I begin this post about the Orioles with a reference to a conversation I saw during the NFL Draft on ESPN. During the draft, the Broncos took with their top pick WR from Georgia Tech Demayius Thomas. Lots of the talking heads loved the pick…. “It fills a hole in their roster” was the common refrain. Not Tommy Jackson, former Linebacker for the Broncos. He said, and I paraphrase “They are filling a hole they didn’t have to have. They had Brandon Marshall, and this kid won’t be Brandon Marshal in the 2010 season” To sum up, why trade a strength to potentially fill the whole you just created?
Kevin Millwood has pitched AWESOME for the Orioles. As of today, he has pitched 40 innings, not missed one start, has a 3.15 ERA, 32 K’s and just 11 BB’s. I know his record is 0-3. And, I do not care. He has done so much more than we could have hoped in this first month. He is the “Anti-Bedard” He wants the ball and doesn’t want to come out of the game. According to everything I have read, the young pitchers just love him. He is great in the clubhouse and is a real mentor.
With this being the final year of his contract and the Orioles are not in the playoff hunt (sorry MASN) then the discussion coming up is “How much to we get in a trade for this valuable commodity? I offer another option. Sign him now to an extension. As a team, the Orioles have been struggling for too long to find a pitcher who can go out there every 5th day and throw a competitive game against the other teams best pitchers. WE HAVE ONE OF THOSE GUYS NOW, LETS KEEP HIM!!!!!
What will it cost? That is simple, one extra year. I don’t know what the going rate is for a pitcher like Kevin on the open market, but it will probably involve a 3 year deal. Guess what Orioles, if you want to turn this corner and be competitive, which is a BIG question, then you have to offer Kevin that 4th year. This will probably be a wasted year, but we can’t care right now. We need this guy on our team for the rest of this year, and for the next several as well. Why trade him and then look to bring in guys who might do as well as he has performed. Andy McPhail certainly won’t sign a free agent pitcher (“Grow the arms, buy the bats”). By signing Millwood now to a 4 year deal, it would make a statement to the pitchers in the organization that success will be rewarded, and that has to be a good thing.
And no, I don’t think this regime will do this. But if I can’t hope after we just swept the Red Sox, then when can I hope.