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Aubrey Huff: His Orioles Future...


Greg Pappas

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I think the chances of him being offered arb and turning it down are about nil.

I think the only way they even start the arb thing is as foreplay for an out-of-court settlement.

Umm...what?

There is almost zero chance Huff accepts arbitration from the Orioles unless he has an abysmal year, and then we wouldn't offer him.

He'll do far better than the 1/$8-10M he'd get through arbitration.

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I think the chances of him being offered arb and turning it down are about nil.

I think the only way they even start the arb thing is as foreplay for an out-of-court settlement.

Disagree strongly. If he has a season remotely close to or better than his 2007 season. He'd be a Type A free agent. The team will a offer arbitration and he will turn it down, because he'll be looking for more than a 1 year deal.

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I think the chances of him being offered arb and turning it down are about nil.

I think the only way they even start the arb thing is as foreplay for an out-of-court settlement.

I agree with SG, Mackus, and Mark Carver that if Huff has a decent season, he will indeed turn down arbitration and instead look for a more lucrative multi-year deal. But even if your premise that he accepts the arb offer is correct, which is my my worst-case scenario, that would simply default to your preferred approach of keeping Huff in the fold for at least another year.
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If he has another excellent year, he will get much more than a 1/10 contract.

I would think so, but things were so weird this off-season. It's hard to tell what the market will bear next winter. Unlike past years, declining arb can be a bit risky.

Who would have thought a guy like Orlando Cabrera would wind up with a $4 million, one-year deal. Bobby Abreu is pretty similar to Huff in age and production and he wound up with a one-year deal for $5 million.

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I agree with SG, Mackus, and Mark Carver that if Huff has a decent season, he will indeed turn down arbitration and instead look for a more lucrative multi-year deal. But even if your premise that he accepts the arb offer is correct, which is my my worst-case scenario, that would simply default to your preferred approach of keeping Huff in the fold for at least another year.

That part that I think is unlikely is that the O's offer arb. If he has a bad year they won't. If he has a good year, then I expect they'll try to re-up him. I think the core disagreement concerns what his FA value after a good year would be. My hunch is that he will be worth less than some people seem to think, and that he will be worth as much or more to us than to most anybody else.

I think Huff's criteria will include a chance at the post-season, and that if the O's are looking good for 2010/11 he will want to stick around for that, so he doesn't miss another TB-like success story. So, IMO, if goes somewhere else, it will be to a legit contender. Thus you have to ask, "What legit contenders are gonna want him more than the O's will want him?" What teams are on that list?

I just don't think he will be in very much demand among teams that are looking good. We'll have to see what happens. We can bookmark this and come back and look at it later.

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That part that I think is unlikely is that the O's offer arb. If he has a bad year they won't. If he has a good year, then I expect they'll try to re-up him. I think the core disagreement concerns what his FA value after a good year would be. My hunch is that he will be worth less than some people seem to think, and that he will be worth as much or more to us than to most anybody else.

I think Huff's criteria will include a chance at the post-season, and that if the O's are looking good for 2010/11 he will want to stick around for that, so he doesn't miss another TB-like success story. So, IMO, if goes somewhere else, it will be to a legit contender. Thus you have to ask, "What legit contenders are gonna want him more than the O's will want him?" What teams are on that list?

I just don't think he will be in very much demand among teams that are looking good. We'll have to see what happens. We can bookmark this and come back and look at it later.

If Snyder and Reimold continue hitting well and show they should be here next year, I see no reason to think Huff is worth more to us than anyone else.
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Too many things are up in the air right now to know. Some questions have to be answered first.

1. Does Huff want to remain in Baltimore for a fair market deal?

Answer: maybe not, but he does like what Crow has done with his swing and I think he appears to have grown up in the last year. With Roberts, Markakis, Jones, Wieters, Guthrie and all of the young kids coming, he has to think that we will contend for years to come.

1. a) What is fair market for anyone comparable?

Answer: One year at $10 million per is not going to get it done if he has anything close to last season's numbers. I have no idea what will be fair after this season due to the economical issues in baseball, but you'd have to think he'd start out looking for something like 4/$45-50 milllion. That is assuming he does something close to last year's numbers. Maybe he'll take a 3/$30 to stay.

2. Does Baltimore (AM and DT) want him back?

Answer: who knows...just yet anyway. Who will play 1B and/or DH next year and beyond? Brandon Snyder appears to be a year or two away. Aubrey still has a few good years left with the bat. It will depend on how this year goes, but I think AM will explore trades and end up bringing him back.

3. Can he sustain his performance from last year?

Answer: probably, but the decline will start to show in the next two to three years. He is only 32 years old and his game doesn't rely on athleticism. His bat will get slower and his numbers will go down some, but he seems to have some productive years left. He also seems to have turned a corner in his preparation and his level of professionalism.

All in all, I think he'll want to come back. And, I think AM and DT will want him back. But if any trade blows AM away, then he'll be gone. Huff, Scott, Baez, Mora (if he waives NTC), and Walker could all be on the move.

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