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If the Orioles could sign one free agent, who would you want it to be?

We are sticking with baseball again today.

Some of you want the Orioles to spend money. Others don’t, simply because you don’t see a lot out there worth buying.

I am on record as saying it’s not a good free-agent class.

John Lackey and Chone Figgins are quality players, but they are now off the board. Matt Holliday and Jason Bay are excellent, too. And they aren’t coming here.

There’s always the trade-for-Adrian Gonzalez pipe dream, but you’d have to give up a whole lot of talent for what likely would be a short-term rental. Not real smart for a rebuilding club.

But that’s not to say there aren’t players out there that could help the Orioles in 2010 and beyond. They need a closer and several are available such as: Jose Valverde, Fernando Rodney, Mike Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg and Matt Capps.

They also need at least one, if not two, corner infielders. The available list includes: Garrett Atkins, Hank Blalock, Joe Crede, Ryan Garko, Carlos Delgado, Nick Johnson Mark DeRosa, Adam LaRoche, Adrian Beltre, Troy Glaus and Mike Jacobs.

The team could also use another starting pitcher, and there are plenty including former Oriole Erik Bedard.

I don’t see the Orioles spending what it takes to get Beltre or DeRosa., although I guess you never know. Given that, though, if I had to pick one player that I think best fits what they need, my selection is Atkins.

He just turned 30, bats right-handed – a real need in this lineup – and has experience playing first or third base, so he also gives them flexibility. And I’d rather see then pay for an everyday infielder than a closer on a losing team.

Atkins had a down year last season, and it’s easy to be skeptical of anyone who plays half his games at Coors Field. But from 2006-2008 he had more than 20 homers and 99 or more RBIs each season. And there are no lingering health questions with him as there are with so many other guys on this list.

So if the Orioles bring home one free agent present for Christmas, I say make it Atkins. What’s your call? And make it realistic. Bay and Holliday don’t count.

Daily Think Special: If the Orioles sign just one current free agent, who should it be?


Comments

With that list I would love to see Atkins in a O's uniform see if he can have comeback season and maybe hold one of the hot corners next year as also. We can offer him starting postion and I give him a 2 yr contract with club opt. I like Atkins people say he excel just because off coors he actually had more HR away from Coors. Just the AVG but, hey OPACY is no pitchers park either won't be hard for Atkins to pull one over the 333ft LF wall.

Ben Sheets and Carlos Delgado

I'd have to go with Carlos Delgado. If he is healthy again, I believe he can be that middle of the order bat the O's need. Even though he is around 38 years old, I believe he still has the ability to hit 30+ HRs. Hopefully this is MacPhail's top 1B target and hopefully he outbids the Mets, who seem to be interested again.

Ok, the O's are slated to make 120 Million, yet spend only 60 million on payroll in '10, per Forbes Magazine's stats-predictions, so the little greedy lawyer has no excuse not to allow AM to go get Adam LaRoche (check his killer ATL numbers!). He is younger than Delgado and will hit for higher avg. and as Bobby Cox stated during their playoff run, "Roachy, if given the opportunity, will drive in runs" Imagine him at our little launching pad. Plenty left over for Rodney and Crede or Atkins for 3rd, doesn't matter, they're just stopgap fodder anyhow. This all can be done for 30M, thus cutting GREEDY PETE's revenue in half from 60M to 30M. BUT, check this Mr. Asbestos, an increase in revenue might happen w more fans at OPACY watching a competitive team.
You've taken this risk before and been rewarded, right up until Albert Belle swindled you. WE TOO, are sorry this happened, but don't you think you have milked enough revenue out of this cow. Have some PRIDE MAN, YOU ARE THE LAUGHING STOCK OF BASEBALL! Granted, a rich joker, but a joker nonetheless.

The Orioles can and should aquire Adrian Gonzalez. Dan. I saw someone say on another blog that IF we could get a couple of stopgap corner infielders and IF our young pitchers come through, and IF...IF...IF..

If frogs had wings they wouldn't bump their a** when they jumped log to log.

Macphail is the "Music Man" and there is trouble in here River City. But we don't need a Boys band, we need big time and proven Major League talent. Macphail is a scam artist and a charlatan being directed by Peter Angelos to squeeze the last buck out of the remaining true believers.

12 years and counting, Dan, 12 years and counting.

I say Blalock or LaRoche, and another veteran SP like Garland or maybe a risk with bedard

Erik Bedard 2year 15million contract incentives
Garret Atkins- 1 year
Fernanado Rodney.- 2 year

That is what we will do this offseason

An owner

We should sign Glaus and Delgado. We need a big right handed bat. If healthy, Glaus can put up 30 HR's. Delgado knows the AL East. He is familiar with the pitchers. He would love that short right field fence. He too can put up 30 HR's if healthy. It is a no brainer. Both are up in age and should sign short term for a reasonable amount. If any prospects are ready, you can trade them.

Roberts 2B
Markakis RF
Jones CF
Delgado 1B
Glaus 3B
Weiters C
Reimold LF
Scott DH
Izuturis SS

There isn't much to choose from the corner infielders that remain in the market. They're equally good or equally bad depending upon your perspective. Since the O's also need a cleanup hitter I'd like to sign either Delgado or Branyan. Then I'd like them to sign Mike Gonzalez since he'd also take care of the left handed pitcher out-of-the-bullpen, that the O's are seeking, beside serving as a closer. Lastly, I'd like to sign Aroldis Chapman.

It is funny, the reason for good free-agents NOT coming to the Orioles have become circular in nature.

1) The free-agents are so good, they won't come here (Tex, Bay, CC, Holliday)

2) The ok to good free agents are nothing special, we don't need them/don't overpay.

Ergo - no good free agents to Baltimore with built-in excuses.

And by the way, EVERY free-agent year is like this. Two good players and a bunch of ok to good players. Stop acting like next year will be any better or full of premier free-agents that O's will just fall into. Seriously!

We need to give an incentive latent deal to Chien-Ming Wang. If not him than Bedard but I'd rather go with Wang. The closer should be the least of our worries the big bat 1/3 baseman should be our number one priority. Hernandez and/or Koji could substitute as closer if need be.

Eric Bedard. We know how good he can be if he stays healthy. Capps would answer a lot of bullpen questions and should also be considered. The rest seem to only be stop gaps so it really doesn't matter.

Adrian Beltre. I like his defense and if he can ever even come close to matching his offensive glory years, he would be a nice upgrade. And he is young.

And he may be one of the few 3B who will match what Mora will do this coming year with his glove and a year recovery from shoulder injury.

Dan, I am going with Jim Thome. The man fills a void in power and protection for Markakis. He hits 30-40 HRs every year. He doesnt play 1B as much anymore, but he could platoon when not DHing. I doubt he would want to come to a rebuilding club though, probably wants to finish his career with a contender. What do you think?

I say Adam LaRoche, and if not him, Russell Branyan. Trade for Dan Uggla and put him at third, until Bell is ready, then put him at DH.

I think one of the best options is Mark DeRosa. He is a very consistent hitter and powerful, except the early parts of last season. He is a solid choice for third defensively and has the offensive numbers to produce in the middle of the order. We have the money to spend and with one starting pitcher signed, possibly a deal with a closer, we can afford the investment.

Troy(Santa)Glaus has the most upside when healthy and wouldn't cost alot. Same with Bedard.

Adam Laroche and Garrett Atkins are very productive and young, get them while you can, Snyder and Bell need some extra time to develop and the Orioles need to start winning or the fans are going to go away

Mike Gonzalez!!! Wow, if ONLY the Orioles could sign him, they would be all set to make a run for the World Series in 2010. Please Andy MacPhail, go get that final piece of the puzzle to make this team a contender.

We need corners filled .. let's sign two guys who will be healthy. play decent defense and not embarrass themselves at the plate and somehow make Andy look brilliant and Peter look generous and accomodating.

Sign Mike Gonzalez
Sign Adrian Beltre
Trade for Adrian Gonzalez
Sign Erik Bedard
Drink champagne

What is most important for the Orioles is that they spend WISELY. I don't want them wasting their money on Erik Bedard (lacks physical & mental toughness), Carlos Delgado (shallow & selfish), Hank Blalock (strikeout-addicted & lazy) and other overrated divas. They're better off investing in better scouts, instructors and coaches.

Looks like all your Christmas wishes came true!!!! go o's

Here are my 2 cents:
-Delgado is old and has no place on the O's Roster. We HOPE he can stay healthy and hit 30HRS... let someone else take the gamble.
-Whoever said to get Rodney clearly did not ever watch a Detroit game, he is HORRIBLE!
-Gonzalez is a decent sign but reminds me far too much of years past (Hawkins, Grimsley, Baez...)
-Millwood has had a sub 4.00 Era only twice in the past 7 seasons. He is a #4 starter on a good team and his impact will be marginal at best. "But he will have an impact on the younger guys..." Isnt that the same line we got when we signed Kris Benson?
-If we are looking to sign veteran pitching, why not take a shot on guys like Sheets, Bedard, or Mulder? I would much rather pay them a couple million with heavy incentives, rather then shell out 9 million on a guy like Millwood. Heck, we could probably get all 3 for 9 million and at least they are in their low 30's.
-The Orioles spent more on their roster in 1998 than in 2009... pathetic!


*We have the 23rd highest payroll in baseball, how about spending some $$$ to at least make the games enjoyable? I cannot understand how some people are content with waiting another year. Yes we are developing talent but we need to add some young studs to the mix so they can establish a rapport with this supposed dream team that we are to have next year. And really, what if next year expectations fall short? I can already hear "now they've all had time to get used to each other and have another year under their belts. Just wait till 2012".

I'm tired of paying good money to see a 90 loss team that falls apart mid-season. If we have to put up with another year of sub-par performance, how about dropping tickets to $5 all year to show the fans some gratitude?

SIZEMO, I hear ya man...too many years. When the Yankees were spending 97 Mil per year back in the 90's the O's were spending 90 Mil per year and put butts in the seats and a darn good team on the field. So here is what we do, Now we need to rent the other GONZO first base and power and sign a real closer and we can field at least a 500 ball club in 2010 and spend and build as we go, Go Orioles and Go Ravens

Adrian Gonzalez? Yes please, I will take one.

For whatever reason the Padres are looking to move him, and the best offer I have seen on the net seems to be Elsbury and Bucholtz plus more; I have to believe we have more to offer than the Sox.

Let's start with Felix Pie. He's one of four outfielders here. He is just the type of slap hitting speedster who can cover ground in the outfield that should do exceptionally well in Petco. And to boot, his trade value is incredibly high right now after his solid half season. We bought low (Olson) and should do what we have been doing: sell high.

Speaking of selling high, I would imagine the Pads would want something to help the middle of their order. See if they'll take Luke Scott (maybe they haven't seen him play the OF).

Brandon Snyder, a lime-drive hitter who would not have a position in Bal but will be ready to be a solid major leaguer under team controll for years by the middle of the season. I could be wrong, but Snyder's hitting style could translate very well in Petco.

Ok, Felix Pie, Brandon Snyder and Luke Scott are going to be the centerpiece of any package. We are going to have to give pitching, but in no way should Bergusen, Tillman or Matusz be involved.

We have enough pitching to spare a couple arms as long as we get Adrian! See what SD thinks of: either Erbe, Arieta or Patton and one of: Hernandez, Miller, Hobgood, Mikolio -or any other pitcher in the minors for that matter.

Shoot, throw in Guthrie for all I care.

Listen, we can have all the young pitching in the world and watch the minor-league roundups to see how they're doing as they wait for an opportunity in the majors, or we could vastly improve our major league team.

I remember McPhail saying something along the lines of "grow the pitching, buy the bats." Well, our garden of pitching is strong enough to take a little pruning, and you can't buy a bat like Gonzalez this year.

Now sign Atkins best friend Matt Holliday. Package Riemold or Pie, Arrieta, Hernandez, Snyder, and others to SD for Gonzalez

sign Bedard

johny, now that we have 3rd secure for one year the AGonzales trade is what we need to become competitive. If we could get him it would take an offer like Tillman, Pie, Snyder or Aubrey, and Arrietta or Hernandez. As popual as Scott is no one in the National league wants such a streaky hitter who is a liability in the outfield.

Looks like a lot of guys are having a hard time counting to one. Or limiting themselves to "current free agents". But hey, that makes for a better discussion.

Since I am coming to this party after the Gonzalez and Atkins signings are announced, I am looking at 1B or SP. I considered Delgado, LaRoche, and Nick Johnson mostly, and Bedard and Sheets for SP. I'd still take either pitcher, but to pick one guy I think I'd go for LaRoche.

Pony up for Holliday. Overpay if you have to. Glaus, Delgado, Crede. Old and injured. Stop making the same mistake every year.

Dan, Of the ones the Orioles have a realistic chance and willingness to sign, I'd probably go with Erik Bedard, who could really solidify the top of the rotation.

Now that the Orioles have gotten their closer (or at least another closer candidate) in Mike Gonzalez and their third baseman in Garrett Atkins, I think getting Bedard to go with Kevin Millwood would bring some credibility to their starting pitching.

If Bedard is healthy, the O's have a bona fide ace to head an much improved and potentially above average rotation (when's the last time they could make such a boast, ten years ago?).

Knocking Millwood back to the number two starter would undoubtedly be a good thing, taking some of the pressure off of him.

A Bedard signing would leave the Orioles with really just one major hole to fill this off season, and that's first base. To me, they should get someone they can sign to just a year, whether it be Nick Johnson or Carlos Delgado (I'm thinking the team is leaning towards Delgado due to the power numbers), someone like that. Certainly, avoid trading away the future.

This would give the O's a 25-man roster that could potentially look something like the this:

Starting Lineup

Brian Roberts--2B
Adam Jones--CF
Nick Markakis--RF
Carlos Delgado--FB
Nolan Reimold--LF
Matt Wieters--C
Luke Scott--DH
Garrett Atkins--3B
Cesar Izturis--SS

Bench
Robert Andino--SS/3B
Chad Moeller--C
Felix Pie--LF/CF
Ty Wigginton--1B/3B/DH

Starting Rotation
Erik Bedard--LHP
Kevin Millwood--RHP
Jeremy Guthrie--RHP
Brian Matusz--LHP
Brad Bergesen--RHP
Chris Tillman--RHP

(Clearly, the O's aren't going to have a six-man rotation, but Bedard won't be ready on opening day. It's possible that one of the three youngsters is going to regress a bit and need to go back down to the minors a while, someone may get injured or pushed to the bullpen.)

Bullpen

Matt Albers--Middle reliever
Jason Berken--Short relief
Mike Gonzalez--Closer
Mark Hendrickson--Left-hand specialist
Jim Johnson--Set-up man (or is that set 'em up man--bar keep's favorite role! as in...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeSvQ4OI1vI&feature=PlayList&p=66F993087C34BA52&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=44
Dave Hernandez--Middle relief
Cla Meredith--Right-hand specialist
Kam Mickolio--Short relief
Koji Uehara--Every conceivable role from spot starter to long reliever to closer.

(Like the starting pitching, there is a bit of uncertainly as to how things are going to shake out. It's really anyone's guess. It's a real numbers game, and more than one of them is going to be dealt or start the season in the minors.)

In light of what I think could be the first winning season for the Orioles in over a decade (though likely barely over .500) I find it more compelling to answer your free agent question about next offseason.

And my answer to that question?

Albert Pujols.

Just think about plugging his name in the lineup between Markakis and Wieters and you're really talking about Oriole Magic.

He would be the one player who would put the Orioles back on the baseball map in a heartbeat.

Camden Yards would once again be the hottest ticket in town.

All of sudden the Yankees and Red Sox will need to be concerned not only about the Rays gaining on them, but also the Orioles, perhaps more so than even the Rays.

Okay, a lot of your patrons are shaking their heads saying, "Dream on, but it ain't gonna happen." To which I respond: Not so fast!

I understand the skepticism. Being an O's fan over the past twelve years has been all about skepticism, but there may be a clearing up ahead leading out of the forest of gloom.

Admittedly, it's going to take a lot for the O's to even get within shouting distance of Pujols and his agent, but it's not impossible.

What it's going to come down to is significant improvement in the standings by the Orioles, as in a winning (.500 won't do) season. The O's are certainly going to do better against the Halladay-less Blue Jays next year, but they're going to need to do better pretty much across the board. They'll need to beat up on teams outside their division and reduce their losses within it.

There are a whole lot of "ifs" that will need for the O's to make it happen. Here are some off of the top of my head. In my view, not all of them need to happen, but most do if the Birds are going to take a real step forward:

* Bedard (assuming he signs with them) needs to come back successfully and stay healthy

* Millwood needs to pitch at the very least as well as he did in '09

* Guthrie needs to restore the form he had in '07 and '08

* At least two of the three youngsters--Bergesen, Matusz and Tillman--need to have decent seasons or one of them needs to have a very good year

* A better rested bullpen needs across the board improvement, dropping its ERA by at least run

* The late inning relievers need to provide real lock-down performances, with a dominant closer in Gonzalez

* Team offense needs to be better through free agent signings and the maturation of some of the young talent...more patient at bats

* The entire team needs to play better fundamental baseball

* Wieters needs to be ahead of schedule in his development as a budding superstar

and

* Roberts and Markakis need to give their usual solid performances.

That's what I see is going to need to happen for the Orioles to make a little noise in 2010. If they can do that to the point that any objective observer would conclude that the O's are primed to make a real run at the AL East pennant in 2011, then there is good reason to believe that Pujols could come away with the same conclusion.

Albert Pujols in an Orioles uniform; now that's definitely something O's fans could hope for in the not-too-distant future!

It sure beats looking around the bar and seeing these patrons of yours crying in their beer every time I stop by your establishment for a visit.

Assuming we are unable to sign Holliday..which we wont be able to....Sign Adam LaRoche and Erik Bedard...I would then call this a successful offseason.

Sign Bedard and DeRosa. A rotation of Bedard, Millwood, Bergesen, Matusz, and Tillman along with a lineup of:

Brian Roberts, 2B
Adam Jones, CF
Nick Markakis, RF
Matt Wieters, C
Nolan Reimold, LF
Luke Scott, DH
Mark DeRosa, 1B
Garret Atkins, 3B
Cesar Izturis, SS

with guys like Pie, Wiggington, and Andino coming off the bench, would be pretty sweet and a sure-fire upgrade from last season. It won't win us a penant this year but I think we could at least be competitive.

It's all about hope, isn't it? Adding Atkins, Gonzalez and Millwood has changed the tone of the comments. The Orioles have to compete in the most difficult division in baseball; just being competitive with the Red Sox and Yankees would be a major improvement for this year. It would be great to add AGon and would be worth sacrificing some prospects but it probably is not going to happen. If you were a Padres fans, would you advocate dumping the team's best player? Gee, then they'd be like... recent Orioles fans! Delgado is getting old, but would provide LH power. Johnson would be a bit cheaper (but they say he's headed for the Yankees... why they need him in another question)... ALaroche sure... Ain't it great to be hopeful again?

Ibleed black and orange .Iwould send 5 minors with mora-to pittsburgh for andy laroach 3b,. zach duke. bring in beddard for one season.hank buulock for ins. researve.delgoda plays 3 months not worth it.sheets just wants money, he would be 2-3 months maybe.bring in NICK JOHNSON 1b., HOPEFULLY for one year we could be lookuing at 90 wins ,and be playing in october post season.less money one year ,and hope eveyone to have a great year,and we go from there ,baltimore could be VERY compective.it has been too long, WE WANT ONE YEAR TO be EXCITED AND look for 90 wins .

Pujols will be a lifelong Cardinal.

Glaus and Delgado are reputed Roiders.

The only correct answer is Vlad Guerrero.

He's got at least two more monster years left followed by a few merely good ones.

Trade for Adrian Gonzales and sign Bedard for one year with incentives galore. Then we compete!

Why the heck not Holliday? "Because he's not coming here". You've been in Charm City too long, Connolly. That's the exact type of defeatist thinking that has fans convinced, "oh, he'll never come here" Why not? Why not at least try? Why not throw more money at him than anyone else? He'd still come cheaper than Texeira would have.

You can't win in the AL East just through your farm system and mid-level free agents. Sooner or later, the Orioles are going to have to break out the checkbook (the one with the dust on it) and use it to sign a stud and Holliday fits the bill as well as anyone.

"Won't come here"! I'm sick of hearing that, Connolly! Have you ever heard of self fulfilling prophecies? Keep thinking that way and you'll be looking at 13 more years of losing.

---
Barkeep's Reply: Tpc, I get your point. But the Orioles would have to significantly overpay to get Holliday here. Not slightly, but significantly. And the Orioles don't think he is the kind of player to significantly overpay. So, I guess I should say, he most likely isn't coming here.

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