The Orioles went into the off-season needing major upgrades on the infield corners. The team finished last season with journeyman Michael Aubrey at 1st base and the punchless Melvin Mora and Ty Wiggington sharing time at 3rd. My fear was that Andy MacPhail would pay lip service to improving on the corners only to come up short leaving O’s fans to suffer through a thousand at bats from Aubrey and Wiggington.
MacPhail has gone out and put his money where his mouth is this Winter. Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins are massive offensive upgrades and should provide potent bats for the middle of the 2010 order. The signings also allow the team to continue batting Adam Jones in the #2 hole and Wieters and Reimold in the bottom third.
I know not everyone is thrilled with the signings. People wanted the team to go out and trade for Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder, or sign Matt Holliday. I would’ve been all for such a deal, but neither Gonzalez nor Fielder have been dealt and Holliday signed a deal with St. Louis that another team didn’t come within $40 million of matching. I would’ve preferred Adam LaRoche at 1st with either Atkins or Tejada at 3rd, but any way you slice it the team is better today than it was when the season ended. Of course coming off a 64 win season the only place to go is up…we hope.