I think it’s a disservice to Iglesias (84 OPS+ in his career) to put him in the same category as Izturis (64 OPS+ career, 56 OPS+ as an Oriole). I did like Izzy’s glove though.
I expect Iglesias to be significantly better than Izturis and significantly better than Hardy was in 2015 and 2017. I don’t expect him to be as good as Hardy was in 2011-14, but he might come close to the 2016 version if we’re lucky. Defensively he won’t be as good as Hardy in his prime, but he’ll be very good and fun to watch.
One of the more interesting starts of the early spring, in my opinion. Yeah, Cobb will have little impact on the long term future of the Orioles, but 2020 will be a lot more tolerable if Cobb is healthy and pitching at the top of his game.
I'm not sure this was Elias saying he likes Velazquez more than Urena as much as it was him saying he likes the gamble of having both of them with the downside of just Velazquez more than having only Urena.
In such a fantasy world, similarly unlikely things could happen like Cobb finishing in the top-3 for Cy Young and Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle finishing first and second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. In such a world, a mid-80 win season may be possible.
In a world with no other miracle happening in the season and the rest of the players producing within their likely range of outcomes, the Orioles COULD win enough to avoid 100 losses, but pitching is still the biggest issue.
Now...back to reality where a replacement level season from Davis would be a pleasant surprise.
I count myself as a huge JJ Hardy fan, but his offense was up and down. Yes, Hardy at his best was a better hitter than Iglesias, especially on the power front, but let’s not forget he was a low OBP guy and that two of his final three years for us were far worse than what I’d expect from Iglesias. Overall Hardy had an 87 OPS+ as an Oriole; Iglesias is at 84 OPS+ for his career.
In the minors, off the 40-man roster? Plenty. He could be the utility infielder at Norfolk or start everyday at Bowie. He turns 24 in two days and is still something of a prospect. Certainly more interesting than Angelo Mora who is three years older and the guy he will be replacing at Norfolk or Bowie. Would rather have a guy with a utility infielder ceiling getting playing time at the upper minors than an Org guy like Mora.
Last year Jesmuel Valentin and Anderson Feliz combined for 142 games last year at Bowie and Feliz, Chris Bostick, Zach Vincej, and Jack Reinheimer combined for 355 games at Norfolk. That is a lot of playing time that could be available for fringe prospects like Urena rather than org guys.