1/4/08

I’m going to try something a little different with my posts. So bear with me.

Rebuilding Blues

I touched on this yesterday in the Roberts/Floyd trade rumor post, but I feel like it merits a little more space, but I think we all (myself included) need to take a deep breath and remember that rebuilding a team takes a few years. With the double dose of frustration of missing out on “Maryland Living Legend” Mark Teixeria and the actual signing of Mark Henderickson, some frustrations have come to a head.

Look at the Rays, it took them a decade to become winners. Granted, more than half of that time was under a failed regime and lackluster ownership. Their reward for that was a constant stream of top draft picks, which they used correctly on nearly everyone. In those years before they had their fair share of stopgaps and hey, they even had Mark Hendrickson.

I hate to use the Rays as a prime example because that’s a dream scenario and they’re going to be overused as such in coming seasons, so here’s a few more.

The Twins, Indians, Brewers, Phillies, and A’s are other teams who have bit the bullet and rebuilt using their fair shares of stopgaps whether they be Cesar Izturis or Craig Counsell, Mark Hendrickson or Andy Ashby, Melvin Mora or Mike Blowers. You can’t sign a name free agent to fill every void because the O’s have to starting winning some games to become a viable free agent destination. I’d be all for throwing rookies and prospects who were ready out and letting them play, but the O’s still have to catch up with their positional prospects. Like I said yesterday, give me Ryan Freel or Cesar Izturis over Brandon Fahey everyday.

It’s going to be a long season, and we’re moan and groan a lot over the losing that comes with rebuilding, so I’m saying this a lot more to reassure myself than anything else. The team has a direction and I’d rather take my lumps now.

Roberts to Chicago redux

Roch mentioned that there’s talk between the O’s and White Sox about Brian Roberts. I like a Roberts/Floyd trade for the obvious reasons, 1) trading a player who apparently isn’t going to re-sign, 2) will be in his mid-30’s when the team could be ready to compete, and lastly 3) we’re not trading him to the Cubs.

I harbor no ill will toward the Cubs, but I get sick of the O’s trading with them. Andy MacPhail was previously with the Cubs, so he has plenty of Cub numbers in his rolodex. Out of all of the Orioles’ wheelings and dealings with the Cubs, what have we to show for it?

Memories of Corey Patterson striking out 4 times a game and Sammy Sosa’s warning track power. Rocky Cherry, Freddie Bynum, and Scott Moore are more trophies from the Cubs. Give me Gavin Floyd over Felix Pie or whatever’s left in the Cubs farm system.

I worry with the Cubs trade of Mark De Rosa (I’m not buying the Aaron Miles everyday 2nd baseman) that they’ll be back in the Roberts talk. I hope I’m incorrect.  

Pitching Talk

Roch talked_with_pitching_coach_Rick_Krantiz and had this to say:

  • First round pick Brian Matusz is expected to start the season in Single A Fredrick and if all goes well, he’ll be in Bowie after the break.
  • Krantiz is in favor of keeping Jim Johnson in set-up role, rather than putting him back into the rotation. (Ditto from me)
  • He thinks Jamie Walker will bounce back from a wretched 2008, which in humble opinion shouldn’t be very hard for him to do.
  • He views Mark Hendrickson as being a starter (gag) but he likes his versatile “skills.”
  • Krantiz scratches his head about why he couldn’t turn Daniel Cabrera into an ace, with that he joins the legions of others who have tried and failed and others will join him as well.

Still Looking for that backup catcher?

Ramon Hernandez was traded to make room for the impending rise of Matt Wieters. Which was an overdue move to be made, but it appears Wieters won’t be starting the season with the team, but rather play a month of something at Triple A. For those of you wondering why, reference the Tampa/Evan Longoria dealings last season. Greg Zaun at the start of the offseason seemed to be very likely signing at temporary starting catcher/back up/mentor to Matt Wieters. Since then, Matt Treanor got more interest but eventually signed with the the Tigers. Chris Coste has been a name batted around too. But I’m partial (much like Rick Dempsey) to the signing of Zaun. The guy has been around awhile, still plays well, knows his place in the game, and would be a good mentor to a rookie such as Wieters.

With the current slow flow of the free agent market, Zaun is out there throwing his own pitches. He says he would_love_to_play_for_Boston. At this point, he’d be a better (and cheaper) signing than Jason Varitek. The Sox did sign Josh Bard this week, so he’ll be backing up whoever starts next season.

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One Response

  1. Nice summary of the O’s trade relationship with the Cubs. Makes me hope we cut them off for a few years.

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