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.