Thursday, February 12, 2009

Are we heading in the right direction?

I want to ask my readers this question and see what they have to say.

The contracts of Aubrey Huff, Brian Roberts, Melvin Mora, Danys Baez, and Jamie Walker are set to expire after this season. Do the O's look to trade them, do they sign them to new contract extensions, or do they let them go? This is a rebuilding team, right? Do any of these players fit into that plan?

But if they are rebuilding, why did they sign Mark Hendrickson, Ty Wigginton, and Koji Uehara. Why did they trade for Ryan Freel? Are these players really going to help in the long run or will they just block the way for prospects? Wigginton ended Scott Moore's stay with the O's. Freel may have destroyed the hopes of Nolan Reimold and Lou Montanez for a spot on the team. Hendrickson and Uehara may cost Hayden Penn his last shot to stick with the O's.

Do the O's have the young talent they need to compete? They have Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Felix Pie. Jeremy Guthrie, James Johnson, and Chris Ray have a lot of potential as pitchers. They have several top prospects who are a year or two away from the majors (Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz) and other prospects who are in between AAA and the majors (Troy Patton, Radhames Liz, Penn, Reimold, Montanez). Are there any holes?

As an Orioles fan, I am left asking questions about whether the future looks any brighter this year than in any other. The hope is there, but I still wonder at times what the O's are doing. I'm looking for your feedback.


ali said...

If Hendrickson or Uehara cost Hayden Penn his roster spot I'm going to be VERY ANGRY.

Hayden Penn will make the O's this year (barring any unforseen crazy injury)... and... if he doesn't... hhhmmmm... Eventually, I'll think of a good threat.

Keep BRob -- I like Melvin, but he's getting old, he should retire... and ummm... the other two guys... whatever.

That's my opinion -- Hayden Penn pitches and the O's win a World Series. Can you imagine a pitching rotation with both Garrett Olson and Hayden Penn..???? Wow.

Matt said...

Well, the Orioles are doing one of two things right now: They're either delusional and think that they have a legitimate title shot with a few aging, but stable players like Wigginton and Freel, or they're trying to get together enough hold-over players that can fill spots until better prospects come through.

What confuses me is that Free and Wigginton aren't especially old, nor are the new pitching prospects. It's seems counter intuitive, especially since the Os are more likely than not to resign any of their new guys if they do somewhat decent.

They don't have a legitimate title shot, but they seem to act like their a lucky break away. In all honesty, I think Mora or Huff should be traded sooner rather than later for a couple of decent pitching prospects. Though B-rob is getting older, he's worth keeping as a bedrock at second base (which tends to be a hard position to find great hitters outside of the elite level).

Their pitching, regardless of the semblance of young hope, won't be very good. They may win some games, but they don't have a superstar in the bunch. They need an Erik Bedard who doesn't get hurt every year, someone to build a staff around. They have a solid rotation if they could add one superstar and then some of their young guns panned out well.

My opinion is that they're a year and a lot of slick trades away - at best. In the mean time, though, it's fun to see them making a few right steps (and some questionable ones). Upsets this year aren't out of the question...