Felix Pie: Round 2

Here’s something to spice up a slow start to the offseason, the_O’s_are_looking_to_get_Felix_Pie. The Cubs have fancied the Padres’ Jake Peavy and have come up short in their quest to have a pitching staff with three number ones. The Padres are desperate to move anyone of value and a third team is needed. Enter the Orioles.

Last offseason, Felix Pie’s name was tossed around. The O’s got Adam Jones, and Pie was never traded. Pie has gotten limited playing time with lukewarm_results. Apparently Andy MacPhail still likes him.

From the article

The Orioles have revisited trade talks with the Cubs about outfielder Felix Pie, according to industry sources, and could end up as the third team in a three-way deal that would send marquee right-hander Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres to Chicago.

The way it works is the Cubs don’t have the prospects to deal straight up for Peavy. That’s where we come in because the O’s want something something too…Felix Pie, apparently.

The Padres, who are limited in trade talks for Peavy because of the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner’s no-trade clause, covet Garrett Olson, a Southern California native. This offseason, the Padres asked for Olson in exchange for veteran shortstop Khalil Greene, but the Orioles rejected the offer. Olson, 25, is 10-13 with a 6.87 ERA in 33 starts over two major-league seasons.

The Pads COVET Garrett Olson. Not just want, but they COVET the Orioles for having Garrett Olson. That’s breaking one of the ten commandments, any I don’t think I would do that over Garrett Olson. They wanted him for Khalil Greene, whom I do not covet in the least. An Olson Greene swap does not interest me. I’d take Pie for Olson for sheer potential. I’d take Pie and Greene for Olson…straight up, or if another body had to thrown by the O’s. I’m not a fan of Greene, but if Pie was coming as well…then I can live with a season of Greene.

I think if this trade gets done, Pie would go to Left Field, Luke Scott goes to DH, and Aubrey Huff goes to first. If Mark Teixeria signs then he’d play first, but I doubt that happens. I strongly doubt it. If Pie lives to the hype that once surrounded him, the O’s outfield could potentially be one of the best in baseball in a couple years. Nick Markakis is already a great player. Adam Jones progressively got better last season before getting hurt towards the end of the season. If Pie gets added to the outfield, then that’s a lot of potential in the outfield.
I like Luke Scott, but I’d rather have him at DH. One other thing about this is that the team must not be too keen on Nolan Reimold. The guy’s 25 now and should be hitting Baltimore at some point. Maybe if this trade goes down, he can be the 4th outfielder….or does that job belong to Lou Montanez?

Olson for Pie? I’d do it. The O’s are starved for pitching at the moment, but I’d still swap Olson for him. The fact that the O’s have done about 250 trades with the Cubs in the past 6 years, I’d bet this happens.

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O’s Hire Krivsky

Former Red’s GM Wayne Krivsky has been hired_by_the_O’s as a special assistant to the president of baseball operations. Krivsky takes the place of Scott Proefrock, who left to take the Assistant GM job with the Phillies.

It’s a solid move in my opinion. I’d think different if he was hired as GM, but whatever you have to say about some of Krivsky’s moves in Cincy, you have to admit he’s got a good eye for some talent…Brandon Phillips, Josh Hamilton, and Edinson Volquez. Perhaps he’s better in a sporting roles, rather than heading the show. He was Terry Ryan’s assistant in Minnesota for 8 years and they were pretty good at drafting and finding talent on a smaller budget.

He known Andy MacPhail for a long time and that’s fine and good. It’s a decent move because he’ll be scouting, handling contracts, and such. That’s fine, but I hope that’s not the big move of the offseason.

Moose hangs it up

Image via the Baltimore Sun

Image via the Baltimore Sun

 

This one made me a little sad. Quite a few O’s fans have some venom for Moose for leaving the team and signing with the Yankees of all teams. I hated that he signed with the Yankees, but Angelos and company bungled that one up with some bullheadedness and giving Scott Erickson five years.

With Moose retiring, the last player of note from the winning O’s teams are gone from the majors…with the exception of perhaps Armando Benitez. Regardless though, the players who I remembered on those winning O’s teams, when O’s  and Yankees was a real rivalry and playoff trips happened every season, are retired. It’s been 11 seasons since the O’s have been a relevant MLB team. It’s probably going to be a few more seasons to go, but with Moose retiring, one of the strongest links of the mid-90’s hey day is gone.

It’s that cycle that the game goes through. Players come up and players go. It’s gotten to the point now that with Moose retiring, pretty much all the players that I grew up watching are gone. That makes me feel a little older.

I’m happy for Moose. For a player as good as he was, he never had a 20 win season until this year. I’m glad to see the guy go out on top instead of hanging around to get to 300 wins, no matter how bad he might look in a couple years. He went out looking good, that’s the best way to be remembered.

So, he leaves with 270 wins-153 losses and a 3.68 ERA. Is he Cooperstown bound? I think you could argue it, but I think he is. He’s got 270 wins, which a lot of today’s  pitchers will be hard-pressed to get. He thrived in the steroid era and in the AL East. I only hope he’ll go in as an O, but I doubt it.

Anyway, Congrads on a fine career Moose. Too bad it couldn’t have all in Baltimore.

Heyman’s not giving up on this Manny stuff

Last week, SI’s Jon Heyman casually mentioned that the O’s were among the teams interested in Manny Ramirez. I scoffed at it (still do, by the way) and then saw this  item_this_morning:

Unless the Dodgers truly get serious, sources indicate to SI.com that the Orioles, Blue Jays and Yankees, three AL teams that can offer a DH role, or perhaps even Philadelphia (which lost out on Holliday and whose manager, Charlie Manuel, was Ramirez’s first hitting coach), could blow away L.A.’s offer.

I still don’t believe that’ll happen. It’s not logical. Even if Angelos wants to quickly throw a winning team together, it wouldn’t make sense unless along with Manny, the team also signs Teixeria, Furcal, Burdette, Sabathia/Sheets, and Lowe. That’s a lot of money…a lot…and then possibly it makes sense to have Manny. That’s not the way to build a team and that’s not the way MacPhail is going to do it. That’s not going to happen, but that’s the only logical scenario to signing him.

Anyway, the new uniforms get debuted today, so I’ll be back with that.

Offseason rumors and innuendos 11/8

It’s that fun part of the year where we can forgot about last year’s team, get rid of some of the declining and underachievers, and reload with players who could…just maybe..possibly…help turn the O’s back in the winners.

The first batch of rumors after the GM meeting are out and oh, they’re fun.

First from SI’s Jon_Heyman:

DANA POINT, Calif. — The Dodgers’ two year-offer to Manny Ramirez — believed to be for about $45 million — is very unlikely to lead to a quick deal between the sides, or perhaps any deal.

The sides are so far apart that the Blue Jays, Orioles and perhaps the Yankees and other teams likely have moved ahead of the Dodgers in terms of their chances to win the services of the mercurial superstar. Those outside teams aren’t eligible to make offers until Nov. 14, but the Dodgers have thus far failed to get a jump start on the others with a proposal so far below Ramirez’s asking price that Manny is likely thinking more seriously about outside options now.

Yesterday I about fell out my chair on seeing that. The O’s signing Manny makes no sense. Why would a rebuilding team with Andy MacPhail as GM (pitching and defense) sign a 38 year-old outfielding with a spotty track record and declining defense. He could always DH, but it doesn’t seem like MacPhail’s MO to spend the big big big big money to sign Manny Ramerez. If the team was one player away and needed a big bat, that’s one thing. But when you’re 3 position players and 4 starting pitchers away signing a Manny is an illogical luxury.

It’s not going to happen. Maybe it was just a token bid. Perhaps if Manny grew in Maryland though and had those rich local ties then maybe it would make sense.

Now from Roch_,who_talked_to_Jeff_Zrebiec_and_passes_this_along:

Anyway, Zrebiec – who still bears a striking resemblance to Placido Polanco – predicts that the Orioles will “take it on the chin” and eat catcher Ramon Hernandez’s contract.

Hernandez already has stated that he doesn’t want to play first base with free agency approaching, and the Orioles want to clear room for Matt Wieters and rid themselves of a player who’s worn out his welcome.

Also, if he had to guess, Zrebiec believes Cesar Izturis will be the Opening Day shortstop in 2009.

Along with the news, we are privy to the token Roch joke. Happy day. Anyways, Ramon Hernandez will be gone. Its just a matter of how much money they end up eatting. I figured with Matt Wieters, Superstar coming up next season Ramon would be gone. With his declining play and since apparently he’s worn out his welcome, it’ll happen sooner. I hope rather than just dumping him, the team can get a trade worked out. Ramon won’t net the team much on the surface in a trade, but if they could match up with a team and traded for a struggling starting pitcher with a similar bloated price tag, that would be nice. If the pitcher gets it together, then its a great move. If he stinks, cut him and break even because Hernandez would have been cut anway.

Caesar Izturis, Starting Shortsop 2009? Gag me now. Izturis is one of those guys who seems to have played forever but he’s only 28 and he’s another one of those all glove and not much bat fellows.

For the record, he’s a lifetime_.260_hitter. I shouldn’t complain though. After last season, Izturis would be a massive upgrade at short. Juan Castro was fine defensively, but an automatic out at the plate. Alex Cintron had bad range and medicore defense, Brandon Fahey is Brandon Fahey, and Luis Hernandez was in ‘a longterm fielding slump.’

I will say that I would take Izturis over another rumored shortstop on market, Khalil_Thabit_Greene. There’s talk that Greene’s available and if you check out his numbers you can see why. Greene played his college ball at Clemson, so I like him for that but I don’t want him at short next season.

And Roch follows up with this:

And finally, in response to Zrebiec’s notebook item in today’s Sun concerning Danys Baez’s interest in joining the rotation, I break it down this way:

Baez as a starter: Bad idea.

Baez preparing as a starter: Good idea.

I see no harm in Baez stretching out his arm and working on all his pitches in spring training. At the least, he returns to the bullpen with the ability to enter games early and eat up innings, since the backend seems pretty crowded if George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Jim Johnson and Jamie Walker all return.

I agree. Baez couldn’t make it through one inning of relief and now he wants to try to pitch 6 innings in a game. That’s a stretch. Coming over major surgery and preparing as a starter would be good for his arm, I won’t criticize that. The problem is the bullpen won’t have much room for Baez and he’s smart enough to realize that. Ray will probably go back to closing, Johnson to set up, and Sherrill back in specialist role. I don’t think Walker is lock to be back after the past season. The rotation is threadbare so, he’s trying to get playing time some how. Man, that was a bad contract.

To recap, there’s a possibility (no matter how remote) that the 2009 Orioles will have Manny Ramirez playing in LF/DH, Caesar Izturis at short, Danys Baez starting, and paying Ramon Hernandez to go away. Offseason talk is big fun.

Burdette and Teixeria finally begins

Ken Rosenthal had a few items_of_note_about_the_O’s_offseason_plans.

The Orioles are intent on making serious offers for Burnett as well as Teixeira. They possess geographic advantages with both players — Burnett lives in Monkton, Md., and Teixeira is from the Baltimore area — and they do not plan to irritate their restless fan base with token bids.

Burnett and Teixeria are the two big fishes for us this offseason. I’m doubtful that we get either of them, but even if one gets signed, I’m happy with it. I’ve debated both of these possible signings over the many days of the past month when I didn’t post. So here’s why internal struggles have wrought.

On Tex

Pros

  • There’s a gapping whole at first base. Kevin Millar is fine for a pinch hitting cheerleader, but not as a starter. Tex would fill that hole and put another bat in the lineup to…
  • protect Nick Markakis. Nick Markakis gets pitched around alot. Adding Tex’s bat to a lineup that has Markakis, Huff, Roberts, a blossoming Adam Jones, and hopefully Matt Wieters. That’s a nice lineup.
  • Money. Its going to take a lot of money and a lot years to get him here. Then again, I don’t care about money. Its Peter Angelos’ and MASN’s money that’s going to pay him…not my pawltry cash.
  • Adding someone like Tex will create more fan intense and help attendence.

But you could say, like I have, the offense wasn’t half bad this season. They had some slumps, but usually they did ok. The problem was that the starting pitching was only making it through 3 innings and the bullpen was worn out and the ones that weren’t worn out or hurt, weren’t good. Adding Tex is nice, but without starters its going to be a slugfest on a lot of nights. So why not sign AJ Burdette

  • He’s from the area, so the local draw is there.
  • There’s starting pitching coming, but it might not be for another year or two before we see them mature and make to Baltimore. In that time, some needs to pitch and preferrably somebody good. When the Tillmans and Arrietas come up, there’s no promises that they will be aces. Remember when we longed for Adam Loewen, Hayden Penn, Garrett Olson, etc to pitch in Baltimore. Just because a prospect is highly rated, doesn’t mean that they’ll be an ace…look at Homer Bailey in Cincinatti. The O’s need to plan on adding quality free agent pitchers while developing pitching prospects. As we know you can never have too many pitchers.
  • Burdette has been injury prone and manages to really show on during contract years. It’s going to take some money to sign him and Peter Angelos has been known to be skeptical of long term free agent deals for pitchers…especially ones who have an injury rap sheet. Rosenthal goes on to mention that and rightly so.  But, Burdette could be the one that Angelos decides sign for a)local ties, b) fan intrest, and c) to make the team better.

I was on the fence about Burdette but if the team signs him, it’ll mean one less pitching rotation featuring Cabrera, Burres, or whatever joker we’ve had to see this season that can’t throw a strike.

Also from that Article

Andy MacPhail, the Orioles’ president of baseball operations, is intent on acquiring veteran starting pitchers to protect the team’s young arms, but the enormity of his challenge in the ultra-competitive AL East is almost overwhelming.

When the Orioles tried to sign right-hander Sergio Mitre, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, they were significantly outbid by the Yankees

Yeah, we need pitching. I’m not going to shed many tears over Sergio Mitre, who misses more games than he’s pitched. Its nice MacPhail is being proactive and trying to sign pitchers early.