Yes, Brian Matusz is on his way to winning rookie of the year. Fantastic!
However, we have a very important Oriole situation to discuss. This is not a blog to back away from a tough discussion, so here it goes.
The Oriole payroll 3 years ago was about $90 million. The Oriole payroll this year is about $65 million. There is no denying that this years team is better suited to both be more competitive this year, and in years to come. Andy McPhail has reshaped our farm system, from one of the worst in baseball to a strong farm system with the top flight talent.
Having said all of that, the one thing we can all agree on is that in order to be competitive, we need to add at least a big bat and a front line starter. I will repeat, if we WANT to be competitive, we NEED to add a big bat and a front line starter.
Next year, the Orioles will not have Kevin Millwood, Miguel Tejada, or Garret Atkins. A starter, and both corner infield positions and about $20 million dollars. That will bring the payroll to below $50 million. If the Orioles were to add Cliff Lee to the top of their rotation and Carlos Pena at 1st base, then we would have addressed the top 2 things that need to be addressed in order to be competitive.
Please listen to me very carefully, THE ORIOLES WILL NOT DO THIS. The Orioles will replace that $20 million dollars in payroll and those 3 positions with Chris Tillman, Josh Bell and Brandon Synder. Rookies that will cost about $1 million dollars. Increase in competitiveness, practically zero.
How do we know this is gonna happen..? Because Andy McPhail has pretty much said so. So stop hoping, or worst expecting, us to be competitive next year. Its not gonna happen. We may be a 81-84 win team next year, up from the 72-74 win team we will be this year, but we won’t be competitive. And coincidentally, next year’s payroll will be about $15 to $20 million below this year’s. That is the truth, and you should start getting used to it.