No News..

It’s 4:34 pm Eastern time and the Orioles have made NO moves. Granted something could be announced later, but so far color me extremely doubtful. More Conine. More of the Lopezez. More of the same I guess…sigh.

The Dodgers got Greg Maddux and Julio Lugo. Getting Lugo was a surprise…but with Kent hurt and Nomar banged up too, getting Lugo and Wilson Betiment look to be smart moves.

The Nats did NOT trade Alfonso Soriano. Apparently Bowden got greedy and overplayed his hand. They’ve said they’re going to try to re-sign him. If they can, that’s great. If not, then Bowden has made an epic blunder.

Craig Wilson went to the Yankees for SHAWN CHICON!?!?

Xaiver Nady went to the Pirates and the Mets got Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez.

Sean Casey went to the Tigers and early season phenom Chris Shelton got sent to Triple A.

Notice something here? The Pirates embraced their sellers role, something I wish the O’s could have done.

Oh well, it’s only 4:40.

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Trade Deadline Approaches

and of course, no deals to report…

It appears that Tejada is staying put.

From Foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal

“The Orioles will not trade shortstop Miguel Tejada, FOXSports.com has learned.

The Astros, Angels and Rangers all made substantial offers for Tejada, a major-league official says, but the Orioles were not motivated enough to make a deal.

The Orioles rejected at least one blockbuster trade — Tejada for Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt, shortstop Adam Everett and a third player.

They also could have sent Tejada to the Angels for right-hander Ervin Santana and Triple-A shortstop Erick Aybar.

Either deal could have changed the direction of the Orioles’ franchise, but owner Peter Angelos refused to approve any trade involving Tejada, a decision that is certain to be second-guessed.

The Astros, major-league sources say, are steamed that Angelos apparently quashed the original Oswalt-Tejada deal as well as several revised proposals.

But there may have been another issue.

The Astros, one major-league executive says, feared that the Orioles would flip Oswalt, their most prized acquisition for Tejada, to Houston’s cross-state rival, the Texas Rangers.

A National League executive says the Astros “knew all along” that the Orioles were trying to flip Oswalt. However, the executive says that the Orioles indiscreetly shopped all of the players that the Astros offered them to other clubs, calling it “no way to do business.”

The protocol in such matters is unclear.

Other executives say that if the Astros knew the Orioles were pursuing other deals, they are in no position to be upset; teams frequently engage in such practices, and not all are upfront with their intentions.

The Orioles apparently intended to trade Oswalt to the Rangers for third baseman Hank Blalock, Triple-A shortstop Joaquin Arias and one of the Rangers’ top three pitching prospects — left-hander John Danks, right-hander Thomas Diamond or right-hander Edison Volquez.

They also would have ended up with two other players from the Astros — Everett and possibly third baseman Morgan Ensberg — effectively making the deal a 5-for-1 for Tejada.

Presumably, the Orioles then would have spun one of the third basemen, Blalock or Ensberg, or moved one of them to first, while moving their current third baseman, Melvin Mora, back to the outfield.

At one point Sunday, the Rangers appeared to be closing in on a trade for Phillies right-hander Jon Lieber, but were diverted by their pursuit of Oswalt.

For the Astros, losing Oswalt to the Rangers could have been a public-relations nightmare, evoking memories of when Nolan Ryan went from Houston to Texas. The Astros had similar concerns when Roger Clemens was courted by the Rangers as a free agent last spring.

However, a second NL executive says the Astros would have been less concerned about Oswalt going to the Rangers than their biggest NL Central rival, the Cardinals.

The Astros’ inclusion of Oswalt in the Tejada discussions likely will shock the team’s fans, but this probably will not be the last time Oswalt’s name surfaces in trade discussions.

Oswalt, 28, is a free agent after the 2007 season. He is expected to seek a contract of at least five years. And his injury history and slight, 6-foot, 185-pound frame make him a long-term risk.”

Ken Rosenthal is FOXSports.com’s senior baseball writer.

SIGH. If true, then I doubt if the O’s will be getting a Christmas card from Houston this year. That’s business though. I don’t see the Astros beef. We’re not exactly a great team and need all the help we can get. If the deal could have been done and players flipped, it would have been a nice move from the team.

1st Ensberg 2nd Roberts SS Everett 3rd Blalock LF Mora CF Patterson RF Markakis C Hernandez DH Gibbons and No reliance on Conine or Millar everyday.

It would definately be an improved team, BUT it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. I would have liked the Orioles to get Oswalt and keep him, but I can understand why they’d look into flipping him since we have several holes that need to get filled.

If in fact no Tejada trade will happen (I’m not convinced yet) then the front office needs to deals happen to get Rodrigo, Javy, Conine, Hawkins and Millar going.

*Steve Phillips just said on ESPNews that the O’s would have flipped Oswalt to the Mets for Lasting Milledge and prospects. Milledge is a headcase and I’m not crazy about getting him and Buster Olney just said that Tejada has been told that he will NOT be traded.

I’m all for keeping Tejada IF we can add talent around him and be compete. Are we going to pony up some money for someone to bat behind him or are we going to hear the lame line that “Jay Gibbons coming back from the DL is like a trade.” Don’t get me wrong, I like Jay Gibbons…but we’re going to need more to win that than.

Nice win yesterday, good to see we got a ninth inning win as we were 2-51 before yesterday when trailing in the ninth inning. Now we’re 3-51! Good see Javy Lopez get a clutch hit since I’ve grown to equate Javy Lopez to being the polar opposite of clutch. It’s tough though because we had a chance to win all 3 games.

That’s it for now. I’ll be posting off and on today and hopefully have some good trades to talk about.

I went to ballgame and saw a massacre…teaser.

How fitting on Bat Day at Turner Field, the Mets used their bats and spanked the Bravos. El Duque gave up 3 hits over 8 innings and drove in two runs. Meanwhile, Tim Hudson looked a lot like the same Tim Hudson when I saw him pitch against the O’s. Carlos Beltran hit a pair of homeruns and the Mets applied a shameful smackdown on the Braves. The free bats were cool. I’ll have more tomorrow and I’ll have a ton of pictures in a day or two. Maybe I’ll ever explain why the Denny’s in Commerce, Georgia is the worst place I’ve ever ate at.

*The O’s lost a slugfest with the Chi-Sox in Jason Johnson’s debut (baaaad day, he’s going back to Bowie), 13-11. sigh.

*I’ve been tinkering with the site’s lay-out, so bear with me.

Astros wanting some Miggy

 MLBtraderumors.com has this, which comes from Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll:

Today he mentions an offer Tim Purpura has given to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada: Adam Everett, Morgan Ensberg, and Fernando Nieve.  According to Carroll, Tim Purpura is focused on Tejada and is being urged by Roger Clemens to go get him.

In Everett, the Orioles would be acquiring the game’s best defensive shortstop.  His hitting, at .241/.300/.327 this year, lags far behind the average AL shortstop.  The average AL shortstop is hitting .286/.342/.423, similar to the work of Eric Chavez or A.J. Pierzysnki this year.

On the 10th of June, Ensberg bruised his shoulder diving for a foul ball.  He was hitting .256/.380/.562 at that point, though he hadn’t done much in May or June.  In Ensberg’s 18 games after the shoulder bruise, he hit just .158/.422/.263.  He drew plenty of walks but the power that resulted in 36 HR last year had vanished.  Ensberg took live batting practice yesterday for the first time since being placed on the DL on July 10th. 

Nieve, 24, has a mid-90s fastball and a hard slider.  He was just sent down to Triple A a week ago because of Brandon Backe, but had been demoted to the bullpen upon Roger Clemens‘s return in late June.  It’s just a 15 inning sample, but Nieve did pretty well as a reliever: 8.2 K/9, 2.94 ERA, 1.17 WHIP.  As a starter he had a 5.6 K/9, 4.67 ERA, and 1.28 WHIP.  It is a fact that many pitchers add several miles per hour to their fastball by switching to relief, and Nieve’s two plus pitches make it easy to envision him as a future closer or top set-up man.

I’d hope that the O’s would pass on this offer. Neive’s fine. Someone like him could help the bullpen and maybe mean we can say goodbye to one of the dead weights in there. Ensberg, I’m not big on getting. I really don’t know much about him. He’s a career .272 hitter and has some good stats, but this season has been a downer for him with an average of .236, 16 HR and 44 RBI. Has he or can he play first?  Even though Everett is one of the best defensive shortstops in the majors, we wouldn’t see the offense that we’d use to be seeing from short. I’d just as soon put Fahey at short and try to get another top pitching prospect or LF/1st base solution. I’m watching tonight’s game because it might be the last game I get to see Miggy as an O. The Astros though are going to have up their ante.

I’m going to Atlanta tomorrow to enjoy a Braves game. Hope the Braves win and I don’t get burnt to a crisp in the outfield. It’ll be fun either way.  

Thursday Smorgasbord

Figured it’d post a few interestings stats and a couple quotes today…

We’ve all been underwhelmed by Russ Ortiz. After last Friday’s no out recorded start, I want him gone…and after comparing his Oriole line with another pitcher, I’m want him gone even more.

Stats from mlb.com

                               

W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV SVO IP H R ER HR HBP BB SO
R Ortiz
BAL 0 2 13.50 4 4 0 0 0 0 12.0 25 19 18 5 1 7 4
J Brower
BAL 0 1 13.86 12 0 0 0 0 1 12.1 21 19 19 1 3 13 9

Sorry to bring back sore gaping wounds, but yes…Russ Ortiz and Jim Brower have nearly dead identical stats. Even typing the name Jim Brower makes me feel that somewhere a reliever has given up a 5 run lead in the 7th inning. Look at the stats, neither can get a strikeout but can give up runs like nobody’s business. Brower stunk…no doubt about it. Now that Oritz is ‘fine tuning his craft’ in the bullpen, I guess he can be the Son of Brower or Brower’s Revenge. I just hope it with me out with the friends tonight and Ortiz makes a garbage appearence in the 7th tonight and his wild pitch hits me all the way from KC.

Here’s something from Buster Olney that will make you bang your head against the wall, but with a smile on your face…

Adam Loewen was The Man for the Orioles. If only, from the Orioles’ point of view, they could get Daniel Cabrera righted; then the O’s would have the core of something pretty good, with Loewen, Cabrera and Erik Bedard.

Nice to see Loewen get win number one last night. I caught a couple innings and was impressed. If Loewen and Penn are as good as billed and if Cabrera gets his head screwed on straight then those three along with Bedard and Benson then that’s a killer young and potentially great rotation, with the exception of Benson in terms of youth. BUT let’s just wait and see before I get my hopes up.

Speaking of Benson, he left KC to go back to Baltimore because of a sore elbow. Hope it’s nothing major, but it could be the reason why he’s been getting knocked around a little lately.

I’m going back to Atlanta Saturday to see the Mets play my second favorite by a couple miles team…the Atlanta Braves. Since the Orioles aren’t in town, I’ll be breaking out the old Braves shirt. I’ll be seeing Orlando Hernandez go against Tim Hudson. I hope Hudson’s vastly better than his wretched outing against the O’s, not that I was complaining at the time though. I used to be able to rattle off every player on the Braves, but now that I’ve got Extra Innings and XM, I don’t rely on TBS for a daily baseball fix (which I have on now…Marlins leading the Braves 6 zip), so I can watch and suffer with the Orioles every game if I want. I’ll get some more pictures than I did last time since I got the camera down.

Speaking of the Marlins, I along with the rest of the world thought this was going to be an epically bad team. But now they’re sitting at 46-53 with a team that with the exception of Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera, and closer Joe Borowski (21 saves) should be playing in Triple A this season. Give this team a couple of seasons and they could be really good.

What do I want the O’s to do?

I don’t play video games like I used to, I guess that’s a part of growing up. However, I still have an X-box, the old one….I can’t justify spending 400 bucks on a 360.  I’ll break it out every once and awhile and play mainly either Madden (Carolina Panthers), NCAA Football (Clemson Tigers) and MLB (the Orioles). When I play the MLB 2005, I always use the trade option and trade away the Palmerios, Ponsons, Grimsleys…etc. Anyway, this whole lead-in is about how I’d improve the O’s.

First let’s target the positions of need…

1st base, DH, LF, and the rotation.

All of these holes can’t be filled at the deadline, so it’d be foolish to assume otherwise. However, a few can be addressed.

1st base- Sean Casey, Craig Wilson, Ryan Shealy are the names that first pop out.  Personally, Casey would not be one I’d want. He’s 32 and makes 8.5 million this season. I’d take him everyday of the week over Millar/Conine…but at 8.5 million that’s too much for him.

Shealy is a 26 year old prospect in the Rockies system. He’s blocked because there’s a guy named Todd Helton who plays first base there. Trading for him is a crapshoot.  If he can be obtained for LaTroy Hawkins and a double A arm, then why not take the chance. I’m not as convinced as some that he’s the answer to the first base problem.

Craig Wilson should be someone the O’s should set their sights on, he’s 29 and hit. I’m wondering what his pricetag will be after the season. Actually, he’s my pick of who we should try to get. Too often the front office goes after the Konekos of the world, who we know we have NO chance of getting due to whatever reason. Wilson’s someone who we could definately get.

Aubrey Huff went to Houston in a trade, but he’s a free agent after the season. He can play first, third, or outfield and has a career average of .288. I’m betting he doesn’t leave the Astros, but if he does, it’d be a nice fit.

My pick….Craig Wilson

DH

Jay Gibbons could fit in either here or the 1st base problem. Either of which is fine, I like Gibbons’ offense but the sooner he gets out of the outfield, the better. At first or DH, Gibbons would be better suited.

I’m looking at the free agent list and there’s not much for DH. You got your Gary Sheffields, JerOmy Burntizes, and yes, your Barry Lamar Bonds out there…none of which I want.

DH- Jay Gibbons (give the man some starts at first from time to time too though, getting only 4 at bats a game and sitting one the bench can be rough on a man’s soul.)

LF

No platooning. No band-aids. No more. Give me someone who can play everyday in left and isn’t a liability because of his defense (Conine), their because we have no other spot for him (Fahey…who I like by the way), or because no one wants (the late Matos).

Carlos Lee is a dream. I don’t see him happening. I’d loooove to be proved otherwise, but there’s going to be a line of teams after him and unless we overpay, then there’s no way he comes here.

David Dellucci was drafted by the O’s, would be a okay signing.

There’s Shannon Stewart and Cliff Flloyd, both which I think would be all right fits, a little older at 32 or 33, but I kind of what to see us steer away from signing older players, BUT these two would be fine with me, but I’d prefer Flloyd.

I’m pulling one of out the MLB 2005 and would sign Jermaine Dye and put him leftfield.

As for the starting pitching, I say put the money on a solid starter to go along with Bedard and Benson. Penn, Loewen, and Cabrera can duke it out for the 4 and 5 spots.

Mark Mulder’s a free agent and has not had a good season for the Cards. I think he’s a pitcher who needs to go back to the American League. Sign him, with his season, I’m sure his price tag isn’t going to be as high as it was.

2nd Roberts

3rd Mora

1st Wilson

SS Tejada

DH Gibbons

C   Hernandez

LF Dye

CF Patterson

RF Markakis

Rotation- Bedard, Mulder, Benson, Penn, Loewen/Cabrera

That’s a better team. I’m sure it’d be in contention for the wild card (at least) on the MLB 2005. I wanted to do a long post on this, but I’m running late as it is and I need to get going. The Orioles and Royals start at 8:10 with Kris Benson going against Mark Redman, let’s hope for a sweep.

Fearless Trade Predictions

With no O’s games today and the trade deadline a week away, I’m going to go over who I think goes where and why and if they do. I’ll either look like a genius or an idiot, but I’m willing to take my chances. Without further ado, Here’s my fearless trade deadline predictions…

Bobby Abreu

The Phillies are going to trade either Abreu or Pat Burrell. Burrell has a complete no trade clause and more teams are drooling over Abreu than Burrell. To get Abreu, a team has to have pony up some money since the Phillies want to slash some cash. Naturally, the Yankees come to mind and that’s where I think he goes.

Alfonso Soriano

Soriano’s been talking about how he’d like to stay a Nat, but we all know that’s not going to happen. The Nats want to build from the bottom up and Soriano is a piece that get them some good young talent. If Soriano goes to another team, which I think he will, he’ll be in left mostly…unless he goes to the Mets. The Mets have an opening at second and I could see them giving him time at second and some time in left. As I type this ESPNews is reporting that the White Sox may be close to completing a trade for Soriano. If so, then the Tigers will do a trade for sure for Lee/Abreu and I will officially have my first wrong pick.

Carlos Lee

The Brewers are in that limbo position, hovering around the wildcard but still five games under .500. Lee looks to be too pricey for the modest budget Brewers to re-sign. Since the Tigers are looking for another bat, I’m going to say Lee goes to the Tigers.

 Greg Maddux

The Dodgers are in a tailspin, but even the worst tailspin can’t knock you out of the NL West race…just ask the D-Backs. Maddux would fit in nicely with the Dodgers as they make a post-season run.

Miguel Tejada

I don’t see Miggy going anywhere at this point. If a trade happens, it’ll happen in the off-season. I know there’s talk of the Astros making a push for him, but I don’t think Houston has the players to pull it off.

Barry Zito

Zito stays put, unless the Mets blow them away with an offer. I don’t think that will happen and the Mets can throw their millions at him in the off-season.

Dontrelle Wills/Miguel Cabrera

They go NOwhere.

Tori Hunter

ditto

John Smoltz

With Atlanta’s revived play, he’s staying with the Braves.

What about the O’s?

LaTroy Hawkins and Rodrigo Lopez will be wearing uniforms after the deadline, that’s for sure. Conine maybe. I think we’re stuck with Chen and Javy Lopez. It’ll just be some minor swaps for the Orioles…nothing to get excited about, unless they swap Benson. I don’t think they do, but with starting pitching being a need for teams the way it is, I could see a team overpaying for him or any other starter.

That’s it, hold me to it. I could be 100% wrong, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.