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Assuming he's done, grade MacPhail's offseason

Grade MacPhail's offseason (assuming he's done)  

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  1. 1. Grade MacPhail's offseason (assuming he's done)


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AM was able to get a nice mix of players but 2 big things he failed to do:

1. Get young infield depth. We are gonna have holes all over the infield next offseason (except for the great Cesar).

2. Give the average fan a reason to get excited. A big signing would've been nice. Attendence will still be way down this year unless the O's are gonna contend.

Otherwise, he did well, but those were 2 biggies. So, B-/C+.

El Gordo covered #1 and IMO, #2 is pointless. I couldn't care less about attendance--I want a winner on the field for years to come. Which, conveniently, takes care of attendance issues.

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I was torn between the B+ and A- and gave AM the benefit of the doubt.

First, on the major league team, the names are not ML all-stars, but I believe the impact of a better defense will be greater than many realize - improving our competitiveness incrementally there.

Two, AM has avoided some medium and long term signing mistakes that many here have clamored for like Dunn and Sheets.

Third, IMO, it's not just that AM picked up Hill, Pauley and Pie, but it's how cheaply he acquired that talent. AM played his cards nicely.

Fourth, dealing Ramon was a big priority for me - not just to get him off the team, but to clear a path for MW. In fact, AM has not blocked the path of any prospect - save for possibly Reimold. The pitchers will get their chances.

Fifth, I like the Japanese signing for several reasons - mostly, thought, the signing is a result of what appears to be significantly more investment into the Japanese market than the Os have ever had. The TyW signing also appears to have been well-received by the analysts - picking up a quality backup with a strong bat against LHP.

In the beginning of the winter, I would have preferred to see BRob dealt, but BRob could be a vital cog in our next competitive team. If AM can get a nice haul, I would deal BRob, but generally, I am ambivalent about dealing him now.

As I've posted, the most important aspect to our long term competitiveness is investing in US and foreign amateur talent. There have been hints this offseason that the Os will be players above slot again in the draft and that they are in the process of expanding their international efforts in a dramatic way.

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I also gave him a B - B+ and would have given him an A if he would have signed Dunn and acquired another quality starting pitcher. He still has time. We can go with Huff at 1B and 3B when needed and move Scott in a deal and use Dunn as a DH. Scott says he would rather play in the outfield than DH. This could cause a problem if not addressed. If AM can still make the BROB deal with the White Sox and land Gavin Floyd and others it would improve our rotation enough to easily get us above .500. Wigginton would like to play 2B and is adequate defensively. Adding 20-25 HR's at 2B would be nice. Dunn's 40+ HR's would also be nice. 90-95 wins if we add Dunn. Is he worth $30 million over 3 years? Is 90-95 wins good enough to make the playoffs?

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I voted for a B because I really think he's done a good job looking for low-risk, high-reward players and filling gaps. But, this team really needs another starter. Not because it will make us better in 2009, but rather because the club absolutely has to avoid what has happened the past two years, where an overworked bullpen implodes in August and September. This has an impact on the long-term health of the club's pitching. When the Orioles got rid of Cabrera, I was fine with it because of all his issues, but the one thing he did do was eat innings. To replace him the Orioles have signed Uehara, Hendrickson, and Hill. That's just not going to cut it. Personally I think a Looper signing would finish off the offseason nicely.

Again, this has zero to do with being competitive in 2009, and everything to do with protecting the health of the younger pitchers in the bullpen. Go get somebody durable who can toss 180 innings or so and post an ERA under 5. That's not too much to ask for.

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I'm going the C+ to B- grade. He's been very active for the past month but still has not addressed the rotation which he stated was our #1 priority and did not add any impact player to the talent level.

When you have the "Big Three" a year away, what exactly would you want him to do to address the pitching situation? I think he did the right thing, bringing in one to two year stopgaps to eat innings and not be too brutal, while also not blocking the young guys should they start knocking on Baltimore's door earlier than anticipated.

I would have liked to see a young 1b or 3b brought into the system, but aside form that, I like the moves that were made. Pie could easily become a long term impact guy in left field. I wanted Tex (my feelings have changed since it became obvious he used us) but otherwise am not a believer in spending big money for an impact player.

I think he's done B+ to B work. The only thing stopping him from an A is getting BRob extended and bringing in a young corner infielder, but there is still time for Roberts.

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B

I'm still furious over what they did in the Teixeira negotiations, and that keeps the grade down, but every other move he's made has been between good and fantastic, and he's made several. Last offseason he made a couple big trades, this offseason he made a few small but very smart trades and also signed a few inexpensive but under-valued free agents.

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How many pitchers were in camp last year? Bottom line is you have Guthrie and a pile of question marks concerning the rotation. Not good if that was your offseason priority.
Bottom line is he didn't sign anybody who is going to be a drag on the roster when the guys we already have should be ready.

Your anti-McPhail agenda is getting ridiculous. He's done a great job this offseason bringing in both major league talent to bridge the gaps and bringing in some pretty solid young talent and prospects. Pie is an elite talent, regardless of what your biases will let you admit. And Turner has a good chance to be an MLB 2B. He was a real nice pick up.

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According to both Roch and Schmuck, and MacPhail's own comments on the Scott & Anita show, it appears Andy MacPhail is done for the winter. Now, we know that can always change in the blink of an eye, and the BRob situation remains a pretty big issue. But assuming that this is the team we are bringing to spring training, what's your grade for Andy this winter?

Personally, I give him a solid B. Thought about a B+, but I'm still very nervous about the starting pitching for 2009 and the BRob situation remains something of a dark cloud.

Long term:

- Signed Markakis (by far the most important thing that happened this winter)

- Acquired Pie (not a sure thing, but very significant upside)

- Acquired Hill (in my estimation a long shot, but still very significant upside at low cost)

- Broke into the Japanese market (Uehara himself is not a long term move)

Short term:

- Greatly improved the defense

- Greatly improved the bench

- Improved flexibility of the position players

- Improved the depth of pitching, though no assured improvement of quality

I gave him an A. He ahs done things forthis team that has not been done in mnay years. Yes the pitching may be an area of concern and Roberts situation still needs to be resolved. I am very happy though. Who knows though Looper or Wolf may still sign. Either one of those two gives the team innings. IMO

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How many players has AM added that will actually be here when we are ready to contend? Only 2 if they develop as we hope - Pie and Hill. Of course, resigning Markakis was a great move as well. We have a lot of optimism on this board, but let's remember, we have added little pitching and no infielders that will help us long term. Yes Wigginton was signed for 2 years, but he is 31 and a poor defender. You can't get an A for signing stopgaps. We need LONG TERM solutions.

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B

I'm still furious over what they did in the Teixeira negotiations, and that keeps the grade down, but every other move he's made has been between good and fantastic, and he's made several. Last offseason he made a couple big trades, this offseason he made a few small but very smart trades and also signed a few inexpensive but under-valued free agents.

The Tex debacle doesn't really bother me because it's clear Tex never had any desire to play for the O's. He was holding out for the MFY and AM didn't want to be a pawn in his (and Boras') game. Even if our so-called "WOW" offer had any validity, Tex still would've went to the MFY to match or counter imo. It just wasn't going to happen. I cannot fault AM for that.

However, I couldn't agree more with the rest of your comments. This offseason has been different than what occurred last year, in terms of big moves/small moves, but both tactics have definitely improved the team for the long term. They're not the typical bandaid moves that have defined this franchise for the past decade. I can't express how refreshing it is to see a competent GM operate and know that we're heading in the right direction. There's still a lot to be done, but that's merely a testament to the ineptitude that inhabited the Warehouse until AM arrived. In the end, I give AM a B. I would have liked to have seen another "innings eater" added to the rotation, and perhaps the BRob situation ultimately resolved, but it's clear AM has a plan and he's committed to it. I really couldn't ask for much more than that. I'm very excited for the 2009 season.

Edit: In addition, inking Kakes long term was priority #1 for me and AM accomplished that goal.

Edited by Don_Aase_Fan

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B

I'm still furious over what they did in the Teixeira negotiations, and that keeps the grade down, but every other move he's made has been between good and fantastic, and he's made several. Last offseason he made a couple big trades, this offseason he made a few small but very smart trades and also signed a few inexpensive but under-valued free agents.

What did the team do that makes people furious? We apparently picked a number of years (7) and an amount per year (20) and made an offer, which was not accepted. The offer was neither outrageously insult-range-low (although most posters would have gone higher) nor outrageously fiscal-irresponsibility high. Agree or disagree with the parameters -- but what triggers the fury?

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How many players has AM added that will actually be here when we are ready to contend? Only 2 if they develop as we hope - Pie and Hill. Of course, resigning Markakis was a great move as well. We have a lot of optimism on this board, but let's remember, we have added little pitching and no infielders that will help us long term. Yes Wigginton was signed for 2 years, but he is 31 and a poor defender. You can't get an A for signing stopgaps. We need LONG TERM solutions.

Right, which is why last offseason was significantly more important than this one. By far the biggest move of MacPhail's tenure has been the Bedard trade. He didn't have any players to trade like that this offseason. The best he could do was extend Markakis and avoid blocking any of the team's good prospects. Teixeira would have been nice but financially it was hard to see and he probably wouldn't have come here anyways.

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How many pitchers were in camp last year? Bottom line is you have Guthrie and a pile of question marks concerning the rotation. Not good if that was your offseason priority.

He's addressed the rotation in spades. The O's have a truckload of starting pitching prospects that rank anywhere from among the best in baseball (Tillman, Matusz) to solid Bs like Arrieta and Erbe, to lower level guys with issues but high upside like Patton and Hernandez. Many sources have rated the O's pitching prospects as the best in MLB only a few years from rating the system as among the worst in MLB.

Signing a bunch of placeholders only has a negative impact on the Orioles if you consider the difference between 74 and 77 wins to be more important than $15M or $30M or whatever that can be invested in scouting, development, analysis, international signings and facilities.

D+

Quantity doesn't mean quality with the SP. The rotation looks more bleak at the beginning of the 09 season than it did at the beginning of the 08 season.

Blah...blah...blah...

This team is destine to be the 5th place team in the east by a mile and in contention with the Nats and Pirates for the worst team in the league.

I totally agree. Other than the two trades last year this year's version of Andy McPhail reeks of Syd Thrift Part II!:(

That's a bunch of nonsense. I seriously can't see how anybody could give MacPhail an objective grade of worse than maybe a C or C+. National writers like Christina Kahrl, who've regularly lampooned the O's in the past, are astonished at the team's new direction and successes.

The idea that MacPhail and his ongoing, but so far successful, quest to rebuild the organization from the ground up and reestablish credibility is anything like the bumbling Thrift era, guided mainly by senility, is ridiculous hyperbole driven by an uninformed ideology.

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