The free agent signing period started at midnight last night and Jorge Posada was the first to cash in resigning with the Yankees. This in my opinion is a weak free agent class compared to some in the past.
As Andy McPhail has said, the O’s are not one or two players away. Don’t expect them to be very active in the free agent signing market. Could a guy like Eric Gagne make sense if it is a one-year deal for mid-level money? Sure. One guy I would like to see the O’s go and get would be Aaron Rowand. I think Rowand would stop the revolving door in CF and add some pop to the lineup. If you can get Rowand, sign him to a three- or four-year deal and tell him that he is one of the guys you want to build this team around. Rowand would be a huge upgrade over Corey Patterson, Luis Matos, Jerry Hairston, David Newhan, and whoever else you want to throw in the mix. Rowand is a career .286 hitter and pretty much the same kind of fielder that Patterson is. While Patterson was solid defensively, his bat at times left a lot to be desired and forced managers to bench him often. The thing about Rowand is that he will cash in big time this year after an All-Star and Gold Glove season. Plus after Andruw Jones and Torri Hunter are gone off the board, Rowand should be next.
Most of the moves that the O’s will make will come via trade. While they will try to move as many of these guys as they can, it will be impossible to move them all. I do think Tejada will be gone, the problem is once again as it is with most of these guys is the money he is due and what you can expect in return for him. I think the Cubs would make sense as a team Tejada could be dealt to. I have been impressed with McPhail so far, and I think in before long we will all say that he has done a nice job.