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Obando

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Obando last won the day on May 26

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  1. That’s a good point. I read somewhere that Mayo’s bonus is actually more like $1.775M, and Baumler’s was only estimated to be “around” $1.5M, so his could be a little higher as well. I’m guessing Servideo signs for right around slot and the savings leftover from Kjerstad will go toward the Mayo & Baumler bonuses, but we need to see the final numbers once the deals are officially announced before we just assume the O’s are saving $300k on the draft as a whole.
  2. Fangraphs made a mistake with that, as Kjerstad is not a switch hitter. He’s a LH hitter. I don’t think their high ranking of him is based on him being a switch hitter, because he’s not. I think it was just a typo.
  3. This makes sense to me, because Jarvis went to Driveline in the off-season and upgraded his fastball velocity and quality of his off speed pitches. He has the growth mindset that the Orioles front office wants in their players, and Chris Holt has connections with Driveline, so he probably had good inside info on Jarvis’ makeup and insight on the improvements he made. Also, Jarvis got off to a great start this year, and the draft model probably projected him to have a great season if it were to have been played in its entirety. When you add in that Jarvis’ father pitched in the big leagues, giving him good bloodlines, it all makes sense why the Orioles would have had Bryce ranked highly on their board. I think Jarvis & Jared Shuster from Wake Forest were 2 of the pitchers the Orioles were targeting at 30 (Bobby Miller could have been as well), as Elias indicated pitchers that they liked got picked before they made their second pick of the draft. And by the time it got to pick 30, Westburg was clearly the highest rated player on their board.
  4. I don’t think Elias is picking these particular players to save money. I think he is legitimately just picking the best player on their board when it’s their turn to pick. That’s the whole point of having a draft board and ranking players. Obviously, they take asking price into account when making decisions, but the Orioles are now a very analytical team, so value is heavily factored into their decisions. I am going to choose to trust the process rather than complain because they may not pick players that I prefer. I’m sure there is a plan and they aren’t just making these picks blindly. I will admit that I am surprised we haven’t seen a pitcher yet through the first 4 picks though.
  5. I’m hoping the O’s take either Tanner Witt or Masyn Winn at 39, both of which will require over-slot bonuses, but that I think are worth the risk. The O’s should have the firepower to sign either of them with the presumed savings from the Kjerstad and Westburg picks (yes, I expect Westburg to be under slot as well). If we go the college pitching route, I am hoping we pick either Logan Allen or Clayton Beeter, both of whom fit the Orioles pitching philosophy very well. Allen has a longer track record and is less risky, but Beeter has arguably the best curveball in the draft, and a rising 4 seam fastball to boot, although he has an injury history and shorter track record.
  6. It wasn’t so much that Aiken was a bad pitcher, but after the Astros drafted him first overall, they discovered an issue with his elbow on the physical and decided to back out of the deal. It turns out they were right, because Aiken blew his elbow out the following year and hasn’t been right ever since (he got drafted by the Indians in the first round the following year and has struggled in their system). And it worked out for the Astros because they got a compensation pick at #2 the following year for failure to sign Aiken (all picks in the top 3 rounds are protected) and drafted Alex Bregman, who has turned out to be a stud.
  7. John is not his father (Lou doesn’t seem to be either), and that’s a very good thing. He just seems to “get it,” and it’s very refreshing after decades of mismanagement by PGA. If anything, I wish John would talk more with the media, because he’s well spoken and has good ideas and thoughts, but I can also respect that he doesn’t want to be the face of the organization, so he picks his spots. I know it’s still early in his lead ownership role, but so far, I’m very impressed with how he’s handled everything.
  8. Per Ben Badler’s latest Baseball America 2020-2021 J2 International top 40 prospects list, the Orioles are expected to sign a 15-year-old catcher from the Dominican named Samuel Basallo for a bonus of near $1.5M. Basallo, who turns 16 on August 13, is ranked #31 on the top 40 list. He apparently was connected with the Yankees previously, but now he’s expected to sign with the Orioles. This is great news, especially on top of the expectation that we will also sign top SS prospect Maikol Hernandez of Venezuela, who is ranked #35 on this list. The $1.5M bonus for Basallo would be by far the most we’ve given a J2 prospect, not only since Elias became GM, but possibly in the history of the Orioles. If this news doesn’t make it clear that the Orioles are a serious player in Latin America now, I don’t know what will. I am very excited to say the least!
  9. I so badly want this to happen, and I’m convinced the Yankees are cheaters, only no one has outed them yet. I could give numerous examples, but over the years, I have watched too many games where the Yankee hitters react as if they knew exactly what pitch was coming, and even their worst hitters are hitting home runs out of nowhere, and off of good pitchers too. Sure, they could be stealing signs the old fashioned way to know what pitch might be coming, but it just seemed too unlikely and non-coincidental that there has to be something more systematic in place going on behind the scenes. And I think we all know the Blue Jays have cheated in their home stadium for years, as there were always rumors of someone sitting in the stands indicating what pitch was coming to the hitters. It basically became a joke after awhile, but there was definitely something to it. In reality, I think every team in baseball is cheating to some extent or another, but right now, the Astros are taking the most heat for it because other teams and players are jealous of their recent success and don’t like their smugness and self promotion about their process and how they became winners.
  10. I’ve always been convinced that the Yankees are cheaters. How often have we seen average players go there and then turn into studs, with 2019 being a perfect example? Guys like Tauchman, Urshela, & Mike Ford, who were bottom of the roster players and jettisoned by other teams, suddenly become Yankees and turn into studs. Even Didi Gregorius was considered a defense-first player and a mediocre hitter when acquired, suddenly turns into Babe Ruth with the Yankees. Even Aaron Hicks, who looked like a bust with the Twins, comes to the Yankees and becomes one of their better hitters. And typically when Yankee players leave and go elsewhere, especially hitters, they are never as good. Why do you think the Yankees always seem to win trades? Because they artificially make players look better than they are, then trade them once their value is up and actually get a good return, only to see the player not do nearly as well with his new team. Aaron Judge was a strikeout machine in the minors, and even in his first abbreviated year up with the Yankees in 2016. Then 2017 comes around and he’s a completely different hitter that strikes out less and doesn’t miss any mistakes, becoming a perennial HR hitting stud. Coincidence, I think not, which isn’t to discredit his success completely. I know part of this is probably just envy and jealousy at how good the Yankees are and have usually always been, but I seriously think there’s more to it than just they are the big bad Yankees and can outspend every team in baseball. I’m convinced there is some level of cheating going on, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Carlos Beltran had something to do with it, especially in 2019.
  11. You might be right about that based on the piece of the article you posted. If Rosenbaum was running the Int’l Scouting department and then got demoted/replaced with Velasco, it would make sense for her to not be happy about it and decide to leave. Ocampo used to run that department, but in recent years he has been the interpreter for the major league team primarily. I’m guessing he wanted to have more responsibility and felt he wasn’t going to get it in Houston under the current hierarchy. Luhnow certainly has a way of ruffling feathers, huh?! I wonder if he’s doing these things purposely to push people out that he no longer wants, or if he simply likes fresh blood in these positions so the leadership doesn’t get stale. He seems like the type that likes to keep people on their toes in order to avoid complacency.
  12. If you notice the pattern of what has been happening the last 2 off seasons, long-time Astros baseball Ops employees have chosen to leave the organization to pursue other opportunities (presumably when their contracts expired). Last off-season it was Sig Mejdal and Mike Fast (who went to the Orioles and Braves, respectively), and this off-season it was Eve Rosenbaum and Oz Ocampo. Mike Elias technically didn’t choose to leave, but he was in demand as a GM candidate and decided to accept the Orioles job rather than stay with the Astros as Assistant GM. This was obviously a promotion for him, but we have seen other qualified GM candidates turn us down in the past to remain in lesser roles with their organization, most notably Tony LaCava before we hired Dan Duquette. So we really don’t know if Elias accepted the job because he truly wanted out of Houston, or because he simply wanted the promotion to GM and task of rebuilding the Orioles. That ultimately doesn’t matter all that much. However, it’s very telling to me that longtime Jeff Luhnow assistants like Sig and Oz Ocampo chose to leave the organization on their own, and to a lesser extent, Eve Rosenbaum. This tells me that they were not happy with the culture that had developed there, and it’s very possible that it’s directly related to the sign stealing and trade for Roberto Osuna. And then of course once Brandon Taubman did what he did and the organization botching how they handled it, that probably was the last straw for Rosenbaum and Ocampo (Eve in particular being a woman). So far, the only Astros executive with any direct connection to the sign stealing is Kevin Goldstein, but since he works for Luhnow, you would have to believe that Luhnow was fully aware and supportive of what was going on. But at this point, it’s not fair to implicate people like Elias, Mejdal, Rosenbaum, and Ocampo, just because they worked for the organization when these incidents occurred. Like Elias said recently, there are a lot of good people with the Astros that are being unfairly disparaged just by being associated with the organization, so I don’t blame many of them for wanting to leave, especially if they didn’t have anything to do with what was going on (even if they were aware of it). Being aware of something going on in your organization and supporting it are 2 different things, so let’s not lose sight of that. From purely a quality standpoint, I think we should be excited about the hiring of Rosenbaum, and it’s a good sign that she wanted to come here and work with Elias & Sig again. That tells me she thinks highly of them. And I would not at all be surprised if Ocampo ends up here as well in some high level assistant or director role. He goes way back with Elias & Sig to the Cardinals days, and he worked with Rosenbaum in the Astros International scouting department. The fact that he chose to leave indicates he probably already has an opportunity lined up with some team, and among people with other teams, he has the strongest connections with Mike & Sig, plus David Stearns in Milwaukee, who was in Houston with Ocampo for 3 years earlier this decade.
  13. Sig started working for Luhnow in 2005 as well, and he chose to leave after last season. That doesn’t mean Sig left because he wasn’t happy with the culture, but it goes to show that despite his allegiance to Luhnow for giving him his first job in baseball, he didn’t feel beholden to him. I don’t know how Charlie Gonzalez feels about the organization’s culture, but if he were going to leave the Astros for anyone, it would likely be to go to the Orioles to work with Mike & Sig again. I’m sure Mike & Sig have at least broached the subject to all of the people I mentioned in my prior post, so we’ll see if any of them end up leaving to come here. I think it would only be likely if their contracts are expiring and they choose not to stay, as opposed to Elias requesting permission from Luhnow to interview them. I’m sure Elias is aware of whose contracts are about to expire among Astros front office staff.
  14. I wouldn’t be surprised if Elias is waiting for the Astros season to end before he hires another 1 or 2 of his former colleagues to front office positions with the Orioles. I read an article on The Athletic last week regarding the Astros culture after the Taubman incident stating that it’s expected there will be more members of the front office leaving when the season ends, evidently due to their dissatisfaction with the culture and how people are treated in the organization. If that’s the case, I would not be surprised to see someone like Oz Ocampo or Kevin Goldstein leave to join Elias & Mejdal’s with the O’s. Both of those guys have been with the Astros for a long time and worked with Mike & Sig, so there is already an established relationship. Just as Sig & Mike Fast allowed their contracts to expire last year so they could pursue other opportunities, I could see the same thing happening with some remaining Astros front office staff if they are truly not happy with the current culture as was intimated in the article I read. One guy who I would love to get from the Astros is Charlie Gonzalez, who is a longtime scouting advisor who worked with Mike & Sig going back to their St. Louis days. Gonzalez is more of an old school type of scout, but he’s well versed in how they run the draft process by combining scouting with analytics, so it would be a seamless transition, and he also seems to have a knack for finding good players. Gonzalez is considered the driving force behind the acquisition of Yordan Alvarez in a trade with the Dodgers, as Gonzalez and Ocampo scouted him as an amateur and loved him, but they lost out to the Dodgers, who offered more money. Considering that guys like Gonzalez, Ocampo & Goldstein all worked for many years with Mike & Sig, I would not be surprised if they leave to come to Baltimore for better positions & pay as long as their contracts are expiring at the end of this month and they want out. Just something to keep an eye on with no true scouting director position filled yet and what appears to be room for another assistant GM or two, since Sig’s assistant GM title delineates that he oversees analytics specifically.
  15. Exactly. The Yankees traded for Aroldis Chapman as a distressed asset with the Reds, and no one seems to talk about that anymore. However, they should be getting just as much criticism as the Astros for not just trading for him after he got suspended for domestic violence, but then signing him again after they traded him to the Cubs. The only difference is that a member of their front office didn’t heckle a female reporter about it, which was obviously totally wrong and reprehensible. But the Yankees are just as worthy of criticism as the Astros if we’re looking at it purely from a moral perspective.
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