I’d say “the Orioles are no longer playing with their Johnson”…but we all know the truth.

December 03, 2013 | Drew Forrester

I literally LOL’d out loud (isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?) when word trickled out late Monday night that the Orioles got bent over by the Oakland A’s in their deal involving Jim Johnson.

How could you not snicker at Dan Duquette getting one-upped by the A’s of all people?

The Orioles got fleeced on Monday night for one reason:  Every single team in the major leagues knew they weren’t going to pay Jim Johnson the $10 million salary his one-year tender would have required.

You knew it.  I knew it.  And if dummies like you and I knew it, smart baseball people in St. Louis, Boston, Tampa Bay and Oakland certainly knew it.

How did we all “know it”?

Because it’s the Orioles.

I can hear the conversation now between DD and any other general manager in the big leagues last Tuesday.

“Hey…it’s Dan Duquette in Baltimore.  We have Jim Johnson available…and we’d like a really good player or decent AAA prospect for him.”

Other team’s GM — “Why would I give you anything in return for Jim Johnson?  He’s due to make $10 million next season.  We all know you’re not going to tender him a contract next week at the deadline.  Call us back when you’re ready to take a bag of balls for him.”

When it comes to matters involving money, they’re almost always going to throw up on themselves.

Meanwhile, they’ll be getting a new $27 million check this March as part of baseball’s mega-mother TV deal that gives each MLB team a total of $54 million in 2014 (last week I wrote it was $51 million but the number has officially been established by MLB at $54 mil).

I assume Tommy Hunter will be given the ball now and “groomed” to be the team’s new closer.

Good-freakin’-luck with that.

Or, maybe they’ll give 36-year old Grant Balfour – the now-ex Oakland closer – a two-year deal at $7.5 million per-year.  Wouldn’t that be so “O’s like”?  Let the incumbent go because you’re digging in and refusing to pay $10 million for one season, but give a guy six years older an additional five million on the books because he’s “cheaper” for one season.

Back to the deal constructed by Billy Beane and the A’s.

Like the rest of the country paying attention, Beane knew the Orioles weren’t going to pay $10 million for Johnson’s services.  They only have two players on the roster currently who make more than $10 million (Jones and Markakis) and, faced with the prospect of having to give Chris Davis $13 million or more in arbitration, they just couldn’t handle ONE more guy making upwards of ten mil per-season.  Right?  Right.

So, knowing the Orioles weren’t paying Johnson, the A’s bent them over, sending some guy named Jemile Weeks (yeah, I know you’ve never heard of him — neither has anyone else) and the always exciting “player to be named later” for one of the American League’s most productive closers over the last two seasons.

Wait, I know what you’re thinking…”But, Drew, Weeks has upside…”

“Upside”.  It’s a word that Duquette and the O’s cuddle up next to – naked – with the fireplace burning and a bottle of Boone’s Farm within arm’s reach.

“Upside”.  A word the Orioles are so intimately familiar with when it comes to taking a gamble on players, they’re buying stock in home pregnancy kits.

What a joke they’ve become.

Wait…did I write “become”?  This isn’t new.  The Orioles always choose “don’t pay the player” over “pay the player”.

Of course, because you ALWAYS have to mention this, the Orioles COULD be trying to stockpile a bunch of money for the big moment this winter when they fork over a Brinks Trick for one of the game’s talented free agents like Shin-Soo Choo.

Yeah — “and if you like your plan, you can keep your plan…”

I’d love to be wrong, and frankly, the Orioles SHOULD prove all of us wrong by spending some of that $54 million in TV money (plus the $35 mil or so they give themselves from MASN), but I won’t be wrong.

They dumped Jim Johnson on Monday night because they didn’t want to pay him $10 million in 2014.  The guy they got in exchange has four more career home runs as you, me, your neighbor’s boss and the guy who took your money at the Royal Farms register this morning.

And, because the whole world knows how frugal they are, no one was at the poker table to play with Duquette when he showed up at 11pm.

Except for Billy Beane.

Oh, and while the Orioles were busy getting exposed, their business partners in Washington D.C. who actually are trying to win picked up a nice starting pitcher on Monday night, acquiring Doug Fister from the Tigers for bucket of balls and a journeyman named Steve Lombardozzi.

The Nationals picked up Doug Fister on Monday night to bolster their rotation.

The Orioles dumped $10 million in salary.


9 Comments For This Post

  1. Chris Says:

    I guess their thinking is that they had 2 winning seasons in a row, so they are good for another decade of losing with the fan trust they’ve built up. Lol (out loud). I keep hoping one day they are run like a professional franchise.

    On another note, what’s going on with the lawsuit between MASN and the Nationals?

  2. Dan Says:

    Not to worry O’s fans , I hear Kevin Greg is available and can be picked up for a song , And more good news Nolan Reimold is ready to take over in left field should Nate faulter in the spring or want to much $ $ $ ,, :) and that’s very good news .

  3. The Armchair QB Says:

    Insanity: doing the same things over and over and expecting different results!

  4. unitastoberry Says:

    The money printing machine known as the Baltimore Orioles continues to rack up the savings account! They trade one of the best closers in the game for NOTHING. Then they give the always hurt Reimhold a million dollar raise? Lets give Brian Roberts a 5 year deal and bring Frank Robinson back to DH! Let the unraveling begin.

  5. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    The rich get richer { Angelos } & not only did Beane bend over the O’s, he bent over every O’s fan in doing so ! WNST makes a stand against Angelos every day, maybe now the fans will hopefully turn against this A-HOLE of a owner !!!

  6. CNC Orioles Fan Says:

    Drew, sub the word “fugral” for cheap because that is exactly what Ange(loser) is…cheap and add skate.

  7. joe of bel air Says:

    Get used to it Oriole fans because it is a prelude of things to come. Does anyone think the Orioles will spend the money necessary to sign Weiters, Davis,or Machado to a long term deal. I surely don’t. As good players get closer to free agency look for similar trades as the one yesterday.

  8. tsnamm Says:

    Joe in Bel Air has it right; this won’t be the last trade like this for the Orioles. The sad fact is that ol’ Pete is raking in the money from MASN, the MLB TV deal, and a doubling of attendance at OPACY from finally being relevant after 12 years…the Warehouse has been trying to pawn off the idea that the Orioles are a “small market” team for years. Unfortunately the numbers tend to disagree with them. Their LSN surely isn’t small market, and that is where the big money comes from. On top of that they OWN it, so almost every dollar belongs to them. Also every Cable and Satellite system from Southern PA to Northern VA carries MASN, and every subscriber has to pay ol’ Pete for the privilege of having it…that just happens to make this area the 4th largest Metropolitan Statistical area in the country behind only NYC, LA, & the Chicago metro areas. That adds up to a lot of money, way more than say KC, Milwaukee or Cleveland could ever dream of…the little sisters of the poor act is getting old.

  9. Ralph Says:

    Hey what’s going on? You sure do make a lot of male genitalia references such as “Bag of Balls” and “playing with their Johnson” and some about sexing such as “got bent over”. But you make such references with good cause. The Orioles are throwing in the towel on the whole next season. That stuff is wrong. It sure would be nice if they seemed to try. They are wasting some wonderful payers who are in their prime. Keep up the great fight friend and I love your show, it is the best on the air. And yes I do have Sirius XM so that includes a 100 stations.

Leave a Reply