Let’s be honest, how many people like the Baltimore Orioles’ offseason? Show of hands…no one, that’s kind of what I was expecting.
The Orioles lost their closer in Jim Johnson when they traded him to save money, then tried to sign someone who might be an upgrade but the contract with Grant Balfour fell through. Rumors are that it was MRI-related, but I think there might be more than what meets the eye.
A pitcher the Orioles thought might come back, Scott Feldman is signed and with the Houston Astros. Nate McLouth will be suiting up for the Washington Nationals. Brian Roberts is headed to the Evil Empire of the New York Yankees.
But the Orioles have made some moves. None of them are ones that Orioles fans are necessarily raving about. Ryan Webb, David Lough, Michael Almanzar, Julio Borbon, Jemile Weeks and Francisco Peguero all will be in the Orioles’ system next year. They may not all be in the majors, but they could be.
Let’s face it, Dan Duquette consistently has filled the Orioles’ roster from the bottom up. Providing organization depth and keeping the key players from the team. That includes the new contract given to Adam Jones. Bringing in and overpaying for a free agent just isn’t going to happen.
But the Orioles are a much deeper team, a much more consistent team and a much better overall team than before Duquette took over. Andy MacPhail started building this Orioles team and Duquette has continued that building. This is a team that on paper doesn’t look quite like they are ready to contend, mainly due to their pitching staff, but a few key additions could change that opinion.
There is still a lot of reason for optimism in Birdland, and that is no Christmas Miracle. It is the result of bringing in quality players, giving them good coaching and having good leadership on the team. Now, in 2014, it is time to take that to the next level.
A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you, and let us know, what move do you think that has been made so far will help the Orioles the most?