Less than two weeks ago, everyone was buzzing when Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon tweeted a selfie of himself in an Orioles hat.
That late night photo feels like it happened ages ago. Let’s recap how we got here, shall we?
At the time, the Orioles still had not made a big offseason move, leaving the Baltimore fan base frustrated as the O’s began spring training. A few days later, the Orioles officially announced a three-year, $5.575 million deal with Yoon, but national writers were already looking ahead to what else could be coming for Baltimore.
Ken Rosenthal explained Dan Duquette’s urgency when he wrote, “The Orioles simply cannot wait, and good for (Dan) Duquette for owning up to it. Yes, he would have preferred to sign a non-compensation pitcher such as Bronson Arroyo or A.J. Burnett. But both had options outside of the hitter-happy American League East. (Ervin) Santana and (Ubaldo) Jimenez may not.”
With the Birds’ sights on Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana, Baltimore fans anxiously awaited the next move. When they signed Jimenez to a four-year, $50 million deal, it wasn’t only Baltimore fans who took notice.
Keith Law of ESPN.com wrote, “The Baltimore Orioles get a mild bargain in Ubaldo Jimenez - four years for close to $50 million - by waiting out the market, although the loss of the 17th overall pick in the 2014 draft stings, and Ubaldo himself is still a volatile asset. That said, I think it’s a positive move for them even with the associated risk.”
But not everyone saw the deal in a positive manner. Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com wrote, “I still can’t get on board with a four-year deal for Jimenez. There’s simply too much questionable - or worse - on his resume to believe he’s going to help anchor the Orioles rotation in a positive way for the next four years.”
With one draft pick gone, many speculated that Duquette would be more willing to give up another pick, this time to bring in a designated hitter. It came down to Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales, and the Orioles agreed to terms Saturday with Cruz on a one year, $8 million deal.
With three signings in less than two weeks, the Orioles took center stage in the national spotlight.
“This activity is what the Orioles needed to do this winter, and perhaps their delay was merely a matter of shrewd negotiating, given that the price tags have fallen considerably on Jimenez and, especially, Cruz,” SI.com’s Joe Lemire wrote to describe “Baltimore’s binge.”
Now there are rumors circulating that the O’s are in talks with Santana. Whether or not they add the starter, Baltimore’s binge has made for an exciting two weeks, preparing us for what looks to be an exciting six months of baseball.