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January 8, 2009

O's: Who'll be on first?

Here's all we really know about the first base situation: The Orioles want a right-handed hitter or a switch-hitter to fill the opening at first base left by Kevin Millar, who apparently will not get the opportunity to fill it himself.

The Orioles are leaning away from Millar, even though he seems amenable to a part-time role and he's fun to have around. The free-agent names that have been afloat are Ty Wigginton, Richie Sexson and Rocco Baldelli, and club officials were not totally ruling out any of them yesterday, though it now appears Baldelli will sign with the Red Sox. There also are some interesting trade possibilities, including Cleveland's Ryan Garko or one of the Royals' first basemen -- either 22-year-old Billy Butler or 28-year-old project Ryan Shealy.

Several readers have written in to inquire about the possibility of the Orioles acquiring Nick Swisher, who appears to be extra baggage in New York now that the Yankees have brought in Mark Teixeira. The O's showed interest in Swisher before the Chicago White Sox dealt him to the Yankees, so it wouldn't be a surprise if they inquired about him again.

What would be a surprise would be a significant trade between two longtime division rivals, though it's possible the Yankees don't consider the O's enough of a threat right now to worry about a deal coming back to haunt them in the AL East standings. He's a switch-hitter who has averaged 25 home runs over the past four seasons, so he probably wouldn't come cheap if there is any chance of him coming here at all.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:09 AM | | Comments (93)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Baldelli signed with the Sox, but I wouldn't consider him an option even if he hadn't because of all the time he has missed due to injuries. I do like Billy Butler and Ryan Garko. I think either of those guys would not only be upgrades, but are still young enough that they can be more than just spot holders. Garko has power and Butler has potential.

Pete, one guy not on your list because he isn't a 1B by trade, is Mark Tehean. I have seen him play numerous times and he is gritty, tough and could serve a lot of purposes on this O's team. He is 3B who moved to the OF because of Alex Gordon, so he can play 3B, OF and no reason to think he can't play 1B. I think versatility is big for a club with a lot of holes in it, plus KC wants to dump his salary, as I think he is due 7 mil, so maybe they take Walker and a low level prospect, to save half of what they would pay Mark, and hope Jamie can be effective in KC since they need guys for their BP. I, also like the idea of getting another play with the initials M.T.

Pete, when Kevin was with the Sox and didn't get a lot of playing time, he was said to be unbearable, so even though he is older, maybe the O's are concerned that he truly wont accept a part time role on a sub par team, as other than that, I am not sure why they have zero interest in bringing him back unless they are going younger.


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Pete's reply: I don't know if the Baldelli signing is final in Boston, but I went ahead and updated the item.

Pete,
Any idea why the Orioles are so against Huff at first? Seems to me he can do a good job there. Then you can let some of the young players fill the role of DH. My guess would be that the O's think he had too much success at DH and do not want to have Huff to worry about the fielding aspect of the game. Do you know how Huff feels about it?

You and others may think MacPhail is the greatest thing since the EZ Pass, and he "may" be, but he has to overcome one inherent fatal flaw of the organization.... and that is they assume everything worth having is cheap. Quality costs. Once they get that through their bone headed brains, the better off this franchise will be.

Pete,

Why give something up when you can sign a free agent for nothing! With Adam Dunn sitting there, pudge can play some first, this doesn't seem too difficult. I like Baldelli but his health is a huge concern. Additionally, the Pirate keep talking about Adam LaRoach being available. I myself believe that Dunn provides exactly what we need a power bat to protect some of our better hitters and drive in runs!

Baldelli will be announced a Red Sox this week, I thought? And can he even play 1B?

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Pete's reply: Yes, it looks like he has agreed to terms with the Red Sox and I think he can play first base.

What happened to that Rule-5 guy Josh Phelps. He was pretty good. If I recall he was in our system but we opted for Jay Gibbons and the Yanks took him back. Is he still available?

Dont trade for Swisher. Dont give the yanks any of our young pitching which will come back to bite us. They will have to wait for free agency to steal our players! Baldelli/Wigginton would be better since they are a free agent

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that Millar would be a far better choice for the Orioles than anyone you mentioned above, Peter.
However, the BEST choice is still Aubrey Huff, leaving Luke Scott as the full time DH. Like Millar, Huff is very under-rated in the field and is a much better first-baseman than Scott is a left-fielder. Scott's scientific approach to hitting along with his natural ability makes him the perfect DH.


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Pete's reply: Don't know if I agree that Huff is an underrated first baseman.

We want Zaun, least he doesn't need steriods to preform. If Weiters needs someone to tudor him, I sure in hell don't want I-rod to show him where to get steriods. Has anyone else noticed I-rod getting smaller, can't hit, he's done.

Another idea Pete,
How about signing Ivan Rod for catcher/1st base for 2 years?

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Pete's reply: I think that's under consideration.

28-year-old prospect?


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Pete's reply: I believe the word I used was "project," not "prospect."

Pete,
This conversation needs to begin and end with Adam Dunn.

I would definitely go after Butler. The Royals have a glut of 1B, with 5 on their current roster (Mike Jacobs, Kila Ka'aihue, Ryan Shealy, Billy Butler and Ross Gload). In addition, their top draft pick from 2007, Mike Moustakas, is moving to 3B. The Royals already have Eric Gordon there, so he may move to 1B or the OF as well. This would be a PRIME TIME to go get Butler, who is a solid hitter, and someone we could mold into an average fielding 1B (he's not great right now).

In 772 AB's (and remember, he's just 22 years old), Butler has hit .282 with 19 homers, 107 RBI's, 45 doubles (a good indicator of future power). His OBP is not that great (.334), but hopefully that will come with more experience.

I'm not sure what Dayton Moore (Royals' GM) would require back in a trade, but they can use pitching, and we have a nice assortment of relievers and # 5 starters to choose from. Perhaps Hayden Penn for Butler? Thoughts?


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Pete's reply: Sounds okay to me, but I don't have any info on actual trade negotiations. Those names are really just players who might be attractive and available.

No to Swisher unless we can send minor league journeymen in return.

Baldelli would be an interesting choice, but if you could get Billy Butler from the Royals, that would probably be a better choice then most of the other options currently out there. Might be worth sending Olsen to the Royals if that trade would work.

Pete: If Swisher was really available , he is worth consideration, but if not Salazar is on the roster and proven he can play the position and hit major league pitching. He is 30 but has experience. He is a keeper and we already have him under contract.That leaves more $ for pitching candidates.

I am still amazed by the Orioles total lack of interest in Adam Dunn. Were talking about guy that has put up at least 40 homers for the past 5 years and over 100 rbi's in 4 of those 5 seasons. Add to the fact that he has a high OBP and is only 29. He doesn't seem to be in high demand either which means he could be had for a reasonable price.


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Pete's reply: Keep in mind that we don't know for sure that there's a total lack of interest. It just looks that way. I don't think they want to go in that direction, but Andy keeps some things to himself, so I can't say it's out of the question.

Baldelli = not healthy. How would h be a fit in Baltimore? Plus, Boston is in the process of signing him to a deal. Sexson = garbage. I know the guy can hit monster home runs, but since he had that standout season he has done nothing. Seattle released him in the MIDDLE of the year...not a good investment. I don't really know anything about Ty Wiggington.

As for the trades, those guys are viable options, but doesn't MacPhail want to be a nice guy and trade Roberts to a competitive team? The Indians are hardly that without CC now. The Royals competing would be like Schmuck walking on water. So we'd have to give up young pitching for those guys probably.

Why not put Huff at first base for a year, hope one of the left field dudes or the catcher can spot start there and draft a first basemen with that 4th pick? Get him signed early (hope Boras doesn't represent him) and maybe he can be like Evan Longoria.

I don't get it. The O's have already written off the next season and have decided on placeholders for many positions until the youngsters in the minors are ready. Given that, why not resign Millar? He's a decent, though not exceptional player, who plays with enthusiasm, is liked by the fans and won't cost a freighter full of cash.
If they aren't going to sign the long term 1st baseman, then what's wrong with Millar?

I think the O's should go with Rocco Baldelli, he seems like a low risk - maybe high rewards kinda guy. Plus that guy can hit the ball!

Billy Butler? Who are we gonna give them? Guthrie? Butler is untouchable.

Looks like Rocco is off the table. Reports are that the Red Sox are about to sign him and Smoltz too.
Slow and steady sure is painful while watching players we could use moving all around us.

The O's still haven't given up on Sexon since their pursuit eight years ago?!? No thanks -- 34 years old with creaky everything and is as likely to hit .220 as any player in the league. But at least Swisher is a viable option, right? I don't get what people see in him -- a guy with zero plate discipline who is a career .244 hitter. With only 25 HR power he's like Rob Deer-Lite. We had that guy once but we called him Jack Cust. Hey, Ken Phelps is still available, right?
Butler and Garko are great young talents, but would take too much to acquire. And Baldelli? I like the guy and think he's had a really unlucky career. I think he may have a couple of good years left in the tank, but can you really justify the injury risk? He's bound to break a wrist swinging a fungo bat.
Wigginton has a ton of value as a player who can play just about any position in a pinch and is a reasonable hitter, I'd be thrilled to get Shealy (he's like Luke Scott all over again) -- I bet he can be had pretty cheaply, too.

I really think its a mistake to not bring back Millar. He really puts a face on the club and helps keep things alive a bit when the club is in the middle of some big slump. He's also one of the few guys where that veteran presence crap actually worked for once.

I'd like to see Reimold get a shot. Huff at 1B (or traded if they can land a top prospect in return) and Scott/Reimold sharing the bulk of LF/DH seems to make the most sense to me.

It be nice to get swisher but they would want alot.

You're kidding, of course. I'd bet my Angelos bobblehead on Millar manning first this season. We can also count on a couple other things:
1. Markakis being driven out of town, Mussina-style.
2. Flanny doing color commentary. I think MF has info on Angelos, perhaps. What else to explain his long reign in Charm City?
3. Roberts will sign long-term because Angelos has a man-crush on him and will do anything to keep him.
4. Schmuckie will be 2-0 in his Ravens playoff predictions after the Ravens win again.


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Pete's reply: I think you're going to go 2-2. I think No. 2 and No. 4 are quite likely.

Pete,

What happened to the Hank Blalock talks with Texas? I thought Texas wanted to do a salary dump so if the O's took on a big chunk of his paycheck, they could send less back in the deal. Is that dead now?

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Pete's reply: I haven't heard a word about that lately.

what would be a surprise is the Os signing anyone other than Millar or anyone under 30 with potential that is cheap. So which guys left meet that category?...

Looks like Millar it is.

I haven't been happy with anyone the Orioles have had play first base since Palmeiro left after the 98 Season. I know he came back in 04 but he wasn't anything like he used to be, I guess because of steroids. What ever happened to Raffy?? It seem's like he dropped off the face of the earth

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Pete's reply: Raffy is living in Texas and teaching his kids how to hit.

Instead of signing leftovers or retreads to fill the roster, why not just trade the tradable parts (Huff, Sherrill, and Roberts (if he won't sign), and use that return and their prospects to fill the holes. Going to stink anyway this year so why waste the money or take up the space on the roster when the rest of the signings figure to be only one year players for the O's.

I'm not happy about it but realism has set in vs. daydreaming for better things in '09.

Maybe that kid in Chicago Hoffpair, hes not a kid at 28 but man can this guy hit. Throw him Pie and Cedeno for Roberts and that sounds like a good building block of a team.

Please take Billy Butler in exchange for pitching to come back to the Royals. Billy has a nice bat, but he does not get along with Jose Guillen at all and Guillen can't be moved anywhere. And while I have a Butler jersey in my closet, the guy plays a poor first base (good hands, bad feet). As a Royals Fan, I would prefer that they kept Shealy as he has more power than Butler and is above average in defensive ability at 1B. Finally, one poster listed Mark Teahen as an option. Mark Teahen has played first base before, including in 2007. In fact, Teahen has played all 3 OF positions, 1B and 3B, and is the 2nd fastest player on the present team. I am hoping that the Royals keep him, in spite of his cost, as he is a clubhouse leader who has commented openly on more than one occasion about the distraction that is Jose Guillen. Pete, do you think that the O's could have Jose play first?


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Pete's reply: I think the Orioles have had their share of troubled players.

Sign Palmeiro. haha

Swisher has no plate discipline? Swisher has walked 279 times the past 3 years. That is about 93 walks a season. I think he is pretty disciplined at the plate. His problem last year was Ozzie tried to make him the lead off hitter. And it screwed up his apporach.

Three Way Trade:

Yankees get: 2B B.Roberts, CF M.Cameron
Orioles get: 1B N.Swisher, 2B R.Cano
Brewers get: RP G.Sherrill, CF M.Cabrera

Of course this idea looked better before Mil signed Hoffman.

Let's do something, let us "fans" know where we're going. Riding out another year of 4th place? There are several 1st base solid, youing hitters on KC's roster, we can give up a pitcher or two, if they'll take them, but let's do something.
Sign Markakis & Jones to long term, that would make us happy in that respect. You,ll make fans happy to know you value Nick as much as we do, so do it!

how about Javy Lopez at first base. I think he would be a cheap pick up.

Pete,

I have yet to see a reason as to why Huff is not a consideration at first base for the next several years. how much of a liability could he possibly be, first base doesn't get much heat at that corner, and he is a proven hitter. I don't get it?? Could you throw in your 2 cents on this one. And Millar would be a cheap stop-gap and clubhouse leader, but certainly not an answer beyond spot starter.


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Pete's reply: I personally think first base is a highly underrated defensive position. Huff is passable there, but if you can improve your defense anywhere on the field, you should do that.

First base is one of the least of our problems, Millar brings so much more beside being a clutch guy and locker room leader. Huff had an up year, this sounds like change just for the sake of change. Get pitching, at least try to make next year a little interesting. I live in OC, so I have another outlet when they die in June.

I strongly disagree with all those who accuse the Orioles of being "cheap". No other team in MLB is paying $12 million for someone (Jamie Walker) to throw batting practice.

Pete,

Any chance of getting a list of arbitration-eligible players for the Orioles for the coming season? Thanks!

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Pete's reply: Markakis, Sherrill, Ray and, I think, Freel.

What about Oscar Salazar? He's had an OPS >.800 for two years in the minors, and in September last year knocked 5 homers in just 81 at bats (.880 OPS in Sep with the O's). Plus he's just been crushing everything in Venezuela. And he can play 1st pretty well.

I realize he's not young, but I'd far prefer him for his age 30-35 seasons to any other washed-up free agent (Sexson? are you kidding?) or trade target with less upside and a much higher cost (either in dollars or prospects). Heck, if he just repeats last September over the course of a whole season he'll hit 30+ home runs and come close to 100 RBIs!

We've already got our first baseman, and his name is Oscar Salazar.

I'd rather sign a lower level free agent first baseman than trade any of the prospects in our minor league system to get one.
With all the free agents still available, the dam has to break soon.
We're only 5 weeks till spring training and our rotation looks like:
1. Guthrie
2. Uehara
3. Olson
4. Hendrickson
5. Penn
THIS IS BIRDLAND! What a train wreck!

One problem with pencilling in Huff at first is the he is currently the only backup to Mora I believe. Has Freel played any 3B? If Millar is on the team, I feel better about starting Huff at first, knowing that he can shift to third without leaving a hole at first if Mora is out short term.

Pete

Even the bad FA (Baldelli) don't want to talk to us!

Well there seems to be a lot of difference of opinions. Pete, you are right on this one. The Yankees probably will not trade with us. I think they should just concentrate on pitching and a catcher and let Huff man first base. Forget Millar, really not an impact player. I am sure he will land somewhere but it would be a mistake for a rebuilding team.

I still say we should stick with Salazar and Huff at 1B and hope Huff plays well enough that someone will want him around the break for some decent prospects.

Chuck,

We have the 5th pick in the draft and most likely we will end up with one of three players. Your 1B would be Dustin Ackley, who also played CF at UNC (if BRob extends then we get a UNC right side of the infield). I'm hoping Grant Green (SS from USC) falls to us. He'd probably be ready by the time Izturis' contract is up. But if we don't get one of those two, we're probably looking at Aaron Crow, the RHP that the Nationals failed to sign last year, who prrojects as a top of the rotation starter. All three would be good pickups in my opinion. Considering we intend to compete in a year or two, we shouldn't even be looking at high school prospects.

Any thoughts on the draft yet Pete, or still too early for you to call?


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Pete's reply: Yeah, we might be getting ahead of ourselves.

What is wrong with Doug Mientkiewicw? Was he not a decent first baseman a few years ago? Why not give him a shot with incentive layden contract.

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Pete's reply: Outstanding defensive guy.

Trading with the Yankees would be a surprise, yes, but not a total surprise. After all, one of the most important trades in Orioles' history was this one.

June 15, 1976: New York trades Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, Scott McGregor, Rick Dempsey, and Dave Pagan to the Baltimore Orioles for Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson, Ellie Hendricks, and Jimmy Freeman.

the smart move is to trade for daric barton. He is a very nice prospect and mlb ready. He would come a littlr cheaper now that giambi has signed.

I do not think we need to go outside
the existing roster for 1st base..
we have scott and huff...why can't we
use both as dh's and 1st base???
in addition, millar should be considered for a backup role.he is good in the clubhouse and still has
sting in his bat. i think all the names
mentioned in this blog are no better
than what we have...spend $$$'s on
pitching-pitching-pitching

Peter. On the subject of the Roberts extension, given that the market is still crazy-i.e.Ibanez and Bradley getting 10 mill per year, what will it take to get Roberts signed?
I'm guessing 4 years-50 mill....

Seems like the issue is whether to get a "name" (Rocco, Wiggington, Dunn, Sexon, Blalock, Swisher) as a patch over.

or...

getting under-used/newer talent (Garko, Shealy, Butler). Players that need time in a MLB line up to hone their skills and realize/raise their profile. Much more in line with "re-building".

There are plenty of teams loaded up with 1st base prospects (i think the Royals, A's, and Rangers are three shinning examples) and would make very good trade partners. And they all need pitching talent. I think Shealy makes a bunch of sense--could be had "cheaply" and have a moderate to big impact.

WHAT IN THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE???
What does Huff have to do in order to get the respect he deserves?
The guy hits everybody and is the absolute best option at 1B.
BTW, Peter, I didn't say he was an under-rated first-baseman.... I said he was under-rated in the field..... and what I meant was that at 3B or 1B, he doesn't get the respect he deserves.
Apparently, he doesn't get it at bat either..... at least not from the fans here.
He sure got it from pitchers around the league all during 2008 though, didn't he?

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Pete's reply: Indeed he did. The O's can only hope he can do that again. He'll play every day. Don't know why you're concerned about that.

Pete,

Nick Swisher is not really an upgrade over Millar. Swisher is a career .244 hitter who hit .219 last year and struck out 135 times. That's a trade i hope we DON'T make.

I don't think Dunn is the guy we need, the 40 HRs go along with 180 strikeouts, big salary, and average at best defense at 1B.

Pete -- So do you HAVE an informed opinion about Huff at first base and in the field generally? Or is your professional baseball writer opinion "I don't know" and (apparently) you're not interested in find out and letting us know?


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Pete's reply: I'm confused. Not sure what you're getting at. Huff is considered an average first baseman at best. He's also a left-handed hitter and they're looking for RH balance. He'll play first sometimes, but probably not full-time even if they come up empty in their search for another first baseman.

Pete,

This is a no brainer, DUNN! 40 Dingers, 100 RBI and batting between Nick and Huff and right handed, solves alot of problems. If we can pay a quesitionable 5 starter from Japan $5M a year for two years with $6 Million worth of easily obtainable incentives, what up with a proven run producer?

Git r dunn

How about Calvin Pickering at 1B? :)

I'm afraid I would have to equate selling Oriole's season tickets with selling refrigerators to Eskimos. Not one major league signing...Unbelievable. My team has hit rock bottom (at least I hope they can't get any worse) Why are they doing this?

Glenn Davis.

Let's get Dunn. Being near DC and Nats, I'd hate to see them make more meaningful moves than O's. I'd love to see us get well before they do.

Bring back Jay Gibbons. He is a budding star at 1B!!!

Keith Rowe,

Last I knew Dunn wasn't swinging and missing from the right side of the plate. Not so much of a no brainer now is it?

any chance of Reimhold or Montanez making a move to firstbase?

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Pete's reply: I suppose it's possible Montanez might get some innings there this spring. Don't think they've given up on Reimold as an outfielder.

SAMUEL Q. HORN

I've got a completely irrational yet very intriguing idea. Manny Ramirez sign him to a 1 year deal 20 mil with a club otption for year 2 at 25 according to his current market this would be a huge offer for him. let him DH and play a little in the field let Huff play first. Trade at the deadline. I know crazy but he is one of the best hitters in the game sign the 37 year old to get younger. He might take it a chance to stick it to the Red Sox at midseason jump to a contender more money and another chance at free agency when the market may be a little better and certainly not worse.

If were going to think outside the box why not sign the best player available for less then what tex got. And make our team better this year and years to come.


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Pete's reply: Pretty sure he could get that deal from about 20 other teams if he was willing to settle for that. But I like the fact that you're looking for solutions.

I agree with Armin, Wigginton is a good upgrade offensively. Then we can go Oscar or Huff part-time. We'll miss Millar's OBP and lockeroom ambience for sure but we have to get some pop in the line up. I do like the Tehean idea from Birdland. I've seen him play quite a bit and he is very solid def. and off. I guess what I'm saying is there are still some good upgrades to get after.

Pete,
I guess I took a hit or two because I suggested Montanez could play first base. Wow it would seem that Oriole fans would like to see someone out of their minor league system that won a triple crown, eventhough it was at Double A, get an oppurtunity to play.The guy is 27 and if we are building why shouldn't he be given a chance.

i said it then and i'll say it now. the o's will regret not drafting justin smoak (1b, usc)in the draft. a younf teixeira. too many young pitchers in the org. and not enough good young position players. what do you you think, pete?


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Pete's reply: I think you're right. They've been position-challenged for years at the player development level.

As important as it is to have a 1st baseman with power, until we can depend on at least three of the guys in the rotation we need as much defense as we can get. Three to two sounds better than nine to six even if they are both losses.

Pete,writing you from upstate NY;not many Oriole fans up here! I have been reading the blogs and feel like some of the people that if we can somehow acquire either Butler(275,11hr,55rbi)or Tehean(255,15hr,59rbi) that would help out very much.I believe it would also give the O's money to entice B.Roberts to sign.What do you think.Thanks,Jack N.

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Pete's reply: Thanks for writing. I think a solid right-handed first baseman would be a big plus, but don't think there are any financial implications. They've got plenty of money to sign Brian Roberts if they want to...and he wants to.

Garrett's idea is interesting, but could go bad in a hurry if Manny went all Sammy on us. (I know, I know, I advocated getting Manny a few weeks ago, but I've changed my mind.)

Pete,

My office overlooks the Durham Bulls Ballpark. Norfolk opens their season at Durham. I know a lot will change between now and opening day (signing Zaun or Pudge) but what percent chance now do you think I have of seeing Wieters play in early April in AAA?


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Pete's reply: I would say 80 percent you see him play. They probably will wait a month or so to bring him up.

Arbitration eligibles are: Sherrill, Markakis, Roberts & Ray. You forgot Roberts and Freel is on the second yr of a 2 year deal.

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Pete's reply: Roberts isn't an arbitration guy. The list actually is Sherrill, Ray, Scott and Markakis.

If this year is again a building year and we really have no shot at it, why not give a young promising bat a chance? Brandon Snyder put some serious numbers up in Hawaii last year, and I believe did well in the minors this year. Not a bad fallback if no FAs signed or Oscar used.

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Pete's reply: They like him, but they aren't going to rush him.

Correction: Arbitration eligibles are: Jeremy Guthrie rhp 2.130 yrs
Nick Markakis of 3.000 yrs
Chris Ray rhp 3.112 yrs
Luke Scott of 2.144 yrs*
George Sherrill lhp 3.147 yrs

Freel is signed thru 2009 as is Roberts


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Pete's reply: Jeremy Guthrie is not a super-2. He will be eligible next year.

Can you help me understand why we would seriously consider Richie Sexson when Kevin Millar wants to come back? It seems to me like Millar is far better fielder and hitter. Why don't we want him back? Is it price?

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Pete's reply: I just think they want to change directions.

Oscar Salazar is probably as good, if not better than anyone mentioned. He is definately a better fielder. It seems like it would be the best idea to keep the relatively cheap Salazar and wait until there is someone clearly better that fits into the organizational plan. Guys like Wigginton, Shealy, Butler, or Sexson would be expensive stop gaps that probably would not make the O's any more competitive.

I am going to repeat my answer from two days ago. The Padres have a first baseman stuck behind Gonzalez. His name is Blanks and he is big. 6'6" 280. He hit 313 at AA last year with a lot of power. And he plays good defense. We should be able to put together a nice package of young pitchers to trade for him without including Arrieta, Tillman or Matisz. He would be a solution at first for years to come, not just a two year fill in.

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Pete's reply: Sounds interesting, but I haven't heard anything about that scenario. Guess you have to hope Andy is reading us.

I like Wigginton too. Plays third and first w/some real pop.Frankly I'd offer him a three-year deal.There's nothing in the minors that's remotely close and I don't think Wigginton w/break the bank.

Ideally though, they should trade for a young hitter who's blocked elsewhere.

Wigginton is the guy, because he can also play 2B and 3B and brings a lunch-pail attitude that Orioles Fans will appreciate. Living in New York, I was sorry to see the Mets let him go.

ml

Funny how everyone screams about how we have no rotation beyond Guthrie, then we sign one back-end guy from Japan and now everyone is ready to trade all of our young pitching to the Royals and Rangers. I would say this is a ridiculous thought process but it is just the sort of decisions that have been made in the warehouse over the last 10 years, never committing to contending or getting young. We need to let McPhail carry out his plan and not have a 30 second attention span.

Pete, how does one get a job where he writes three paragraphs a few times each day and then gets paid tons of money?

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Pete's reply: I don't know, but when I find out I'm not going to tell anybody else. I do, by the way, write two columns a week and appear regularly in the Faceoff section to go along with all those radio shows. Be sure and tune in at noon tomorrow for "The Week in Review" on WBAL.

how about jeff kent

XD23--
No, Swisher has no plate discipline. Discipline is not solely measured by BB's, it is measured by whether a player knows when it is the right time to swing the bat. I see him as exactly like Jack Cust . He has the potential to hit the ball very hard and very far, but you're gonna walk and strikeout a ton if you never get the barrel of the bat off your shoulder (see my little league career). His HR's are just painful reminders that he could hit a lot more than he does.

For his career Swisher has walked or struck out 36% of his plate appearances (and 65% of that 36% is K's) -- that means he's just standing there wondering what to do more way too often and that is the definition of a lack of plate discipline. Plus he has just 27 intentional walks in his career which is a sign that pitchers sure don't fear him.

But Nick definitely needs to go somewhere where they'll let him grow whatever that thing was on his chin again --I need a good laugh.


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Pete's reply: I don't remember anyone presenting him as the second coming of Mark Teixeira.

I like the Sam Horn resolution as stated above.

GOD THIS IS PATHETIC
Now you know how a third world country feels, we eat scraps while the Yankeefellow's feast.

MLB REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!

Hello, Braves fan here.

How did you guys get lucky enough to get Frank Wren ran out of town? I am a representative of very large amount of peed off Braves fans who want this guys head on a platter.

I have to agree with an earlier post. Oscar Salazar has paid his dues and met every challenge. He is our first baseman to start 2009. Why would you want to spend bloated money to eventual bloated players?

Salazar is a young 30 and plays younger than his age. I'd rather have a solid fielding first baseman with .300 BA potential, moderate power, good eye at the plate, and a competitive streak over an over paid ego-maniac any day of the week.

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Pete's reply: I don't dispute that Oscar has paid his dues, but I don't know about him meeting "every challenge." He's got 102 career at-bats and six home runs at the major league level. In the minors, he's a career .283 hitter (at all levels) with about 116 homers and 607 RBI in about 3600 at-bats, and only 14 of those homers are above Double-A. In reality, he has has two great Double-A seasons and one great Single-A season over an 11-year minor league career. I'm for giving him a chance this spring, but let's not get carried away.

Dixie Dawg:
Baltimore has no problem running guys out of town. It's called the Peter Principle. If an employee is extremely competent and/or popular, Angelos fires him. Just ask John Lowenstein, Jon Miller, Davey Johnson, Doug Melvin, Pat Gillick et al. BTW, we would gladly take Wren back if Atlanta would take Angelos, and you could throw in John Shuerholz, one of the greatest GMs in MLB history, who is from Baltimore, We all know how much native Marylanders are dying to come to the Orioles.

Rosenthal states the O's are interested in Jim Edmunds ( to play first base ) ???
Heard that one Pete ?

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Pete's reply: No, I haven't. I thought the O's were looking for a right-handed hitter.

STill don't understand the big to do over Tex. Look at the numbers from last year:

Tex: R-102, HR-33, RBI-121, SLG-.541, AVG-.190, 28 years old, $22 million a year.

Huff: R-96, HR-32, RBI-108, SLG-.552, AVG- .304, 32 years old, $8 million a year.

Numbers look about the same, and we get Huff for 1/3 the cost. Fielding percentage is not too different, why was all the fuss over Tex when Huff is already here with similiar numbers???

Upstate New York? Kansas City? Veritable suburbs. I'm writing from the Red Sea about 30 miles south of Suez (proving that this truely is an international blog) and from here it looks like a great deal of heat with very little light. It takes 3-5 years to build a winner and you can'y count the years before AM as everybody seems to want to do. We're only beginning the second year people! Develope pitching and defense with the empasis on develope. I've been suffering as long as anybody with this team, but it takes patience.

It's not a matter of the Orioles trying to sign free agents,they can"t.If you were a free agent would you want to play in Baltimore?With Baltimore's pitching,they could loose 110 games.

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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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