I’m the guy who has been telling callers and e-mailers over the last month that the Orioles aren’t going to sign any “real” free agents this off-season.
So, why would I be chirping about the Birds not having any interest in Tim Hudson?
Probably because I still have this wacky, bass-ackwards idea that one of these days, the Orioles just might actually spend some of that money they’ve been stacking up for the last seven years since they birthed MASN and started collecting money from everyone in the market via your monthly cable bill.
Here’s the funny addendum to that. This March, the Orioles and the rest of the 29 other MLB teams get a NEW $27 million check as part of the league’s national TV package.
I have no idea if Tim Hudson would have come to Baltimore.
He was well situated in Atlanta, having grown up and gone to high school in nearby Alabama, so a move to San Francisco seems somewhat odd for a guy that you assume would be looking to stay closer to home as his career comes to an end.
I’m sure his $23 million/2-year deal in S.F. made him nearly untouchable in Baltimore, where the Orioles have signed only two free agents – EVER – for more than $10 million a year (Albert Belle and Miguel Tejada).
Way back when, as Peter Angelos discussed the unveiling of the MASN TV network, he authored one of the most telling quotes in his now 20 years of Orioles ownership.
Asked about the prospect of signing then-high profile pitcher Roy Oswalt, who was asking for $100 million for 7 years, Angelos quipped: “I just don’t see the logic in spending $14 million a year for someone who only works once every five days.”
Not surprisingly, the Orioles have never signed a quality free-agent starting pitcher.
Tim Hudson has enjoyed an outstanding major league career. He’s not a Hall of Fame candidate, but he’s certainly going to make a speech someday at the Hall of Very Good. He has 205 wins spread out over 15 seasons and his lifetime ERA of 3.44 is better than a lot of guys who ARE in the Hall of Fame.
Yes, he’s coming off a bad leg injury, but he doesn’t pitch with his leg. He uses his shoulder, arm and hand to do that.
At age 38, he’s in the November of his career, for sure, but he’s better than Miguel Gonzalez, Scott Feldman and Bud Norris, although all three of those pitchers are admittedly younger and have less tread on their tires.
I’m not surprised the Birds didn’t have an interest in Hudson. He’s the anti-Oriole signing, frankly. He’s a player with a track record and a sparkling career resume who won’t come here and work for $37.00 an hour the way a guy like Kelvin Dela Cruz will, who signed in Baltimore earlier this week after eight so-so seasons with — you ready — a bunch of minor league teams scattered all over baseball.
There’s a lot of hot stove action to go and maybe the O’s will stun us all with a signing of Carlos Beltran or A.J. Burnett or perhaps they’ll pull off a trade for a Jose Bautista or Ian Kinsler.
I’d love to see some of that activity.
I want the Orioles to get better.
But, as I’ve been warning a lot of you over the next four weeks, don’t hold your breath for any kind of improvement that includes SPENDING MONEY ON OR PAYING FOR REALLY GOOD PLAYERS.
It’s just not in the cards, no matter how much money you and I continue to contribute to the Orioles organization via our monthly Verizon or Comcast payment.
The Giants got Tim Hudson.
The Orioles got some guy named Kelvin Dela Cruz who has as many career major league strikeouts as you, me and Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden.
To borrow a phrase: “It’s the Oriole way”.