osforlife wrote:1. Position wise, Baltimore has huge holes at second, in left, and at DH.
I'm not worried about 2B and DH as much as LF. I still believe that the team will resign Roberts to a modest base with big incentives and he will be #1 on the depth chart. As well as Schoop played in his audition I don't think the FO is willing to gamble that he'll be ready out of spring training, but I would not be surprised to see him as the regular 2B by mid June.
Flaherty is the fall back option. I absolutely do not believe we will trade for a Ian Kinsler or a Howie Kendrick for more good reasons than I care to take the time to list.
I could see the team bringing back Danny Valencia to be the RH part of a DH platoon although I would like to see the team try to find a hitter for the LH part that is a high OBA guy with plate discipline and patience. This team desperately
needs that balance.
LF is a big question mark. I was hoping that McLouth would have a big September and be worth a qualified offer so we would get a first round draft pick for him. Didn't happen. I could see the team signing him again IF he's willing to accept 5M or less. I have doubts that Urrutia is ready to be a regular and since he's LH we can't platoon him with McLouth.
What we need is a young, plus defender with good plate discipline, a high OBA, and speed translated into base running skills. You know, like L J Hoes whom we traded away for a #5 SP.
osforlife wrote:2. I remember reading an article on hot-stove saying the Orioles have pretty much maxed out on their salary room. Although Baltimore has many upcoming free agents, many of their players are up for arbitration raises. So supposedly, DD does not have much financial room to work with.
Even if the Orioles increase their payroll to 100M (IMO a reasonable amount for this market) there will only be about 20M to play with after the arbitration raises eat up the payroll we'll lose through FA. Of course, if we trade Hardy or Jim Johnson or even Chris Davis that provides more money to play with: but to what end? There's virtually nothing on the "free" agent market I would be willing to offer a multi-year contract to.
osforlife wrote:3. Our farm system is crap.
Those five words sum up this franchise's problem.
osforlife wrote:4. Our rotation is not good at all. Tillman, Gonzalez, and Chen are solid, but do not make them anything more than what they are; middle of the rotation starters. Bud Norris really should not be a starter, but considering what DD gave up for him, Oriole fans are probably stuck with him. The 5th spot is a mystery.
If we're going to spend that small payroll surplus it should be on SP. Take some risks and sign some gambles. Last winter I wanted us to trade foe Ervin Santana and sign Fransisco Liriano. Both of them were anything but sure things, but I felt they were the best choices for big returns. I have no way of knowing this for certain, but I'm willing to bet that ownership was unwilling to take on Santana's salary and wouldn't gamble on Liriano's medical history.
We would be in the playoffs now if we had made those moves.