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December 15, 2009

Zrebiec: Koji and friend?

The Orioles met with the agents of Japanese pitcher Hisanori Takahashi at last week’s winter meetings, but it’s too early to tell how serious their interest is. I don’t know too much about Takahashi, though two things about the pitcher should certainly pique the Orioles’ interest:

1. He is a close friend of current Oriole pitcher Koji Uehara and former teammate of his with the Yomiuri Giants.

2. He is left-handed.

With his own masseuse and interpreter, Uehara certainly has a solid support staff in place in Baltimore. However, it couldn’t hurt to add somebody else that he’s close to, especially if that somebody can get left-handed hitters out. Like Uehara last offseason, Takahashi would prefer a shot to start somewhere. The Orioles and international scouting director John Stockstill see him more as a left-handed swingman type, sort of in the Mark Hendrickson mold.

Either way, I think the Orioles will wait a couple of weeks and see what other moves they make, including potentially re-signing Hendrickson. If Takahashi is still out there by mid-January and they could get him maybe even on a minor league deal, it would probably be worth the gamble.

Stockstill, by the way, is in Houston, where he will watch Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman throw a bullpen session today. I still would be utterly shocked if the Orioles sign Chapman, who already has an offer in hand from the Boston Red Sox according to ESPN The Magazine’s Jorge Arangure Jr.

- Jeff Zrebiec

Posted by Baltimore Sun sports at 8:32 AM | | Comments (88)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Peter Angelos is Satan!

Jeff do you think the Orioles wil make any more serious moves before Christmas? Andy McPhail said he expected to be busy-did he mean getting ballplayers or gifts for his family?

Jeff do you think the Orioles wil make any more serious moves before Christmas? Andy McPhail said he expected to be busy-did he mean getting ballplayers or gifts for his family?

If the Orioles are really serious about becoming competitive, they should unload a boatload of money to Beltre. And maybe Nick Johnson. This would improve them defensively, and if either can approach their career highs ..... Otherwise we are just falling even further behind most of the AL East.

How about a corner infielder for Christmas?

I am going to start an anti-Nick Johnson page on Facebook.

He can't stay healthy, isn't all that great and is goofy looking.

Beltre is not worth the $65/5 that the Red Sox are going to over pay for his underachieving a$$.

Peter,

Thanks for nothing.

Kind of baffled here by the multiple Peter Angelos slams here. I guess it is a simple way for the inarticulate to espouse banter, regardless that said banter lacks any context or sensibility to the current blog.

I am not a full supporter of Angelos, but over the past two seasons I do not think he has done anything that should be seen as harmful to the organization. Between last off season and this, beyond Teixara, who are the other top tier free agents we thought would really come here? Burnett? Lackey? Holliday? Sabathia? None of these guys were going to land in Baltimore, unless it was with a 20% premium over every other offer.

The O's finally seem to have a plan they are sticking with. Yes, it is going slower than I would want, but for the first time they are sticking to it and I think they are creating a much stronger full team and system that has been seen since number 35 was winning a lot of games for us.

Kind of baffled here by the multiple Peter Angelos slams here. I guess it is a simple way for the inarticulate to espouse banter, regardless that said banter lacks any context or sensibility to the current blog.

I am not a full supporter of Angelos, but over the past two seasons I do not think he has done anything that should be seen as harmful to the organization. Between last off season and this, beyond Teixara, who are the other top tier free agents we thought would really come here? Burnett? Lackey? Holliday? Sabathia? None of these guys were going to land in Baltimore, unless it was with a 20% premium over every other offer.

The O's finally seem to have a plan they are sticking with. Yes, it is going slower than I would want, but for the first time they are sticking to it and I think they are creating a much stronger full team and system than has been seen since number 35 was winning a lot of games for us.

Kind of baffled here by the multiple Peter Angelos slams here. I guess it is a simple way for the inarticulate to espouse banter, regardless that said banter lacks any context or sensibility to the current blog.

I am not a full supporter of Angelos, but over the past two seasons I do not think he has done anything that should be seen as harmful to the organization. Between last off season and this, beyond Teixara, who are the other top tier free agents we thought would really come here? Burnett? Lackey? Holliday? Sabathia? None of these guys were going to land in Baltimore, unless it was with a 20% premium over every other offer.

The O's finally seem to have a plan they are sticking with. Yes, it is going slower than I would want, but for the first time they are sticking to it and I think they are creating a much stronger full team and system than has been seen since number 35 was winning a lot of games for us.

Sorry for the multiple posts to last response, not certain why that happen.

Kind of baffled here by someone who post the same thing three times while calling names. We get your point!

I'm with Shamrock. Signing Beltre to a stupid, long deal or signing any of the current FA 1B for anything more than 1 or 2 years is a recipe for constant mediocrity. I don't want that.

If you'll be content with this team winning 78-84 games, then I suppose we can tie up roster spots and large chunks of money over the next 5 years by signing average players. But I don't want the O's to win 82 games, I want them to win 92, or 97.

I'm fine with the direction this offseason has taken, even if nothing else happens.

With the Roy Halladay trade the Orioles move up to the 4th best rotation in the division on paper.

#1- Boston
Beckett
Lackey
Lester
Dice-K
Bucholz

#2- New York
Sabathia
Burnett
Pettite
Chamberlain
Hughes

#3- Tampa Bay
Shields
Garza
Price
Niemann
Sonnanstine

#4- Baltimore
Millwood
Guthrie
Bergesen
Matusz
Tillman

#5- Toronto
Romero
Marcum
mix and match

While this may not seem like major progress injuries and individual (non)performance could move the O's up a spot or two. It would be encouraging to see the Orioles establish a pitching staff in the top half of the AL this year and move forward from there.

Just so people understand I was not slamming Peter Angelos with my post. I think that ship has sailed,

My post was directed at the author of this blog. You'd think that with all that has been happening over the past two days, he could provide us with some solid information about what the O's are going to do over the next two weeks, instead of giving us some filler from the notes he has from the winter meetings.

Nick Johnson "isn't all that great"? He had the 3rd highest OBP in baseball last season behind Mauer and Pujols and has has over a .400 OBP each of the last four seasons. For comparison, the highest OBP on the Orioles last year was Nolan Reimold at .365 - I hope your anti-Nick Johnson Facebook page catches on so we sign some scrub like Hank Blalock instead.

And why will none of the top tier free agents come to Baltimore?

Mismanagement that starts at the top.

Watch this winter as the "good" go elsewhere and the Os pick through the scraps.

You are now unbaffled.

And why will none of the top tier free agents come to Baltimore?

Mismanagement that starts at the top.

Watch this winter as the "good" go elsewhere and the Os pick through the scraps.

You are now unbaffled.

Wow,

While other cities are talking about real deals, the main blog in baltimore today is about Koji and friend?

Based on the articles in Japan about Koji playing for one of the worst teams in baseball, I'm thinking one of his friends will likely stay away (we can hope).

I've wanted to stay clear of this issue but I'll keep doing so because no one else has the guts.

Many positive post are coming from those employed by the warehouse people. While some are obvious, others are quite good at it..... It's a display of how truly sad this organization has become.

I'm not talking all, as there are some true orange and blackers out there (and that's fine). But trust me, there are enough O's spinners doing exactly what I say.

Hope for better blogs ahead. Youth is great, but demand quality people.... quality with experience!

Koji's friend? Seriously Pete!

Hey can someone call the warehouse and let them know the Hotstove is going down?

Anyone that still defends the Orioles is on the payroll or from out of town and doesn’t fully understand the whole miserable situation. Baltimore is held captive by a evil creature from hell disguised as a dying human named Peter Angelos and he stands in his dark tower overlooking Baltimore aka baseball hell. Sell the team Peter let Baltimore be free PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone that still defends the Orioles is on the payroll or from out of town and doesn’t fully understand the whole miserable situation. Baltimore is held captive by a evil creature from hell disguised as a dying human named Peter Angelos and he stands in his dark tower overlooking Baltimore aka baseball hell. Sell the team Peter let Baltimore be free PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone that still defends the Orioles is on the payroll or from out of town and doesn’t fully understand the whole miserable situation. Baltimore is held captive by a evil creature from hell disguised as a dying human named Peter Angelos and he stands in his dark tower overlooking Baltimore aka baseball hell. Sell the team Peter let Baltimore be free PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I disagree totally with the suggestion that the Orioles pitching staff is better than Toronto. Don’t think anything until we see this staff in action. We all remember the last decade and we need to take that into account before we start making all this kool aid.

Pete,
Has Berken's injury suddenly left him out of the rotation? He was arguably the best guy we sent to the mound this season and he's not mentioned anywhere? What's the scoop or have I just missed that report?

There are many things I want to say here... First off Peter Angelos is the worst owner in MLB. We have seen this time and time again when GM's come and go because of disapprovals by Peter. Dont you remember the 2003 Jim Bittie deal for Burnett and Lowell for what Ponson and a few others.... either way that is the main reason we cant pull the top tier free agents such as 2004 when we brought in Tejada and Javy but we also tried for Vlady and Pavano but both used us for more money from the team they wanted to go to all along.

But i must say, i have stuck with my home team for the past decade of bone head moves but now we have a team of guys who care about the direction we are heading. Last year was a great learning curve for possably the best young outfield in the league, an up and coming dynamic catcher (who will prob be moved to first before its all said and done) to anchor this team and more pitching than you can shake a stick at. As refreshing as it is we dont want to waste the opportunity to flawnder now by trying to make a two year run when we can develop into a playoff bound team for years to come. This offseason has been good by stiring rumors and landing an inning eater like millwood but can we expect the other few moves needed to make this a .500 ball club this year. We need to now go out while we have a chance and bring in bedard (for a decent price) bring him home and salitify our rotation.... (Millwood, bedard, guthrie(who does well when there is no pressure of an ace role) tillman and mautsz (who are one day 20 game winners)) once you do that why not bring in Fernando Rodney. A good closer and let the rookies work in as relivers. Then our pitching is a whole hell of a lot better. Then lets look at the corner positions. Beltre and Nick Johnson are not the answers. Beltre is gonna want to much money and too many years when Josh Bell is going to be a great fit in another year or two. Johnson is alright but it would have to be a short deal. In my opinion I like delgado who yes is older but we can get him for cheap and he has something to prove. we arent trying to lock anyone besides our outfield and pitching down for a long time. delgado provides that bat but if not we are still missing that little extra pop. our hitters are good, with decent power that all have 20 homerum potential but we need that extra guy. Thats why I say uggla is actually a great fit at 3rd. yes his glove is subpar but thats another 30 homeruns in the short porch of camden... come on thats perfect. The giants arent offering what they want, so i say we trade berken and maybe hernandez who are quality youngsters but not any of the core foundation of our future.
So this is my proposed line up of next year 2B-Roberts CF-Jones RF-Markakis C-Wieters(before you know it will step up big) 3B-Uggla 1B-Delgado DH-Scott LF-Reimold SS-Ituris.... I dont know exactally how theyd turn out but thats the managers job to play with the line up card. Either way we are a more competitive team with a great staff and closer. Someone needs to start making moves and lets finish this offseason on the right foot and get this organiztion back to winning graces. We have the money to do it now that we ridded of 3 of our top 5 contracts. Lets compete.
What do you think Jeff, how far off am I?

As for Q's comment, it's difficult to disagree with him in any way, shape or form. Peter has held the city captive now for 10+ years, baiting us all with tales of opening his checkbook. Let's hope he recognizes his true calling this holiday season and lands the part of Ebenezer Scrooge in a local performance of "A Christmas Carol". Maybe he'll get a visit or two from the ghosts of Orioles past.

Hey how about Bedard for a #3, it might be worth the shot. We need to pick up at least 1 corner player before the holidays...

There are many things I want to say here... First off Peter Angelos is the worst owner in MLB. We have seen this time and time again when GM's come and go because of disapprovals by Peter. Don’t you remember the 2003 Jim Bittie deal for Burnett and Lowell for what Ponson and a few others.... either way that is the main reason we can’t pull the top tier free agents such as 2004 when we brought in Tejada and Javy but we also tried for Vlady and Pavano but both used us for more money from the team they wanted to go to all along.
But I must say, I have stuck with my home team for the past decade of bone head moves but now we have a team of guys who care about the direction we are heading. Last year was a great learning curve for possibly the best young outfield in the league, an up and coming dynamic catcher (who will probably be moved to first before it’s all said and done) to anchor this team and more pitching than you can shake a stick at. As refreshing as it is we don’t want to waste the opportunity to flounder now by trying to make a two year run when we can develop into a playoff bound team for years to come. This offseason has been good by stirring rumors and landing an inning eater like Millwood but can we expect the other few moves needed to make this a .500 ball club this year. We need to now go out while we have a chance and bring in Bedard (for a decent price) bring him home and solidify our rotation.... (Millwood, Bedard, Guthrie(who does well when there is no pressure of an ace role) Tillman and Mautsz (who are one day 20 game winners)) once you do that why not bring in Fernando Rodney. A good closer and let the rookies work in as relievers. Then our pitching is a whole hell of a lot better.
Then let’s look at the corner positions. Beltre and Nick Johnson are not the answers. Beltre is going to want too much money and too many years when Josh Bell is going to be a great fit in another year or two. Johnson is alright but it would have to be a short deal. In my opinion I like Delgado who yes is older but we can get him for cheap and he has something to prove. We aren’t trying to lock anyone besides our outfield and pitching down for a long time. Delgado provides that bat but if not we are still missing that little extra pop. Our hitters are good, with decent power that all have 20 homerun potential but we need that extra guy. That’s why I say Uggla is actually a great fit at 3rd. yes his glove is subpar but that’s another 30 homeruns in the short porch of Camden... come on that’s perfect. The Giants aren’t offering what they want, so i say we trade Berken and maybe Hernandez who are quality youngsters but not any of the core foundation of our future.
So this is my proposed line up of next year 2B-Roberts CF-Jones RF-Markakis C-Wieters(before you know it will step up big) 3B-Uggla 1B-Delgado DH-Scott LF-Reimold SS-Ituris.... I don’t know exactly how theyd turn out but thats the manager’s job to play with the lineup card. Either way we are a more competitive team with a great staff and closer. Someone needs to start making moves and lets finish this offseason on the right foot and get this organization back to winning graces. We have the money to do it now that we ridded of 3 of our top 5 contracts. Let’s compete.
What do you think Jeff, how far off am I?

The idea of getting Delgado and Uggla seem reasonable but the strength of the O's management team is indecision, so I expect Uggla to be unavailable by the time the O's get there. As for Delgado, I'd explore getting the healthiest defensive first baseman available hitting above .275 who can drive in 75 runs. We have a lineup that will score runs, we need to have s strong defense to help the kids as they develop. We still need a closer!!!!!

Don't figure on the Orioles signing anyone -they all have facial hair...

Don't figure on the Orioles signing anyone -they all have facial hair...

Don't figure on the Orioles signing anyone -they all have facial hair...

Forget Beltre and Uggla. Atkins is a good bet for 3B -- he projects to about the same stats as those two, fields better than Uggla, costs less than Beltre; in fact, his projections aren't much different than Kouzmanoff, who would cost the Orioles players to land. Capps is a good target -- he's still rather young... Johnson, Garza and Delgado are all good short term fillers at 1B.

Don't figure on the Orioles signing anyone -they all have facial hair...

Don't figure on the Orioles signing anyone -they all have facial hair...

Don't figure on the Orioles signing anyone -they all have facial hair...

Don't figure on the Orioles signing anyone -they all have facial hair...

Don't figure on the Orioles signing anyone -they all have facial hair...

Get over this Beltre GARBAGE! He has had count, one good year! Beltre had 44 RBI last season, Mora had 48! Nuff said!

Orioles should prefer Koji's friend, over Mark Hendrickson, if he is a situational left hander. Hendrickson isn't that effective against left handers, and Orioles badly need somebody, who can bail them out in the 6th or 7th innings.

Since the O's aren't spending money on the big free agents they should at least try to get Aroldis Chapman in the fold.

Anonymous -

You're flat out wrong about Beltre.

He did have one incredibly ridiculous outlier year, but to say that he's only had one good year is ridiculous.

In 11 full seasons, Beltre's average year looks like this: .272 avg, .327 obp, .456 slg %, 22 hr, 80 rbi. Take out the ridiculous 48 hr, 121 rbi season, and he still averages about 21 hr and 85 rbi per season. I'd say that's pretty damn good for a Gold Glove third baseman.

And you do realize that Beltre was playing hurt last season, right? The guy had shoulder surgery in June. Even the best players need some time to get back to form after a major operation.

Oh, and I don't want the O's to sign Beltre, unless the asking price goes waaaaaaaaay down. If he would settle for a two year deal with an option, he'd be a good pick up, but anything more than that is too much.

The Orioles are completely irrelevant. No legitimate tyuplayer will choose to come here, we will continue on with scrubs like Aubrey Huff, who show up simply for the paycheck.

We have absolutely zero chance at the playoffs next season, why bother paying attention?

Nick Johnson, singles hitting first baseman? No thanks!

Nick Johnson, legitimate #2 hitter (which we don't have)? Sure!

Yankees add Curtis Granderson

Red Sox acquire John Lackey

Orioles talk to Koji's "friend"

LOL!

Not Brooks,

You are flat out wrong about everything.

Beltre, one good year. I will quote Raffy "period". Plus, he is way overweight and has slipped defensively!

Once again us O's fans get a lump of coal :(

PS Pete write about something newsworthy man

I will quote Raffy..Beltre is garbage, "period"! We is slipping on defense, and is far overweight, a latin Wiggy if you will!

Larry, Shamrock, the Anonymouses -

It's so awesome when you guys back up your arguments with facts and numbers.

Nick Johnson "isn't that good"? Right, because a career OBP of .402 to go along with an .849 OPS "isn't that good". Sure, Johnson isn't your prototypical first baseman, but plugging that OBP into the #2 hole would be HUGE for this offense.

Oh, but even though he's actually a very good player, the O's probably shouldn't sign him because he's "goofy looking".

Memo to all GMs: Don't take into consideration that fact that Nick Johnson gets on base in FORTY PERCENT of his plate appearances. He's "goofy looking". Can't have that.

Also, all teams should forget about Adrian "One Good Season" Beltre. Nevermind the fact that, before he hurt his shoulder, he averaged a .270, 25 hr, 88 rbi line with a miserable offensive team. Oh, and he won two Gold Gloves while earning praise as one of the best defensive third basemen in the game. But ya, he's only had one good season.

I understand the underlying sentiment towards Peter Angelos in Baltimore. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada and everyone I know is either a Blue Jays, Yanks or Red Sox fan. I think I might be the only O's fan up here and I have been laughed at alot for that fact. However, it was mentionned before on this message board, I think by Jeff Zreibec, that Angelos has kept his nose out of McPhail's operating methods the last few years.

McPhail had the autonomy to trade Tejada & boondoggle the Mariners for Bedard......and we are much better for it. I remeber that just a few years ago our system looked like a frat boys cupboard. BARE & FULL OF COBWEBS!! Now we're looking good. McPhail preached patience and yes he has been slow to move on some deals, but he's not going to do something stupid like drive a dump truck full of money up to Adrian Beltre's house and beg him to come to the O's. Give the guy some credit, he went after Tex & Burnett last year, but they were never gonna come unless they were way overpaid.

I understand the underlying sentiment towards Peter Angelos in Baltimore. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada and everyone I know is either a Blue Jays, Yanks or Red Sox fan. I think I might be the only O's fan up here and I have been laughed at alot for that fact. However, it was mentionned before on this message board, I think by Jeff Zreibec, that Angelos has kept his nose out of McPhail's operating methods the last few years.

McPhail had the autonomy to trade Tejada & boondoggle the Mariners for Bedard......and we are much better for it. I remeber that just a few years ago our system looked like a frat boys cupboard. BARE & FULL OF COBWEBS!! Now we're looking good. McPhail preached patience and yes he has been slow to move on some deals, but he's not going to do something stupid like drive a dump truck full of money up to Adrian Beltre's house and beg him to come to the O's. Give the guy some credit, he went after Tex & Burnett last year, but they were never gonna come unless they were way overpaid.

According to UZR Beltre was the second best defensive third baseman in baseball from '06 to '08.

According to Fielding Bible, over that same time frame, he was the best.

He has one down year (during which he had shoulder surgery) and now his defense is "slipping"?

Wow...

What do you guys think of Nick Markakis?

I understand the underlying sentiment towards Peter Angelos in Baltimore. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada and everyone I know is either a Blue Jays, Yanks or Red Sox fan. I think I might be the only O's fan up here and I have been laughed at alot for that fact. However, it was mentionned before on this message board, I think by Jeff Zreibec, that Angelos has kept his nose out of McPhail's operating methods the last few years.

McPhail had the autonomy to trade Tejada & boondoggle the Mariners for Bedard......and we are much better for it. I remeber that just a few years ago our system looked like a frat boys cupboard. BARE & FULL OF COBWEBS!! Now we're looking good. McPhail preached patience and yes he has been slow to move on some deals, but he's not going to do something stupid like drive a dump truck full of money up to Adrian Beltre's house and beg him to come to the O's. Give the guy some credit, he went after Tex & Burnett last year, but they were never gonna come unless they were way overpaid.

PS - That average offensive line for Beltre is from '06 to '08.

Beltre would fit right in with Terry Crowley's hitters - he has a lousy OBP. Find hitters with power and plate discipline (Adam Dunn type - strikeouts are just outs. A guy with a .400 OBP is an offensive asset.) Until the O's improve their ability to get on base and score, they can't compete with the disciplined Yankees and Red Sox, even with improved pitching. Pitchers need run support.

First off, I agree that "Koji's Friend" is a pretty weak posting given that it's the first thread on here in a while and that there's been a lot of hot stove action (none involving the O's) the last couple of days. Loyal fans, haters or not deserve better than this crap.

Reports are that Red Sox nation is gonna dump there whole farm system for Adrian Gonzalez. Hope that's true and then I hope Gonzalez hurts himself just bad enough not to be able to play (nothing personal Adrian).

The Sox might not be the same powerhouse we've become accustom to in the last decade or so. Manny's been gone. Big Papi looks almost finished. Lowell is leaving. Apparently they can't sign Bay. Dice K is full of question marks. They're talking about trading the Oriole killer Clay Buckholtz. Rumors are that Beckett might not resign after next season. They've just set the market on Chapman at $15M and counting and he could very well turn out to be a bust. And Wakefield can't pitch forever (or can he???).

Of course they still have Victor Martinez (at a price), Ellsbury and Pedroia, Lester and now Lackey, but I have a feeling they could be in for a down couple of years if they get hit by a little bad luck. I think eventually (and now might be it) the pressure to keep up and compete with what the Yankees do is gonna crush the The Sox. Thoughts?

This is the last place in the world I expected to see a Lars Von Trier reference. Good job.

Beltre cannot hit the AL East.
We can do better than Beltre.

I am amazed at how many want to return to the days of bringing in retreads who do nothing but destroy team chemistry. Ask the Tampa Rays if they didn't make that mistake by signing Burrell. Chemistry is still important and that is why building from within is the best way. Having guys who have taken those long bus rides together are guys who love playing together but most importantly they trust each other. The plan was never about 2010, but instead about 2011. The O's have more depth and more quality players by far than they had 3 years ago. I would be content for them to 1) sign a closer and to make sure that the bullpen will protect the leads that the starting 5 will give them, and 2) to sign Bedard. Bring up Snyder and Bell in July and prepare for 2011.

Some of the writers need to lighten up and enjoy the game. Sure I would like to see the O's in the playoffs every year, but if they aren't I still love the game and I love the Birds.

By the way, I got to talk with Bergenson and Trembley at the Sarasota Fanfest and they are ready to take this thing to the next level. The plan is working.

"I still would be utterly shocked if the Orioles sign INSERT NAME HERE...."

GregA,

I think you're confusing Jason Berken with Brad Bergeson.

Chris in Hawaii
Von Trier surely used Peter Angelos as inspiration in making the film Antichrist.

Word on the street is now that Sawx have Lackey signed up, they are trying to work a w Bucholtz to get Gonzalez.
Get on the horn Andy, offer them Hernanadez and Berken, Synder or Aubrey and a player to be named.
They are pitching starved and would jump on it! Hernanandez can be replaced w free agent arm. Berken is fodder. Synder or Aubrey could help them fill the hole Gonzalez left.

sizemo -

Hernandez, Berken and Snyder/Aubrey wouldn't even come close to getting a deal done with San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez.

The conversation would probably start with Chris Tillman and a power guy like Brandon Waring or (gasp!) Josh Bell.

Padres would start with Matusz and Tillman. It just won't happen, nor should it, so let's move on. If the Red Sox want to give up their top 3 or 4 prospects for one guy then that's fine with me. As I mentioned earlier it could be a very dangerous move for their future.

We have absolutely zero chance at the playoffs next season, why bother paying attention?

Posted by: Jose Nachos Amigo | December 15, 2009 12:44 PM
________________________

Ironic to see that the person who is asking "why bother paying attention?" is actually paying attention by posting comments. Next time you ask the question, look in the mirror Fool.

Is Koji's friend, Hisanori Takahashi, a starter or reliever(long, middle or closer)?

maybe we should fill out the roster this year as best we can, continue to develop, and look to add 1 or 2 top ranked players next winter ... because the pickings seem kind of slim this year.

So first off, everyone who addressed their messages or complaints to Pete shows just how anxious they are to start bashing for no reason when it's an entry written by JEFF. Very slick fellas.

Anyway, get over the Lackey and Halladay deals. They weren't coming here and they don't need to come here for us to be going in the right direction. Especially at the cost of $20m per year, a top tier prospect and another Cy Young winner.

It's a difference of about 3 wins/year...maybe for $11m (Lee's option was picked up for $9m). If the O's signed Lackey, it'd be about $4m per year for just about the same benefit. THAT is why you stick to growing you own pitchers and paying for bats. The problem is that of all years, this is the year that there are no real FA bats available.

Nick Johnson? He sure turned that Washington Nationals team around didn't he? That year they won 90 games, the NL penant and sold out all 81 home games....oh wait, crack wore off. He had 8 HR's in 2009. So let's make a lineup more potent by inserting 8 HR's where we at least got 20 or so in 2009. Wonderful idea guys.

The Orioles locking no talents like that for long term deals is like the Knicks signing a ton of guys to long terms deals this summer even though Lebron is going to be a FA in 2010. They'd be a little better this year, but in no position to be competitive in the market when it matters for legitimate long term progress.

For that matter I don't care about Koji's friend either though. I appreciate the report, but as a fan any effort on him seems like a waste of management's time. We don't need another project around here. Unless this guy is the next Dice K or is friends with the next Ichiro, just let him be.

storm davis had the same justification. koji is a pro--either he plays like it or he should lose his spot on the roster.

besides, his friends can't come out on the mound with him.

James -

It's somewhat ignorant to talk about home runs when you're talking about Nick Johnson because that's not where his value comes from. His value comes from getting on base forty percent of the time he comes to the plate.

Insert Johnson into the two hole behind Roberts and get those two on base in front of Markakis, Jones, Reimold and Wieters and the lineup is significantly better than it was last season.

The only issue with Johnson is the injury history, so any team that signs him needs to have another solid option for first base. For the Orioles, Michael Aubrey could be that solid option, as long as his weaknesses aren't exposed by too much playing time. Give Johnson a day or two a week at DH and stick Aubrey in at first and you've got a solid platoon there.

Oh, and it's not like Johnson's a career weakling. The guy put up a .501 slg % in '05 and '06, so the return of a bit of power, especially in OPACY, isn't out of the question.

Brooks... he's not that good. His .404 OBP comes over a career average of 107 games. That plus 15 HRs and 58 RBI's a year. He has eeked out over 100 games 4 times in 7 full seasons. Maybe he gets walked so much in Washington because there is no one else to be afraid of in the lineup other than Ryan Zimmerman and (last year) Adam Dunn?? Enough stats for ya?

Oh, didn't you hear? MONEYBALL doesn't work (the movie was abruptly cancelled too)... all those Sabermetrics don't add up to squat. What has it done for the A's? Great, they all get on base 40% of the time, but no one can drive them in!

Is that enough proof? He is not an upgrade over anything else the O's already have, aside from he walks more than Luke Scott. Why else do yo think he was with the Nationals for so long? no one else wanted him!

I'll take Michael Aubrey, his glove and his sweet swing at $500k this year over Nick Johnson and yes, his goofy face. He looks like Gomer Pile in Full Metal Jacket.

Now before you get all hot and heavy statistical on me, I do recognize that getting on base is important. Plenty of times last year the O's blew opportunities not working the count. You could change the channel and still know Adam Jones was swinging at low and outside for strike three after falling behind 0-2. That comes down to the hitting coach. I have no idea how Terry Crowley made it through last year with that nonsense happening. It was like clockwork, you know when the count got to a certain point exactly what next pitch was (heater in Markakis' eyes), and whammo... strike 3, rally doesn't happen.

Work the count to get a favorable pitch to HIT and drive in runs not to WALK. Three hits likely gets you a run. Three walks load the bases. If you are able to work it and force the guy into a bad pitch for a walk, great, you need base runners.

Thats what the red sox do... work the count, get favorable pitches and timely hits. Watching them 18 times a year you pick that up.

OK lets stop the ridiculous talk. REALITY HERE. The orioles are NOT GOING TO DO A MASS TRADE FOR A SUPERSTAR. Management has already said that. So lets stop mentioning that. It isn't going to happen.

BUT, there are some realistic possibilities 1) Signing Bedard, there have been no other mention of other teams and the orioles have interest.

2) Trading Hernadez (or Pie) for an infielder. A trade for Kouz is a possibility. They're not gonna trade Hernandez or Berken for Gonzales. They're not stupid, as hopeful as you are. This is the reality, Kouz, possible. Beltre is a stretch (only if Sox and Mariners can't get it done). Superstar trade-not in a million years.We aren't gonna outbid or out-trade for a major. Look at the history of Macphail, and please....lets try to be a little more realistic people

There are actually 76 post (and counting) in response to Koji and Friend........

Has baltimore baseball gotten this pathetic?

Pete, do you realize you haven't missed a thing? That you could be gone another 2 months and still not miss a thing?

And so it goes..... The Oriole Way!


I am certainly glad many of my fellow Oriole fans have no say in how this team is run. You guys want to bring in Beltre, Uggla, Nick Johnson, among others, who will all want more money than they are worth. None of these guys will bring us out of the cellar in the AL East. You know what free agents will? No one. We could sign Matt Holliday tomorrow and we would still be lucky to finish third in the division. The only chance this team has to be competitive is to do exactly what MacPhail is doing, take a couple of years to both get rid of the Moras and Baezs of the world who have large contracts that they no longer play up to and give the wealth of prospects time to develop at the major league level. If you people think we are going to go out and buy a pennant like the Yankees and the Red Sox you are morons. I don't care what kind of market Baltimore truly is. And some of you say you are unhappy with the direction of this team? Ask half the league if they would trade their roster for the best young outfield in the league (all 4 of them), a potential phenom at catcher, a boat load of pitching prospects including 5 who now have decent major league experience, and several other young guys like Snyder and Bell who could prove to be solid ball players and they wouldn't think twice. And I know we have heard this story before. I had high hopes for Hammonds and Manny Alexander and the countless other players that were supposed to be great here, but the only way Baltimore is ever going to be good is to develop young talent. Of course we are not signing Tex and Burnett or trading for Doc Halladay, but if our homegrown talent can develop into a talented core of players, these types of free agents WILL want to come play in Baltimore in the future.

Adam... I never got Manny Alexander. Was he supposed to be a SS or 2B? Why did they make such a big deal of him with Cal firmly planted at SS?

Hammonds could have been a great one, 12 hamstring injuries later... ptthhhwwwt. I wonder if my autographed picture of him is worth anything?

Shamrock -

I'm not going to throw a stat blitz on you.

I'm going to say two things:

1. Nick Johnson's lifetime OBP is 70 points higher than the league OBP during his career.

2. This one's a repeat: Having a .400 OBP guy behind Roberts and in front of Markakis, Jones, Reimold and Wieters would be huge

Adam is completely right. The true mark of McPhail's character (I know some have accused him of being a mouthpiece or "budget manager", for our ownership, that doesn't care about wins and losses), and his plan, is if he stands pat with what we have in place now. We need some more time to figure out exactly what we have here.

How have the Albert Belle, David Sequi, Javy Lopez, Danys Baez and 04' Palmiero signings worked out for us? Those signings were short-sighted and ignorant. They tried to mask the problems we had, and handcuffed the franchise for years to come. And this years crop of free agents is nowhere near the level of those guys. (well, maybe Segui!)

No more of those type deals, which would include overpaying via free agency or trade for Beltre, Uggla, Kouzmanoff, Jacobs, Glaus, and the savior Adrian Gonzalez. If the Orioles are destined to be winners in the next 2-5 years it will start with the pieces that are in Baltimore uniforms right now. It's not just people in Baltimore who are high on Markakis, Jones, Riemold, Weiters, Matusz, Tillman, Mickolio, Bergesen, and Arrietta.

Basically the life of our competitive future depends on this upcoming season. We have to sit and wait to see if all these guys can click at the same time. If they do, we buy the missing pieces in the next year or two and make a run for a few years. (Yes a run, even at the untouchable Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels of the AL)

If things don't click and we can't develop all or most to reach their potential then we've missed again and our window will close because it really is rare to have so much young talent in your system right at or around the major league level at the same time & have them all under contract for the next 3-4 years. That's why the I believe the coaches are more important now than they'll ever be and Trembley concerns me so much. But don't be surprised to see these guys representing other teams in the All Star game down the road. Either way though, this upcoming season holds a lot of intrigue and worthwhile story lines to watch. I know I'll be enjoying it. And as a fan, that's all you can really ask for.

Not Brooks,

Ignorant? Really? Who looks at a lineup that's devoid of power and thinks we need to go overpay for a guy who can't hit home runs? Where does the power come from if we insert Johnson at 1B? Where do the RBI's come from? He's never even sniffed 100 in his career. He gets walks, but he's obviously not the same guy he was before he broke his leg. He also runs the bases like the infield is made of sand, which makes him a huge liability if he's always going to be on 1st base.

Is he a god player? Sure. He's just not what we need most in a first basemen and surely isn't worth the money he's probably going to get.

As for Beltre. He wants money based off his "one good year," so it becomes relevant that his output has never matched it again after surgery.

Albert Belle had a few good years too, but how'd he work out again?

The biggest non-tender surprise to me was Mike MacDougal of the Nationals. While not an elite closer because of his high BB rate, he does one thing that should play very well in the powerful AL East - he keeps the ball in the park. MacDougal gave up only 3 HR's in 50+ innings which corresponds with his career HR rate of 0.6/9 innings.

Those who saw him on MASN last year can vouch for his arm still being explosive but he is more of a power-sinker (94-96 mph) pitcher than the 100 mph thrower he was when he broke in with KC.

His overall stats are very comparable to the top closer on the market Fernando Rodney yet he should come at about a quarter the cost considering he is coming off a minor league deal and seems to mostly want an opportunity to close. Negating the power potential of both Yankee Stadium and Camden Yards is no small matter and don't think the Yankees or Red Sox won't gobble him up as a set-up man if the Orioles pass or give big money to Rodney or someone else.

James -

I never said the O's should overpay for Johnson. In fact, if you've been reading any of my recent comments, you should know that I don't think the Orioles should overpay for anyone this winter.

All I was saying is that Johnson would be a perfect fit for the #2 spot in Baltimore. And if the first base market never develops and Johnson has to settle for a Bobby Abreu-esque deal, I say go for it.

As for Beltre, I'm going to go ahead and say we wants money based on the fact that he's a Gold Glove defender and has averaged 21 homers and 85 rbi per season even without the ridiculous outlier that was 2004.

Beltre's a Boras client. Boras clients always have insane demands when the market first opens. Remember how Mark Teixeira was looking for 10 years and $200M+? Remember how the A-Rod extension talks were supposed to start at $300M?

As with all Boras clients, Beltre's price will go down. And in Beltre's case, I'm guessing it'll go way down considering the fact that he's coming off the worst year of his life during which he had shoulder surgery. Same deal with Beltre as with Johnson. If he's forced to take a one or two year deal at a reasonable cost, why not go for it?

Oh, and one more thing...

You want to talk about Albert Belle? You got it.

You really should go to Belle's player page at Baseball-Reference. Because if you think he had just "a few good years", you're in for a surprise:

- From '92 to '98, the seven seasons prior to signing with the Orioles, Belle's average season looked like this: .303 avg, .379 obp, .593 slg, 41 homers, 126 rbi.

- Belle put up a .650+ slg three times in that span. His slg in strike-shortened 1995 was .714. That season, he hit 36 homer and drove in 101 runs. In 412 at bats.

- In 1995, Albert Belle was absolutely robbed of the AL MVP Award. I'm talking the biggest robbery of all time. The guy led the league in slugging, homers, rbi, doubles and runs and he didn't win. Here are the lines:

Mo Vaughn: .300 avg, .388 obp, .575 slg, 39 hr, 126 rbi, 98 r in 550 at bats

Belle: .317 avg, .401 obp, .690 slg, 50 hr, 126 rbi, 121 r in 546 at bats

Edgar Martinez, who finished in third with stats comparable to Belle's, deserved to win more than Vaughn.

But anyways, Belle topped Vaughn in every meaningful category, aside from the tie in rbi, which is more team oriented anyway. Belle's slg was 115 points higher than Vaughn's.

So what were the writers voting on? I guess they considered the fact that Belle was a jerk. Hmm... "Hey Albert, we're not going to give you this award that you entirely deserve because we don't like you. But six years from now, an obvious steroid abuser who's even more of a jerk than you are is going to win four MVPs in a row. How do you like them apples?"

- In his final season, when the hip was starting to go, Belle put up a .281/.342/.474 line with 23 homers and 103 rbi. Pretty damn good for a guy whose body was falling apart.

So, in short, don't use Albert Belle as your example when you're talking about guys we shouldn't sign. Sure, he was a jerk, but as a player, Belle was an excellent addition. Unfortunately, he had that degenerative hip condition which didn't present itself until he was already signed on.

And don't ever again say that Albert Belle just "had a few good years". The guy was one of the most feared hitters of his generation and arguably one of the best right-handed power hitters of all time.

End.

Great, sign another one of those Japanese stalwarts and maybe, just maybe if you combine the two, we'll get 6 innings out of them (on a good night).

Hey, I tried to email you regarding this post but can't seem to reach you. Please email me when get a moment. Thanks.

thanks you...

Your website is nice.

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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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