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May 7, 2009

The Freel Dilemma

That sounds like a great title for a Robert Ludlum spy novel, but it's just the issue facing the Orioles now that utilityman Ryan Freel is through with his injury rehabilitation assignment. The club has to return him to the active roster in the next day or so or find some other club that needs a $4 million utility guy.

Andy MacPhail has been calling around to guage interest in Freel, who has expressed frustration with his lack of playing time and seems to be the odd guy out with Lou Montanez moving past him on the depth chart and Triple-A outfielder Nolan Reimold trying to force his way onto the major league club.

Can't imagine the Orioles will be able to find anyone to take that whole salary, but they already saved millions in the exchange for Ramon Hernandez and would probably be happy to recoup a million or two of his guarantee.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 5:29 PM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Just baseball


The Orioles have got to stop picking up self-centered ex-National Leaguers. Remember the Nasty Steve Kline disaster a few years ago?

Is letting him be the option at 3B and ditching Wigginton not on the table?

What about just ditching Robert Andino? Or Chad Moeller? Or Mark Hendrickson.... I bet Freel can pitch. I mean, Nick Swisher can do it.

Robert Ludlum perhaps?

Pete's reply: Perhaps. Thanks for pointing out that mistake, which I have corrected.

These high-personality, high intensity guys like Freel and Millar are great when they're playing regularly. When they're not playing as often as they'd like, they tend to become clubhouse cancers.

By the way, Manny's situation couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I'm not a Red Sox fan, but what he did up there prior to the trade to the Dodgers was totally disgraceful. The guy had no respect or consideration for his long-time teammates. None.

my guess is the o's will waive freel and eat the contract or trade him for a pair of spikes and a fungo bat and eat 3 million of the contract.

If I was a millionaire, I would give the Orioles the money to eat his contract. Good riddens. You can't possibly keep him on the roster when you have Montanez and Reimold. There is not one good reason why you send Montanez down and put Freel back on the roster.

I have to agree 100% with Matt. The Birds stocked up on stop-gap players thinking that there would be little contribution from the Minors this year. Freel just happened to fall into the cracks. He didn't really help himself getting off to the slow start and, for that, he has no one to blame other than himself. Nolan and Lou are hopefully the future of this franchise. Force them to accept and understand that role. If they apply themselves at this level then they will have accepted the responsibility that comes with it.

Dodgers could use a utility player for 50games or so....

I say trade him for Brian Freel, the distinguished Irish Playwright. If we're going to have someone bringing drama, let's have a professional. (Okay, it's Friel, but I'm not going to waste a witticism because of accuracy.)

Freel, Pie. The offseason for MacPhail and position players was NO WHERE as productive and sensible as it was last year.

Aside from Koji, I have to say I'm rather disappointed in MacPhail's work this season.

I couldn't care less about how we got Freel or how much money it will waste to get rid of him. JUST GET RID OF HIM and move on.
The guy was a joke from the beginning. Guaranteed a roster spot my ass. Meanwhile Lou Montanez had to perform at a super-human level for over a year to finally get a fair chance.
I like Robert Andino, too. The kid has great instincts at short and at bat.
I don't hear him complaining about not getting enough playing time.... and he's done very well every time he's had an opportunity. He's a keeper.

Kudos to Danny in WV. Without question, one of the funniest posts I have ever read.

Be dignified release him and jamie walker. There's no use for either one on this team.

swflbird, I hope you are not discounting Pie as part of the future. Remember, this guy is only 24, a year younger than Reimold and three than Montanez.

He has all the tools, likely even more so than the other two. Let's leave him alone and see what he can do without the pressure of everyone in this city trying to run him out of town after 29 games.

An effective Pie can only help the O's on so many levels and there's no guarantee Reimold is going to be a star and Montanez hasn't really shown anything, either.

This is an acknowledged rebuilding year, and part of rebuilding is seeing what you have, let's see what Pie has.

As for Freel, his role was not just to be be used in the OF but as a UT IF guy also, a role the Orioles seem to have filled with Andino, a very good acquisition, and Wigginton(who has hit everywhere else, let's see if he can here) in the IF and Pie, Monty and if it gets to that, Reimold in the OF.

I love those hustling rah rah types, but truth be told, you have to wonder if there's room on this Orioles team for Freel. Of course, the Orioles could jettison a pitcher to improve the bench, but that'll never happen.

I agree with Jess on guys like Freel and Millar, as they are great when they get playing time, but when they don't, watch out!

I loved what Millar did during his time here, but no way would he have been the same old Kevin if he didn't get the ABs he thinks he deserves. Freel could have taken this to Andy and not the media, and perhaps his request to be traded would have been expedited, but everyone knows he wants out and the O's want him out, so while I would love for the O's to keep him on the bench and make him miserable for 4 million (Reds are crazier than us with this contract), but if a team eats half the contract, take it!

Looking at the whole situation reminds me why the O's wanted to give Chris Gomez a shot because a part time player is not for everyone, but Chris never complained during his first stint here and I am pretty sure, he wouldn't have complained had he made the team out of Florida.

I think we have to chalk this one up as a MacPhail mistake but I highly doubt the O's will just eat 4 Mill. They are keeping Walker around for the same reason (although he is pitching better than last year) and 'dumped' Bradford-a decent reliever for $$$ savings.
So I guess they leave Freel around in case someone goes down. Not too mnay teams would be interested in him, especially at that price tag.
Any idea if Freel is signed for '10(hopefully not!)?

The problem with the Freel acquisition was that it came at the wrong time. At the time when we got Ryan Freel, we didn't have Andino or Pie, so he was expected to be the main utility guy who would have probably played a lot of games, just at different positions (kinda like Wiggington is now). When we found out he sucks at SS, we had to go out and get Andino, and now we have Pie to play LF as well as back-up Jones at center. When Freel first came to the team, he had a place. Now he doesn't. Simple as that.

The Orioles could trade him if they offer to eat the majority of the contract (similar to the trade for Ramon and what we're doing with Eaton).

I bet that shortly after we jettison Freel and eat his salary, 2 or 3 Os will land on the DL. The DL has in the past given many undeserving players a chance to crack the O's major league lineup.

Ken, I didn't intentionally omit Pie, but I am like must O's fans from the winning era, discontented and growing extremely impatient. Pie may ultimately be a gold mine. I do hope that happens while he is in a Birds uniform unlike two guys named Schilling and Moyer.

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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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