Today and tomorrow, in sunny Orlando Florida, the annual baseball winter meetings have begun. This is when all the teams and general managers get together, talk about the state of the game, sign free agents, and make trades. All except the Orioles.
Since Buck ball began here, this team has played very well. However, everyone agrees on two things. One, the Orioles need a bat, or two, in the middle of this line-up. And second, the Orioles fan base has transitioned from a slow bleed over the last decade, to a state of flight, that needs to be stopped, and signing a big name, middle of the line-up bat would go a long way to help this.
Everyone, listen to me very carefully, the Orioles will not sign a big name free agent bat this offseason. How do I know this? Because I do.
The Orioles will announce they have had lots of negotiations with lots of agents and other teams about trades. (This has already been announced) But when all the dust has settled this offseason, the Orioles will have either Derek Lee at 1st base (1 year and $7 million dollars) or Adam Larouche (2 years and $16 million dollars). They will try to sell this as “buying a bat”. I am not buying what they are selling.
I can go over the entire roster, but I can boil it down to this.
On the pitching staff, they need 2 relief pitchers and 1 starter. They can probably get all 3 of these pitchers from their minor league roster. I am not saying this is what should be done to be competitive and successful. I am saying this is the cheapest way to fill those positions, so that’s what they will do. They might re-sign Koji and trade for a “Kevin Millwood” type. Fine, no big deal. It won’t cost them much money and it will probably make the team a little bit better.
On the offensive side, they need a SS, 1B, and a 3B. They will probably go with the Felix, Reimold platoon in LF, with Reimold getting some DH at bats, along with Luke.
We know what they will do at 1B. They may make marginal offers for Dunn or Martinez, but they will settle for the cheap option. 3B is a bigger disaster. I would not be surprised if either Ty Wigginton or Miggy will be back at 3B next year. I want the Orioles to trade with Seattle for Chone Figgins. Seattle wants out of that contract, 3 years left and $21 million dollars. And the Orioles need a number 2 hitter, between Roberts and Nick. Perfect. Chance of happening…..0%
SS is on “tread water” status until 18 year old phenom is ready to get to the big leagues, which is 3 to 4 years away. Probably Ceasar again. Not bad, not great. Treading water.
If you are asking the question “Why am I so glum?” then my answer to you is…..Knowing everything you know about this organization, why are you not so glum?