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A few tidbits.....


bigbird

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If Tex breaks the bank I think Dunn would become a real good fit. Dunn in the number two spot in the lineup would really increase runs for the O's IMO. He would give Roberts a good chance to take bases because he looks at a lot of pitches. Perfect fit for a AL DH backup LF and backup 1B.

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Wow! At first glance, I think to myself, this offseason plan is SO ridiculous that it is an obvious "plant" from one of MacPhail's guys. But then I look at what we've done for the past 11 years, minus the Tejada offseason, and I think, this plan isn't so far from reality after all.

The relief pitchers should not be a priority at all. $15/year for Tex is an absolute joke and will have every free agent in baseball once again laughing at Baltimore. So, if we don't sign Tex (which is not even an option at $15/year) then the fallback option is Huff? Really? So then our team will look EXACTLY the same as last year except we MAY have a new ss and we MAY have Wieters starting at catcher? The only words I can think of to describe this plan would get me a vacation from the OH, so I will bite my tongue, for now.

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Say no to Derek Lowe...he's a type A free agent.

Of the FA pitchers, here's who we will likely see:

Paul Byrd

Braden Looper

Kip Wells

Josh Fogg

Jason Jennings

Odalis Perez

Livan Hernandez

Carl Pavano

Bartolo Colon

Jon Garland might be an option, but I doubt he wants a 2 year deal and I'd rather not give him the offer he's looking for. Also Brad Penny might be worth a look.

I'm not sure why we need to make the bullpen a priority. Eventually we're going to have quite a few options...Ray, Baez, Hoey, McCrory, Mickolio, Thall, Mattaliano...David Hernandez **cough**cough**

As for the SS, I'd be willing to go after Furcal, as he's only a Type B, and still has some good leadoff ability. However, he's going to be pretty expensive. I think our best bet is to find a SS in a trade.

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I read in the Sun paper this morning that more dogs died in Baltimore yesterday than any day since Cal Ripken retired. Then I came to this thread and it was confirmed. ;) My thoughts:

1. I don't believe all of this at all, particularly the Tex money specifics.

2. If most of this is true, than McPhail is definitely taking the long route on the rebuild.

3. Many on this board are over rating our bullpen arms, IMO. Sherrill, Johnson and Ray should be solid barring injury. After that, exactly who can be counted on again? Albers, who may never be the same? Baez, who may never be an Oriole? Walker, who may be completely washed up? Sarfate, who may be more likely to hit the backstop than the catcher on any particular pitch? Penn, who may not make it through April before his next major injury? Mickolio, McCrory, Miller and Hoey, who may never be major league pitchers? Liz and Olson, who may be starters? Patton who may take 3 months just to get back in shape and may never be the same. Really, do you want the bullpen to be exactly like it's been the last two Septembers? If so, let's just rely on these guys.

4. People would be mad if we got OCab w/o giving up a draft pick. Really?

Bottom line: this clearly seems like a short term stop gap plan meant to make us somewhat respectable until our pitching actually arrives. As long as we don't commit long term to people who shouldn't get long term committments I'm ok with it. Note, I don't love this plan at all, but my hopes for a $400 million offseason aren't realistic.

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I don't get why people think this plan is the same as every other plan for the last decade.

In the past the Orioles signed guys like Byrd thinking they were the answer to compete....now they are trying to sign guys like Byrd knowing that the answer to compete is sitting in the minor leagues. And further that development of the minor leagues overall will be what makes the Orioles competitive in the future.

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Because he's such a winner that he leaves his magic winning dust behind him? ;)

I seriously hope that is no the Orioles off season plan. In a winter where they are supposed to have some money, they can not be loking for stop gap players anymore.

Yes, I understand the future rotation should inclide Guthrie, Matusz, Tillman and Arrieta, but there is nor reason we should not go out and try to sign on of the top arms to add into that rotation. First off, as much as we don't want to admit it, most likely all three will not pan out due to injury or ineffectiveness at some point so it's not like we can just bridge the gap. If the O's do go out get two pitchers they should go after a top flight starter and then maybe a stop gap guy like Byrd for 1-2 years. Either way, two stop gaps is not smart in my opinion.

I'm not sure where the relief problems come from. We have enough good young relief candidates and I think we should have learned over our history that acquiring relievers is risky at best.

With Ray, Sherrill, Johnson, Sarfate, Olson, Liz, Bierd, McCrory, Miller, Mickolio, Castillo, Cormier, and David Hernandez available next year along with possibly Baez, Walker, and Hoey, I'd say the bullpen is one of the last areas we need to prioritize.

The offer for Tex can't be real because if it is, it means they really don't want him but want to show the fans that they "tried". I hope if Tex costs too much that Dunn could still be a possibility.

We need another bopper to the lineup and although Wieters will help, it may take him a few years to be the number four hitter.

Have you heard anything more about us going after Tex, like you reported around the draft?

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I don't get why people think this plan is the same as every other plan for the last decade.

In the past the Orioles signed guys like Byrd thinking they were the answer to compete....now they are trying to sign guys like Byrd knowing that the answer to compete is sitting in the minor leagues. And further that development of the minor leagues overall will be what makes the Orioles competitive in the future.

Regardless of the reason, you still end up signing guys like Byrd!

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I found this A's Nation Rebuild Plan for 2009 on MLBTR.com, and it looks pretty interesting. I think our core is better than the A's right now, and with some of the crappy contracts we're shedding, we should have a TON of room to work with. They mention guys like Furcal, Glauss, and Garko as part of their rebuild effort... two guys that are talked about around here fairly often.

I agree with Tony: no matter what we think we have in the minors, there's never such a thing as too much pitching. Why any team on earth could say to themselves "We don't need Sabathia, Sheets, or AJ Burnett" is beyond me and kind of crazy. Even if Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman, and the rest become top-shelf STUDS, all that would mean is that one of them ends up being dominant in the bullpen. Or maybe Guthrie ends up in the bullpen. One thing is certain: that's a problem we WANT to have.

We need to improve defense at C, 1B, SS, and LF. Almost half of our team needs to be upgraded defensively. Fortunately, we have Wieters coming up to (hopefully) improve the C defense, we SHOULD make a run at Furcal or Cabrera - maybe a 3-4 year deal, 2 at the least, and lastly, another point I agree with: there's no way AM thinks that $15/ann can land Teixiera. Not a chance. That's almost a slap-in-the-face offer, and I have to think that that was nothing more than someone trying to stir the pot.

Honestly, I'd settle for - and probably would prefer - Castro and Minky at SS and 1st if we can't get Furcal/Cab and Texiera. No sense in paying mediocre guys big salaries. Those guys are awesome defenders that can hit 7th and 8th for us as long as they bring their gold gloves to work everyday. That alone will improve the pitching.

We don't realistically have the money for Tex and Sabathia, but we may have the money for Sheets, AJ, and Furcal. I'd rather see that than probably anything else.

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It sounds like AM is sticking with the plan and going the cheap route in most areas. I would not be a big fan of this as I do not believe it is possible, when we are ready to compete, to acquire the two or three big players (via trade or FA) in one offseason - you have to build toward it. It's a little disappointing that AM does not want to tear this down (trade Huff, trade BRob, trade Sherrill), but also does not want to invest to compete (sign Tex, AJ, etc). IMO, we really need to sign one quality FA this offseason- like Tex or AJ.

Agree with the bp arms that Tony mentioned. I do not see the need to trade for or commit multiple years to bp arms outside the organization. I have no issue going the cheap route here and taking a flyer or two on some guys to stick at Norfolk like we have tried, unsuccessfully, with comeback pitchers like Williamson (not sure if that was the former Reds pitcher) and players of that ilk.

This was a good post regarding information, and I'm not doubting the integrity/sincerity of bb or his source, but I'm skeptical a lot of the information will be shown accurate at the end of the offseason.

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Have you heard anything more about us going after Tex, like you reported around the draft?

Just to be clear, I never reported that the Orioles were going to go after Tex. I reported that Jordan was going to talk with MacPhail before the draft and the Orioles long term plans, including whether they would pursue Tex, was most likely going to be discussed.

It was assumed by many after Jordan took Matusz that it was because MacPhail told him they were going to go after Tex this off season, but that was never verified and Jordan is on record as saying he took the best player on his board and although it was close, he felt Matusz was a better pick than Smoak.

MaPhail plays things very, very close to his vest so although the leaks are fun, I would take bigbird's own advice and take them with a grain of salt.

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Just to be clear, I never reported that the Orioles were going to go after Tex. I reported that Jordan was going to talk with MacPhail before the draft and the Orioles long term plans, including whether they would pursue Tex, was most likely going to be discussed.

It was assumed by many after Jordan took Matusz that it was because MacPhail told him they were going to go after Tex this off season, but that was never verified and Jordan is on record as saying he took the best player on his board and although it was close, he felt Matusz was a better pick than Smoak.

MaPhail plays things very, very close to his vest so although the leaks are fun, I would take bigbird's own advice and take them with a grain of salt.

With all due respect to our insiders, I have taken that salt, lined it around the rim of a 32 ounce glass, and filled that bad boy with an endless Margarita that will last until April! ;)

That said, as much as I hope BB's source is wrong, there is nothing in that plan that looks any different than what this team has done for the past 10 years. A Byrd by any other name is still a Byrd!

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With all due respect to our insiders, I have taken that salt, lined it around the rim of a 32 ounce glass, and filled that bad boy with an endless Margarita that will last until April! ;)

That said, as much as I hope BB's source is wrong, there is nothing in that plan that looks any different than what this team has done for the past 10 years. A Byrd by any other name is still a Byrd!

Let's just put it out there: Paul Byrd and his Old-Timey delivery both stink on ice. I may become a Birdland defect if he dons the black and orange.

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