it for 20 months now. The minor league system still needs a lot of attention, but that does not mean you do not go after some big named free agents that will fit into the plan. The fact is small little pieces are not a fix for a team like this, they need a big gun.

If they sign Pudge and MAYBE give Sexson (for the right price) a shot that is all they need for everyday players.

Position players and their ages as of opening day:
C. Matt Wieters, (22) None of us really know how ready he is, and you need to have someone in place to catch every day, we have nothing else in our system that can step in and catch 110-120 games and provide a quality solution
Go sign: Ivan Rodriguez 14 time all star and a sure thing for the HOF, just turned 37. The second choice would be to sign Greg Zaun, who will be 38 in April. Chad Moeller should be good enough to back up but in no way could be a regular. If they sign Pudge or Zaun, it would help the development of Wieters.

1b Open. Huff, (32) He should be penciled in at first base and the fact is in the 24 games he played there in 2008 he did not make an error, however I do not think the Orioles are going to make that commitment to him. He may only be here for 2009. After Huff you have Salazar (30) career minor leaguer, Brandon Snyder (22) who is a way off from being ready is a nice thought as a backup for catcher and the corners of the infield. Rumor has it the Orioles are talking about Sexson, (34) although it is intriguing to see if he can regain his past power numbers, this is not a good move and let it be someone else’s experiment. The fact is lets say that Sexson has a big year, plays 140 games gets all of his incentives he will not be back the next year, so this move is a waste with very little upside. Now Duncan is available, who knows he may be a better fit to make the club and see how things go, he can play the outfield some and his dad was an Oriole so that is not a bad thought.

2B Brian Roberts-(31) I think we all hope the Orioles keep him, good leadoff and glove man. I do not like the idea of trading away Roberts for Floyd, even though I have always been a supporter of local talent, because in the Orioles Minor League system and the big club we do not have a guy that can come close to step in as a qualified leadoff hitter or a second baseman. When the young pitching are ready for the Orioles to be competitive means that Brian will be 33 or 34 and still young enough to produce. Next in line we have Brandon Fahey, 28 in January. Hoes was taken in the third round of the 2008 draft and has great potential but would be four years away from the big leagues at best. Justin Turner (24) just acquired in the Hernandez trade plays 6 positions and 2B is his prime position, but has only played 78 games at Double A.

SS Caesar Izturis, (29) Signed for two years, good glove with limited stick. In the Minor League system the Orioles have very little. Next in line for the Orioles would again be Fahey, Blake Davis. 25, a real hustler the Orioles have to watch and see. The Orioles drafted a few shortstops this year but not marquee types. Not so sure Donnie Murphy is really in the plans at all, except as a minor league filler.

3B Melvin Mora, (37) Nicest guy in town and may have just 2009 left with the Orioles. In line waiting you have Scott Moore who really struggled in the minors last year, Mike Costanza continuing to learn multiple positions, Billy Rowell who still has a few years to develop. Brandon Waring who just came over from the Reds will be interesting to watch in the minors, has the size and needs to cut down on strikeouts

LF Luke Scott (30) and Willy Montanez (27) should be able to anchor down left. Nolan Reimold (25) has the big league arm and displayed some good power numbers in the minors, should be given a chance to get some major league at bats in 2009 and be ready to compete for a everyday role in 2010.

CF Adam Jones (23) We, as fans hope for steady improvement the closest thing they have is Jeff Fiorentino, who is on the Triple A roster, The Orioles just drafted Xavier Avery, real fast kid that like Hoes will have at least four years at minimum to develop.

RF Nick Markakis (25) Management needs to get him signed long term now and RF will not be a problem for years. Reimold can back his position up.

DH If Huff is not your everyday first baseman, he is the DH. If not Scott, Wieters, Freel, Reimold, Montanez and others can share some time there. The one thing if anything I would love to see is Wieters get about 80 games at DH and catch twice a week for the season with a good catcher to teach him.

UT Ryan Freel 33) -Will be fun to watch as a bench-role player. The Orioles paid too much for him, but he is here. After that you know you have to have a back up catcher and someone that can hit from the left side. Since the Orioles want to carry so many pitchers, Freel is valuable. I like the idea of Gomez coming back. Jonathon Tucker (25) who has been in the Orioles system has learned 4 positions and continues to improve giving himself more value down the road but has a long road ahead.

What does all this tell you? First you have to start developing a new middle infield in the minors. Third Base is going to be an issue after 2009. If Huff produces again, you have to either trade him in July or give him a three year deal. The reality is the Orioles could have an entirely different infield in 2010, so what happens then, rebuilding process starts again? Keep what you have and the only thing you have to worry about is getting a third baseman ready for 2010 and a shortstop in 2011.

Pitching is the difficult part of the puzzle. The Orioles proclaim Guthrie as one, even though he is not a true number one, but to the Orioles (and that is all that counts now) he is number one. They really need a marquee pitcher at the top of the rotation that is between 28 and 34 to help guide the young guys as they come up. I like Derrick Lowe a lot to provide a guiding light, he is 35 and healthy. In the last seven years he has averaged 33 starts per year, eats up innings to take stress off the bullpen and the only one in that age range the Orioles should consider. Now that the Orioles have signed Koji Uehara will they sign Kawakami. Will Koji Uehara step straight into the rotation in the three or four spot? They have holes and have talent coming to fill the rotation but you need to hold back the talent and let them groom themselves. So the rotation may be as follows but I hope for one or two free agents. This is just a two to three month deal most likely. At that point they should have a need for two or three of the young pitchers that are ready to come up. They could bring up Matusz, Simon, Hernandez, Bergesen or Patton. I am sure they want the rest of their starters to stay down and prefer to see these guys start out of the bullpen and spot start.
1. ?
2. Guthrie (29) Has been a great find for the O’s
3. Uehara
4. Hendrickson (34) or Liz (25) Really interesting right, NOT
5. Olsen (25) Needs to trust his fastball, Waters (28) was fun to watch at times last year or Albers (26) Who knows if Albers can handle the innings? Waters may be the stop gap or the odd man out if the O’s sign someone.

The bullpen shapes up nice if some of the players like Ray and Albers can come back healthy.
1. Johnson (25)
2. Sherrill (31)
3. Ray (27)
4. Burres (27)
5. Albers or Baez
6. Bass (27)
7. Hendrickson or Walker (37)
8. Sarfate (27)

In the bullpen I can see Mickolia. Mitchell, McCrory, Hoey and Hennessey all getting call ups to the big club this year.

Pete's reply: Wow, that's longer than any story I have written in the last year. Interesting. Now, the other readers are going to dissect it and I'll be watching to see how that turns out.

what happened to the re-building program started last year ? This off-season they've added male version of the Golden Girls; Freel 32, Uehara 34, Hendrickson 30 something, Izturis 28.

I'm all for trying to be respectable, but where is the influx of young talent ?

Maybe if MacPhail would talk a little more, the paying customers might have a little better idea just what the heck he's doing. what do you think ?

Pete's reply: The influx of young talent is ongoing. The older acquisitions are to hold space for those young players.

Ken Rosenthal reported that the O's (with help from mlb) payed Sidney Ponson the entire balance of his contract. I seem to remeber Peter Angelos nixing a trade with Texas for Adrian Gonzales strait up because Texas wanted the O's to pay part of Ponson's contract. Now, they payed the whole contract and don't have Adrian Gonzales.
Or, if they would prefer a right handed first baseman remeber the deal that the Marlins proposed were we would have gotten Derek Lee for Jeff Conine straight up. That deal fell through because angelos only wanted to offer Lee a two year extention when he wanted three. Instead we sent Conine to the Marlins for Denys Bautista, who we turned around and traded for Jayson Grimsley.

Ken Rosenthal reported that the O's (with help from mlb) payed Sidney Ponson the entire balance of his contract. I seem to remeber Peter Angelos nixing a trade with Texas for Adrian Gonzales strait up because Texas wanted the O's to pay part of Ponson's contract. Now, they payed the whole contract and don't have Adrian Gonzales.
Or, if they would prefer a right handed first baseman remeber the deal that the Marlins proposed were we would have gotten Derek Lee for Jeff Conine straight up. That deal fell through because angelos only wanted to offer Lee a two year extention when he wanted three. Instead we sent Conine to the Marlins for Denys Bautista, who we turned around and traded for Jayson Grimsley.

yes the orioles have many holes to fill. two if those holes is getting b roberts and markakis signed. the money they have offered to both players is a big slap in the face. if thy don't sign b roberts to a long term contract. after the 2009 season i wouldn't walk from baltimore,i would run as fast as i could to get out of baltimore. the orioles need these two players very much. there is no excuse for b roberts and markakis for not being signed this late in the winter. other teams are getting the job done..
as i mentoned a few days back cleveland designated mike aubrey for assingnment. there is a first baseman the orioles could take a chance. i don't think he would be any worse that what they already have. there are several good free agents out there yet that would fit quite well with the orioles


I've never seen a man be quoted as saying something and say NOTHING! I know Andy is working his magic, and I know he plays it close to the vest, but the community on this blog and other fans of the O's likely to accept the team behind door number 3 sight unseen! We're not the GMs, we are close enough to the situation of baseball to even make very practicle recommendations, but this wait and see what lands on the bottom two steps approach isn't fueling good fan feedback! Quite honestly I don't really thing the Warehouse cares about the fans, if for no other reason than the pathetic PR job they do! Maybe when they start the annual Caravan's they can have Tex come in his Yankee hat and sell out to Yankee fans, because they are exciting Oriole fans in either the quality of their acquisitions or the quality of their Public Relations


Is it true what I see in another Article here that Markakis was offered 60 mil for 6 years and that the Orioles are 10 million short of what he wants ???

From The Article: (Titled "O's, Roberts no closer on extension")

"An industry source confirmed that the Orioles offered Markakis a six-year, $60 million deal earlier this winter and, at the time, the sides were believed to be about $10 million apart."

If so ??


70 mil for a player of his stature and upside for 6 years is a BARGAIN in this crazy market.

Now I know he is ours for the next 3 years but you have got to be kidding me if the above is true.

There is a reason why this Franchise will be losers 15 years in a row or more if this is how they value blue chip players.

Pete's reply: I don't know if bargain is the right word when the AL MVP just signed a six-year deal for $40 million. The right number is probably between $60 million and $70 million. He'll sign.


Ok you've egged me on with "Pete's reply: Wow, that's longer than any story I have written in the last year. Interesting. Now, the other readers are going to dissect it and I'll be watching to see how that turns out. "

The bullpen piece looks great with back-ups even, but we have a number 3 starter in Guthrie and 1,2,4 empty and a prayer in the 5 hole with our Japanese acquisition as he was moved to the Giants bullpen as he struggled getting in 5 innings every 6 days, I hope he's great, but expectation management should be in order. In fact the biggest significance of the move was to break the ice in the market.

So that leaves us with holes at catcher, DH and 3 Starting Pitchers and a back-up SS. Then in 2010 with roughly $28M more coming off the books but more holes at 2B, 3B and 1B with no relief in our system for any position but Catcher. So we have some minor league pitching, what kind of odds do have, historically of developing #3 starters? How many prospects does it take to get one #3 Starter? So for arguments sake, we develop all our own starting pitching, and we do have a fine bullpen, in 2010 we will still need a 3B, 1B, 2B and DH. The aforementioned bats on most teams are your 3,4,5 hitters and a 1 or 2 or 8 or 9 hitter (and based on our current composition a leadoff hitter! So taking the big picture approach, our payroll gets down to about $45M, we have a team of punch and judy hitters and in one full swoop, the front office thinks then, at that key moment free agents will then take us seriously? REALLY! Naive thoughts!

Pete's reply: I think if they're ready to pop, there will be players and agents ready to jump in. Of course, they'll want to get paid and the O's had better pay them at that point.

just bring in Richie Sexson, at least we'll have a good basketball team.

I think "Ryan Freel not Adam Freel" will be on your tombstone.
San Diego has a very nice first base prospect behind Adrian Gonzalez named Kyle Blanks (6'6" 280). He hits for power and average (313 at AA) and plays very good defense. We should be able to trade minor league pitching for him without including the big three (Tillman, Arrieta, Matusz). We have enough good pitching besides those three to make an attractive package.

millar will be sighed by the mlb network ,and who was the player to be named later when we let gomes go ?if they dont lock markakis contract before the season starts and hopefully roberts theres no reason for anyone to come here. with markakis and jones twothirds of the outfield is is a nobrainer for ten years . pudge would be a great pickup to help wieters progress sincehes a surefire hallafamer ,but if they want to be respectable garland can give them innings plus hes still young ,opps i better wake up.

Chris Gomez, nuf said

I think its to early to give up on Garrett Olsen as one of our starters,
some games he keeps the ball low and looks great, then next he gets shelled, but i think thats just a sign of being young and dosen't have confidence, but i think potential is there. whats your opinion on Olsen ?

Pete's reply: I think it's too soon to give up on him. The Padres liked him, so they see something there. He just looked a little scared at the end of last season.

I know its business, but sure would
be great PR and a good sign for the
fans if they get Markakis and Roberts signed. I would think with Roberts signed he could still be traded and be more attractive to teams if they know he isn't leaving them after this season.

Pete's reply: If they sign Roberts, he's staying. I think it would be great PR to sign them both, too, but I think only Nick will be back next year.

trade roberts for aaron miles ,felix pie.,sean mashall., and one more..

How about Jeff "the stache" Reboulet?

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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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