Well, Andy came along in 2007. I, and many other diehard/somewhat knowledgeable Orioles fans, agreed with much of what Andy did. Shed the veteran stopgaps. Trim payroll. Don’t go crazy in the free agent market. Make key low-risk/high-reward trades and signings.
Andy MacPhail put a team out there that many fans had been begging for throughout all of these losing seasons. He constructed a young, talented, cheap team with enormous upside. Finally, the O’s were ready to break through into their next era of winning.
On July 14th, 2011, all indications are that Andy MacPhail has failed with his plan. That is not to say that much of what he did was wrong, because many moves that he made at the time made a lot of sense, at least to me. It made sense to give up peanuts for Felix Pie, even though he hasn’t put any of his five tools to much use during his time in Baltimore.
Bringing Vladimir Guerrero to Batimore, even though DH wasn’t a desperate need, was logical. Trading David Hernandez for Mark Reynolds was a move the O’s pretty much had to make. Extending Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts both were met with many accolades, especially Markakis, at the time the deals were signed.
But put all the logic and opinions aside, and now the results start to speak for themselves. The Orioles stink yet again, only now they have a bunch of resources invested in their current players.
Brian Roberts is owed $20 million over the next two years. Markakis has three years left on his $66 million deal that he signed prior to 2009. The young pitching that Andy MacPhail has grown is crashing and burning, and when any of them finally turn it around and start to pitch to their potential, they aren’t going to be so young and cheap anymore.