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February 1, 2009

Orioles: Hill may be sooner, not later

I don't have a lot of inside info on this -- other than what I steal daily from Orioles beat writer Jeff Zrebiec -- but I've got to believe the Orioles nail down the deal for pitching reclamation project Rich Hill in the next day or two if they're going to do it at all.

The Orioles seem to have the inside track on all the surplus Cubs prospects, but now that everyone knows Hill is available, you've got to believe some other teams will try to get involved if the O's don't finalize the thing soon. We've heard the Mariners also have been sniffing around and maybe the Royals. And why not? The guy had some pretty impressive stats a couple of years ago.

It's possible that Andy MacPhail is waiting to see if he can sign free agent Braden Looper. They may be willing to acquire both pitchers, but there is the small matter of moving players off the 40-man roster to make room, so maybe Andy is just going to take one of the other.

Of course, you're probably wondering what I'm doing poking around the baseball world while the Super Bowl is going on, but this is a full-service blog and I know there are some non-football fans out there surfing the net.

This one's for you.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:05 PM | | Comments (41)
Categories: Just baseball


Peter I read on another website that the Kansas City Royals also have a good chance of trading for Rich Hill. But they did not give anything who the Royals are giving up.

Pete's reply: Haven't heard. I think the O's get him tomorrow, but who knows?


Your writing a blog for non-football fans? Such an act (the non-football fans) would be considered unpatriotic or traitorous in my neck of the woods, Pennsylvania! But keep them coming, my team the Deadskins are resting in peace!

Just got back from watching the Great 8 drop a hat trick on the Senators and I'm seeing what I expected. Ari is a finesse team and Pitt is punching them in the mouth on both sides of the ball. I expect a blowout.

In McPhail I trust, but at what point does this become a little too much like Spurrier and his former Gators in the NFL? But if we do have some sort of magic tonic for former Cubbies, I say drink up!

you are a trooper Pete !

That's good Pete. I think he makes the roster not Opening Day, but sometime next year.

Thanks for poking around baseball. There are maybe ten people in this town who give a damn about the Super Bowl, and nine of those ten have money on it.

I vote for Hill over Looper in a heartbeat. Hill has tons of potential, something a rebuilding team needs. Looper is here to eat some innings and will be gone soon; perhaps - like Trax - not soon enough.

Pete's reply: The Super Bowl was almost certainly still the hottest show on TV in Baltimore. It's still the Super Bowl. And Bruce was great.

I am a football fan but who can stand to watch the steelers?
Honestly I had written off the Orioles for the year and maybe for life. This off season Andy has made some very interesting moves and I am really liking our outfield Looks like the Twins of the early 90's young fast and decent batting avgs Some young pitching steps up and Andy looks like a baseball genius.

Yeah Pete, I'm one of 'em. The game is on as I write but I'm not really interested. I am interested in the O's winter acquisitions, whether they make any sense or not. Hill makes sense if he regains his control. If he bombs, then we'll look back on this trade as a head-scratcher and wonder what was the warehouse thinking. Looper makes sense no matter how you analyze it.

Hey, thanks for the nod to the baseball fanatics Pete. Out of curiosity, if you had to choose either Hill or Looper which would you go with?

Pete's reply: Looper, but they could still end up with both.

Thanks, Peter! Some of us can watch TV and blog at the same time, and I ALWAYS have time for news on my Orioles!

I like Rich Hill and hope the O's can sign him. LOADS of upside with him...reminds me a bit of Oliver Perez in that I think his problems are between the ears, not in his shoulder or elbow.


And I thank you for it. Bruce was the only reason to watch, anyway. And he was worth every second.

Yes, Pete after that 100-yard disaster, I am still watching through two barely parted fingers. Still, this Hill thing intrigues me more than a sixth Steelers title hand-delivered by an Arizona Cardinals team apparently willing to do anything to lose. Go figure.

I have to ask: How is Hill better than Garrett Olson? How is giving up one lefty with control problems for another a plus? Is there some upside to Hill that Olson didn't have? Idon't see a lot of Cubs games, so help me out here.

Pete's reply: Sure there is, because of the numbers he put up two years ago, but it will be hard reclaiming them.

Thanks Pete. I turned the bowl off after the Harison pick to end the half lookin for more baseball info on the web. you hooked me up at a time when everyone outside of Balt. and Arz. is kssin the butts of the Black and Gold. Much love


.... or some of us can multi-task while watching the game.

Thanks for the Orioles post, Pete.

I am a football fan, keeping an eye on the SB. But I'd rather see what you have to say about the Birds than watch the over-hyped commercials.

Hill's story sounds familiar. Didn't the Orioles just get rid of a starting pitcher with a ton of talent and potential, who couldn't find the strike zone?

What's a Super Bowl? Pitchers & Catchers report in less than two weeks.

I'm down for acquiring any arms that are available. How does that old adage go? It takes 20 pitching prospects to fill out a 5-man MLB rotation? Well, we've got Guthrie to fill one of those slots, and another 12-15 guys (depending on who you count) to fill the other 4 slots.

I've gotta like the odds of finding at least one ace in our farm system.

You're fine talking baseball during the Super Bowl cuz the game has been uber boring...zzzzz

I take back what I said earlier.... 4Q now and the game is much better!

Hey, Pete.

If if between us and the Pirates for Looper, we have a decent rotation for '08, Hill or no. (Not a damn thing wrong with Chris Waters.)

"Of course, you're probably wondering what I'm doing poking around the baseball world while the Super Bowl is going on, but this is a full-service blog and I know there are some non-football fans out there surfing the net."

More like Fans who hate the steelers and don't wanna watch them luck they're way to another title

Football ended in this town 2 weeks ago Schmuck, make with the baseball info

Thanks for the post Pete. I am a football fan but I'm such a ravens fan that I can't stand to watch the steelers play in the super bowl so I'm glad there is an update on the hill situation to indulge me.
I think this is a pretty safe move as long as they're not giving up much. Hopefully hill can regain his form, if not it's probably not that big of a loss. I've heard that hill is a really good guy too, it never hurts to have character guys around!

I think it would be a great move to get Hill. He could be our # 4 or 5 guy easy if he's even close to what he was just a couple of seasons ago. I also wouldn't mind us signing looper to a good 2 - 3 year deal either.

What do you think the percentage of landing both Hill and Looper are Pete?

I'm saying it's at around 45% right now.

Pete's reply: I think Hill's close to 100 percent and Looper is probably 40 percent, which would make the percentage of signing both about 40 percent. Good call.


Baseball is still more of a universal language than football, and will probably be for years to come. You don't hear sports radio shows talking much football in June, whereas baseball is usually chatted up all year 'round. With charcaters like the Steinbrenner mob and Manny Ramirez, there's usually always something semi-newsworthy coming out of the baseball grist mill.

I thought Looper was only good with Dave Duncan?

Pete, Orioles just traded for Gavin Floyd. They gave up Arrieta and Scott. Your thoughts?

Ok ok kidding. But seriously, what's going on with CHW and the Floyd rumors? I'd rather have him than Hill. . .I guess PTBN is easier to give up than B-Rob.

Pete's reply: Both sides denied there was anything to that rumor.

Why is trading for a player who can't throw the ball over the plate and who got whacked around in MLB last year and in winter ball of all places making such news? Hill might be the reach of all reaches by the O's. Mazzone, and for arguments sake, kranitz, are pretty good pitching coaches. And they had little or no luck with the O's stable of inadequates, at least the starting staff. Why Hill will be any different beats the hell out of me.
But then again,noone is asking me to figure out why the Cubs version of Steve Blass suddenly lost the plate.
I'd say maybe glasses, but they never really helped Daniel. Well maybe they helped him notice that it was ARod at the plate so it was time to heave one at the batter.But the again, Daniel had no clue where the ball was going when it left his hand anyway.
hey, maybe thats the first question you ask Hill...son, have you any idea where the ball may be going when you release it from your hand?

Pete's reply: It's not without logic. He had success working with Kranitz and Alan Dunn in the past, and he's a low-risk, high-upside gamble. I think the odds are against the Orioles rehabbing his command, but I will applaud the effort if they complete the deal.

I know we are in rebuilding mode and in this economic climate, payroll is likely in issue, but I still have to ask, why isnt the front office atleast fielding a team that can compete. Our starting rotation would have trouble getting outs in AAA. The free agent market is still strong and we could field a team that is competitive for a bargain. We could have a decent starting rotation if we make a move; Ben Sheets (would be a good pick up depending on his compensatory draft picks)?? Garland (too late now)? oliver perez? These guys can be had for a discount, though I would not sign Sheets if it means losing valuable draft picks.

Not too mention how much offense is still available, Dunn, Cabrera, Abreu etc.

This rotation just seems so awful, ehhh.

Thanks for the update Pete. I had to work anyhow during the game and read this long after it. I don't understand the bloggers that are saying, "didn't we just get rid of a lefthanded starter with plenty of upside and potential that couldn't find the plate?". Well Olsen didn't have fabulous numbers ever like Hill did just 2 years ago. If they are trading for him with just PTBNL then it's a no-brainer. I hope they can get Looper too. Even if we have to chance the 40 man roster it's worth it. You can't have too many pitchers.

Other bloggers who live in the Baltimore vicinity don't realize there are expatriot Marylanders all over the country and world who read this blog for Oriole updates because they have been diehart fans for life.

Ok now Go Redskins in 09!

Pete, which 2 O's will be moved off the 40 man roster in your opinion if we get Hill and Looper? I ask for two because we all know once Andy makes one move, its followed by another and another.

You have to admit Pete, this has been a very interesting winter with the Orioles, from the Tex saga to our 1st Japanese player to Markakis getting his extension.

Pete's reply: I agree that it has been an interesting offseason. I'm not ready to pick two roster moves, but I think Scott Moore may be destined for the waiver wire.

hey pete your a good writer but i think your wrong on this one, i would love to see both looper and hill but if we only get one i hope its hill. his stats befro last year were inpressive and he never really had any control problems not even in minors! he had on bad year, cant every pitcher have a bad year? i think he will step up and be a good pitcher once again ala cliff lee, he will win 14 games and have an era a little above four. and all you people comparing him to D-cab get out of here. he is NO WHERE CLOSE how man yyears was Dcab consistent? none! hill has had one bad season!!! this pick up would be a steal!
also i have one more problem and pete tell me if you agree, personally i love the pie pick up potential 5 tool kind of guy. but i have been reading how people are mad about it and say remold is way better, i read one fan wrote why did we trae for pie cuz what the hell has he done in the majors and that he wanted remold..........well i have a question what the hell has remold done in the majors? and you cant judge pie yet seriously he has only had 260 at bats you didnt judge adam jones when we got him and he had 140 at bats and only had a 235 BS did you? okay give this kid a chance befor you run him out of town, and its kinda funny now how you all want olson after he is traded after you wanted him gone

Lefties are usually ones you keep, because "you never know" - but this one you can have. Have watched him all through minors. Lots of luck. He's not what you think. BHolley

Pete, Good Blog. Bird's fan. Guess I'm old. Remember Baby Birds, Maybe this year or next. Live in DR.. Only Baltimore sports we get. Keep up the good work. Go O,s.

Pete- I wanted to comment on Ben Sheets post you done last week . You made some good arguments and brought the right questions about Risks/Rewards of O's signing Sheets .
Seems most of my fellow bloggers dont agree with you , I am in your camp on Sheets move.
And if O's get both Hill and Looper , what are the Risks taking these guys ? Player to named later ? No draft pick for Looper ? I would say O's have nothing to lose gambling on those 2 pitchers , wont you ?

Pete's reply: I think they think that too.

If Hill gets his control back, we'll have a real rotation for the first time in years

1. Jeremy Guthrie
2. Braden Looper
3. Koji Uehara
4. Rich Hill
5. Mark Hendrickson

That won't scare anyone, but we can expect to have our starters to usually make it to the sixth, and that is almost worth more then Teixeira.

Heck, it IS worth more then him. If the bats perform like last year it will be a fun season. We 99% likely won't contend but we should be able to go to the Yard with a chance to win.

Why in the world would you want Looper.... or choose him over Hill?

Neither of these guys are going to save the rotation, but Looper is no better than another Trachsel. He gives up way too many hits.... and in the American League, hits are even more likely to become runs.
At least Hill (if he regains his control) has some chance of fooling the batter

Hill seems to be suffering from terminal Rick Ankiel disease. He is irrevelant. The Cubs are just cleaning shop and MacPhail is busy picking up his past favorites (as in Pie). Hill can't find the plate. Pie swings in the same plane on all pitches. Neither survives. Who cares. More important, we have to watch Matusz. He looked anything but dominant in the Arizona Fall League (7 hrs allowed in 28 innings - ouch).

Any chance the "player to be named later" in the Rich Hill trade will be the same one we received for Chad Bradford? (LOL)


Why Looper? He is better than at three of our current starters and if he had to he could return to the bullpen where he had a lot of success. The Orioles are not going to spend 10 million a year on a starter that will only pitch here for two years, especially given the fact you have three or four guys in the minors that will be up before you know it. Sheets is a nice thought but why risk it. If the Orioles do sign Looper he will help in some way. And to top it off he has been a member of two world series teams that won, and that experience is priceless. I for one am glad that the did not sign Burnett or Sheets.

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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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