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February 2, 2009

Nationals pick up another ex-Oriole

cintron.jpgThe Washington Nationals have been quietly stocking their organization with ex-Orioles, most recently signing shortstop Alex Cintron to a minor league contract (according to Baseball America), perhaps to compete with fellow former O's shortstop Freddy Bynum for a utility role. Of course, earlier this spring, the Nats signed pitcher Daniel Cabrera when he was released by the O's and also have added former Orioles outfielder Corey Patterson.

Radio tonight: I'll be holding down the fort again at WBAL (1090 AM) this week from 6-9 on Sportsline. We'll talk about the Michael Phelps situation with Sun sportswriter Kevin Van Valkenburg during the first hour, then look ahead to the NFL offseason with Dan Shonka, GM and national scout for the pro football scouting Web site Later in the program, Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala will jump in to talk about the upcoming Faceoff Classic. If you're out of signal range, go to and click on the "Listen Live" icon.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 4:20 PM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Just baseball


What is this, we're buying all of the Cubs rejects and the Nationals are getting ours?

thought it was odd to read that kranitz hadn't seen hill pitch since chicago and that he'd have to take a look at him to see what he's doing wrong. i would expect AM to show recent tape to kranitz for his input before making trade.

ragardless, i like the trade.

thought it was odd to read that kranitz hadn't seen hill pitch since chicago and that he'd have to take a look at him to see what he's doing wrong. i would expect AM to show recent tape to kranitz for his input before making trade.

regardless, i like the trade.

too funny. i'm beyond words about the Nats pickups.

Thanks for the heads-up about your first-hour topic on BAL. Now I can listen to another station without fear I might be missing something interesting. I'll tune in to your show after 7. appears so.

The Nats may be fielding one of the worst teams in ML history this season. Fans from both beltways will be staying home this summer.

I do not think any organization would think of Pie and Hill as rejects.

But...I do think that Cintron and Bynum fit the bill as the Player to be named later types..... after thoughts and AAA flyers....


Any news on Looper?

Pete's reply: No, but I would guess he's close to signing with somebody.

Hi Peter.Love your blog and am a frequent listener to WBAL thanks for all the info.My question is weather the Markakis signing is a sign of Angelos' intent to build a competitive team or he felt compelled given there shared heritage.I havent seen that adressed and it seems like a fair inquiry.

Pete's reply: I suppose it's possible he was looser with the purse strings for Nick because he's a fellow Greek, but I doubt that. We'll have to wait and see if he follows through with other players and with the long-term plan.

I don't understand why fans seem so unhappy about the Orioles getting what they call are the Cubs' "rejects." I think the deals for Pie and Hill are great for the O's. We didn't give up a whole lot for Pie and nothing YET for Hill. And they both look to be solid young players with a lot of upside.

As for the Nationals, I don't really care. They can have Cabrera and Cintron. Someday they'll consider an actual rebuilding project like the Orioles are in the middle of right now.

Off topic Pete, but I've got to think the Hill deal is going to generate a lot of discussion. In 2005 and 2006, this guy didn't just have good numbers in AAA, but Randy Johnson kind of numbers.

2.4 walks and 13 Ks per 9 innings in 05; two walks and 12 ks in 06. WOW!!!! He did it for a half season for the Cubs in 07, averaging 3 walks and 8 and a half Ks.

If we didn't give away too much if he flames out, it looks like a good gamble. The upside is potentially enormous if he goes the right way.


The line up for that show tonight looks brutal. You should have topped it off with Nascar or perhaps WWF.

That's right - this is sticking with AM grand plan! Sooner or later they will have to spend some money. Hope there are still fans around to see it.

This kinda like a Twilight Zone episode, the gNats are turning in to the O's of yesteryear and the Tampa Bay Lightning turned into the Caps of yesteryear. Do do do do.

....And this is worse then stocking up on ex-Cubs how?

Pete's reply: Well, I think the Cubs are a slightly better team than the Orioles, don't you?

The Nats have Oriole envy! I guess from where they're sitting, 68 wins looks pretty good, but damn, to be picking through the O's leftovers is pretty sad. The only guy worth taking a shot on was D.C., and if I were them, I certainly wouldn't be counting on him to fill a spot on the roster.

That said, I've been checking out mock drafts lately and noticed one site listing the O's taking Aaron Crowe with the 5th pick, (Nats 1st rounder that went unsigned last year). I know mock drafts are just that, but tell the irony isn't delicious?

Are you serious!!!!!!! Nat's were making some nice trades and trying to sign some good players , why waste time with him.

I'm not sure that signing guys that aren't good enough to make the Orioles is the fastest way to improve an organization. The Nats may be one of the few teams that could get better with O's castoffs.

If we couldnt make Daniel Cabrera throw strikes what makes us think we can make Hill throw strikes again? Daniel Cabrera may have been a head case but honestly we dont do well with teaching anyone to throw the ball over the plate, good stuff or not.

Well, you see now that guys that don't throw the ball over the plate are being shipped out of this organization?

Daniel Cabrera, bye bye.
Garrett Olson, see ya.
Brian Burres, DFA, so long if you don't make it back.

If Liz doesn't make an adjustment soon I can see him being shipped out after a trial in a reliever role first.

Hill at least threw strikes at one time. I've read a few things that it seems more mechanical than mental, and he had back problems last year which could have thrown off his mechanics. If Hill doesn't pan out, we don't lose much.

Pete -

I know this ground has been covered more than once but with the Mets signing Oliver Perez today, I feel the need to bring it up again.

The Orioles NEED to get involved with Ben Sheets...NOW. With the Mets seemingly out of the picture, the only interested party for Sheets is Texas and their interest is mild.

That means - as if he wasn't already - Sheets is a HUGE bargain. I'm guessing - just from the numbers I see in various reports - that Sheets could be had for 2 years and $15 million.

Are you kidding me? A true ace - one of the best pitchers in baseball - for that little money?????

Now - OF COURSE - there is risk with Sheets. But it really makes me scratch my head when people talk about the health risk with Sheets - like he is the only pitcher that's a risk.

Folks, ALL players and in particular pitchers are risks. Granted, some more than others and Sheets certainly falls in the "much more" category but I promise you this - if anyone thinks AJ Burnett is a safer bet at 5 years and $82 mill vs. $15 for Sheets YOU ARE CRAZY.

The Orioles owe it to their fans to AT LEAST sniff around with the agent for Sheets, check out the medical records and see what it looks like.

The upside is too large and the current rotation is too crappy not to.

i tell ya some of you so called fans no nothing, why are you trashing hill cuz he had one bad year? seriously learn something him and everyone in in our rotation except guthrie is a stop gap guy... do you hinestly think koji will be any good? doubt it... that bum the yankees have had better stats in japan then koji. hill will be better then him... also its really stupiod about saying how bad pie is. he is a PROSPECT still give the kid a chance he will only be 24 at start of seasonlet him get some at bats befor you say anything so i would hardly call these guys rejects. so think twice orioles fans remeber it could be worse we could have ponson, D-cab, matt riley, and damion moss as our pitchers

I thought Cintron was at least decent, maybe the best of the sub-par lot the O's had at SS last season. Every other one of them, geez sign if they want but that looks like one crappy team, maybe even worse than last year.

I am a little shocked that people are so upset over trading a player to be named later for Hill, when the guy had 1 bad year. If he doesn't regain his old form, we aren't out a whole heck of a lot considering this player is based on what Hill does for the O's.

I'm more shocked at how many people want Sheets, as haven't we done the overpay for injury prone guys for the last decade? Nobody is rushing to sign this guy, so doesn't that raise a red flag? There is always a chance that a player gets hurts (see Belle), but to sign someone who is constantly hurt, is not wise. I would rather have Looper, who may give you 190-200 innings and let the BP not have to enter the game in the 3rd, every once and a while.

Pete, if you were the GM of the O's besides hiring me as your 1st move, would you look into seeing what it would take to get Adam Dunn? At this point, a guy like Dunn, has to be upset and want to show the teams that passed him, they missed out and we still need offense, as no way can you count on Mora and Huff to duplicate what they did last season. If the O's thought they didn't need power, they wouldn't look at Sexson or Wigginton. I know Dunn strikeouts a lot, but we haven't had a guy who hits HRs like him, for some time now.

Come one Pete, the signing of Rich Hill and now Ty Wigginton and not a mention from and Phelps need to get your heads out of the clouds.

Pete's reply: Yes, I'm a little slow out of the box today.


I was happy when the Orioles got rid of Cabrera, Olson and Bedard because I think they all had some sort of head problems. Daniel seemed to have trouble of listening to too many people and most of them gave him wrong advice. Bedard seemed he was more afraid of getting hurt and always opted out of any situation that could lead to him hurting his arm. And, Olson always seemed to lack confidence in himself and looked like a "deer in the headlights" everytime he looked in for the sign. The interesting thing I see with a lot of these new pictures is they are seem to have confidence in themselves and have their heads on straight. Do you agree, or is my assessment wrong?
Keep up the good work. I enjoy your 1 hour show every night and your blogs during spring training.


Pete's reply: Probably a little early to judge that. Nobody has pitched more than two innings. But I like the way it looks so far. - great domain name for blog like this)))
my blog:

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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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