Monday, January 18, 2010


A few links for your reading pleasure...

1) FanGraphs runs down the remaining free agent first basemen: Branyan, Delgado, Garko, Thome, Giambi, Blalock, and Tatis. I think Ryan Garko would be my preferred option out of that group, based on age, defensive abilities, and his recent success in the American League. Delgado would be a reasonable risk to see if he can bounce back from an injury plagued 2009.

2) Orioles Top 10 prospects, also courtesy of FanGraphs. This is a much deeper list than the pre-MacPhail years.

3) A rundown of recent Orioles drafts, from (you guessed it) FanGraphs. Notice that while many people criticized the O's for going cheap at the top, they signed quite a few guys to significant over slot deals last year. Additionally, the last time the club lacked a 2nd and 3rd round pick, it spent heavily on Wieters, Arrieta, and Tim Bascom. Remember when I panned the loss of a 2nd round pick on the Mike Gonzalez deal? Well, let's see how the Orioles spend the money saved by not having a 2nd round pick before passing final judgment.

4) One last FanGraphs item: Matt Klaassen discusses the Orioles surplus of young, talented outfielders. I'd still like to see how Nolan Reimold looks with a first baseman's mitt. It wouldn't have to be permanent, and there's no reason he couldn't still play 60 games in the outfield as sort of a mini-platoon with Pie and a day off every couple weeks for Adam Jones (with Pie playing in center those days).

5) The Orioles have been fairly quiet in the reliever market, signing one (Gonzalez), trading one away (Ray), and losing one to free agency (Hendrickson... maybe), but the bullpen should be much improved next year. Spencer Fordin has the rundown. He lists Uehara, Meredith, Sarfate, Albers, Hernandez, Berken, Mickolio, Lebron, Castillo, and Perez; ten guys who each have legitimate chances to be something from key late inning options to match-up lefties, from swing men to insurance in the minors. Throw in Jake Arrieta, Brandon Erbe, Troy Patton and maybe even a few others, and the Orioles could potentially have an above average bullpen. If Millwood allows the starting rotation to stabilize (with Guthrie, Matusz, Tillman and Bergesen) and Gonzalez takes the 9th inning, the Orioles could be much improved at run prevention. I'll have much more about this in the days ahead.

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