Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If I was Andy MacPhail...

I would finish up the Brian Roberts extension right now. After that, I would leave the team be. I have to give MacPhail credit, I was angry when he designated Scott Moore for assignment to make room for Ty Wigginton, but no one claimed Moore and the Orioles got him right back. Here's what else I think he should do this year.

Trade Aubrey Huff - Huff had a huge comeback last year, but he's 30 something and in his final year of his contract. If he continues to play well, the O's should trade him for prospects. He's not the long term answer. They have Wigginton who can play every day, and I'm thinking even more of prospects like Brandon Snyder, Billy Rowell, Mike Costanzo, and Scott Moore. They are all 1B/3B types with good power and at least one of them should turn out to be a solid major leaguer. It's time to build for the future.

Trade George Sherrill - This is entirely dependent on Chris Ray's comeback. If Ray can become the closer he was before, the O's don't need Sherrill, who is already in his 30's and not all that great. If he starts out hot again this year, the O's can trade him to a contender and get a few prospects out of him.

Trade for Gavin Floyd and/or Justin Morneau - Floyd is from Baltimore and is a rising pitcher for the White Sox. If they fall out of contention, they may be willing to trade him for prospects, and the O's have plenty of those. They have several elite pitching prospects (Arrieta, Matusz, Tillman) and even more good ones (Patton, Liz, Penn, Albers). Minnesota always trades its players away before they start demanding more money, and Morneau may be in the same situation. He could be the young power hitter that the O's need. He's an upgrade over Huff, still young, and very consistent. Plus he's Canadian, eh?

Trade for Brandon Wood - The Angels have no room for another shortstop. It's just that this SS happened to hit 58 home runs a few years ago between AA and the Olympics in 150 games. He hit 38 last year in the minors. The Angels have never been able to give him enough at bats to really get going. It's possible that the O's could trade Sherrill or Huff straight up for him. They need a 1B to replace Teixeira and bullpen help after losing K-Rod.

You may wonder why I think the O's should trade Sherrill and Huff. I think that they are getting old and don't fit into the O's future. I can't see them being big contributors 2-3 years from now. I also think they are coming off good seasons and there value is high right now. If the O's can continue to make trades like the Tejada and Bedard trades, I say go for it. Sherrill and Huff won't bring as much, but they could bring 2-3 prospects each. I don't think they should trade Mora, because he has been an Oriole so long and adds a lot to the club. Jamie Walker and Danys Baez I would like to trade, but there won't be much interest from other teams. I think that the Orioles have what it takes to compete next season, and if MacPhail can make a few moves like the ones above, he can transform the O's into a contender for years. Imagine this lineup and rotation for the next three years, starting 2010. (This is an optimistic lineup)

2B Brian Roberts .300 AVG, 110 R, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 40 SB
CF Adam Jones .290, 90, 20, 75, 15
RF Nick Markakis .310, 100, 25, 110, 15
1B Justin Morneau .285, 90, 30, 120, 0
C Matt Wieters .290, 75, 25, 90, 0
DH Nolan Reimold .270, 75, 25, 80, 10
3B Billy Rowell .285, 70, 25, 75, 0
SS Brandon Wood .275, 70, 25, 70, 5
LF Felix Pie .270, 75, 5, 45, 40

SP Jeremy Guthrie 17 W, 3.60 ERA, 170 K
SP Gavin Floyd 16, 3.75, 160
SP Rich Hill 14, 3.90, 190
SP Brian Matusz 13, 4.10, 150
SP Chris Tillman 13, 4.20, 140
CL Chris Ray 40 SV, 2.90

I think that looks like a winning team.


Stephen said...

I don't see how we can keep our good prospects and still trade for Morneau and Gavin Floyd.

That's a very optimistic and almost fantasy like lineup. Let's hope it takes some shape of that in the future.

Matt said...

I hate to say it (once again), but trading Luke Scott if he plays well would help the Orioles if they could real in a few prospects.

I don't think Galvin Floyd is the solution to their pitching woes, but he doesn't hurt. Even with him, their staff still has holes. It requires the stretching of the imagination quite a bit to think all of their starters will turnout as good as they're projected to play.

I think the Os are better off banking on their pitching depth rather than trying to grab a legit starters and chancing their future on one young guy (I'd take the 5 year plan of development versus the 2 year plan of chance)

Additional note: the B-rob extension means that McPhail thinks the Os are closer to contention than I thought. This is a good things, in terms of gauging their chances within the next three years.

Tim said...

My point is that the Orioles have more prospects than they need, which is a nice problem to have. If you look at my lineup, you won't see Arrieta, Liz, or Snyder because I know that they will probably have to be traded if the O's want Morneau or Floyd. Tillman, Matusz, Reimold, or Rowell could just as easily be used.

I'm all for being like the Devil Rays and Marlins and just letting the young talent develop, but the O's don't seem to consider that an option and now are stuck. Why else would they have signed Hendrickson, Uehara, Wigginton, Freel, and Izturis?

Therefore, I think they should develop the talent, but they need a power hitter like Morneau and a proven young starter like Floyd. If they have to give out of their excess of unproven prospects, so be it. I hate to see prospects go, but I'd rather have a 100% proven star like Morneau than 2 prospects who are 50-50 when I am trying to compete. That being said, they shouldn't trade for anyone less than a star.

Matt said...

Sorry for the grammatical errors in that last post. I felt a strange compulsion to check your blog in the middle of the night...

Morneau is legit, so I won't argue the value in trading for a player like him. I think they're in good enough shape to trade away a few excess position players (especially since they have a decent line-up as it is).

It's the pitching part of your argument that doesn't convince me. Maybe it's just the fact that I don't believe that one Gavin Floyd will be enough to compensate for three prospects. In all honesty, I'm not exactly 100% behind signings like Hendrickson and Uehara, who really don't make sense if you take them as legit starters. They're decent, but won't be great unless there's some sort of pitching miracle or turn-around.

The only logical move that (I hope) the Orioles could make is using players like Uehara and Henrickson as stop-gap pitchers, who start for the Os as long as their rookies need to develop. This obviously isn't the Os strategy, but it would be nice for them to look towards the long term in this manner.

I guess all in all, if the Os are going to end up building a roster that puts everything on the stake within the next three years, they might as well trade for a young, but above average pitcher.

ali said...

BRob extension -- Oh so close.