One more week before spring training

I’d like to thank the city of New Orleans for a great idea. If I run out of material for a blog entry, I’ll just turn out the lights.

I just wish I hadn’t overturned my own car last night. That was a dumb idea.

Is it too soon to turn our complete attention to baseball? In exactly one week, I’ll be flying to Sarasota for the start of spring training and hours upon hours of pitchers fielding practice, bunting drills and bullpen sessions.

I’m basically taking off this week so I can get my life in order before heading south, so check Steve Melewski’s blog for any breaking news. I’ll file entries each morning, as usual, but that’s about it.

OK, I may chime in later today if the Orioles announce Jair Jurrjen’s signing, but I can’t make any promises.

We’ll find out whether executive vice president Dan Duquette is only going to add more pitching to the camp roster, or if he can bring in a hitter.

Bobby Abreu is still unsigned, and a few national writers have suggested that he would be a good fit for the Orioles. I’m not claiming that it won’t happen, but it seems as though the only appeal for Duquette would be Abreu’s career .396 on-base percentage.

Abreu will turn 39 next month. He’s a left-handed hitting corner outfielder and designated hitter. He’s not a defensive upgrade over Nate McLouth and Nick Markakis, both left-handed hitters. Wilson Betemit is a much better hitter from the left side. First baseman Chris Davis, who could shift to DH, also bats from the left side.

Abreu’s average has gone from .255 to .253 to .242 over the past three seasons since he batted .293 in 2009. His slugging percentage has dropped from .435 to .365 to .342. He’s a career .300/.409/.511 hitter vs. right-handers, but he hit .236/.353/.333 in 207 plate appearances last year.

He may have been a better fit a few years ago, with the roster constructed differently. I don’t see it right now.

Here’s a list of remaining free agents, courtesy of I removed starter Kevin Millwood, who’s retiring, and reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who has signed a minor league deal with the Mets:

Rod Barajas (37)
Chris Snyder (32)
Matt Treanor (37)

First basemen
Miguel Cairo (39)
Jason Giambi (42)
Aubrey Huff (36)
Casey Kotchman (30)
Carlos Lee (37)

Second basemen
Willie Harris (35)
Orlando Hudson (35)
Adam Kennedy (37)
Freddy Sanchez (34)
Ryan Theriot (33)

Jason Bartlett (33)
Munenori Kawasaki (32)

Third basemen
Miguel Cairo (39)
Chone Figgins (35)
Orlando Hudson (35)
Brandon Inge (36)
Adam Kennedy (37)
Scott Rolen (38)

Left fielders
Bobby Abreu (39)
Johnny Damon (39)
Scott Podsednik (37)

Center fielders
Michael Bourn (30)
Scott Podsednik (37)
Grady Sizemore (30)

Designated hitters
Bobby Abreu (39)
Johnny Damon (39)
Jim Thome (42)

Starting pitchers
Dallas Braden (29)
Kyle Lohse (34)
Derek Lowe (40)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (32)
Dustin Moseley (31)
Jamie Moyer (50)
Roy Oswalt (35)
Carl Pavano (37)
Jonathan Sanchez (30)
Joe Saunders (32)
Chien-Ming Wang (33)
Kip Wells (36)
Randy Wolf (36)
Chris Young (34)
Carlos Zambrano (32)

Jose Valverde (35)
Brian Wilson (31)

Right-handed relievers
Jeremy Accardo (31)
Todd Coffey (32)
Jose Contreras (41)
Francisco Cordero (38)
Joey Devine (29)
Kevin Gregg (35)
Livan Hernandez (38)
Jason Isringhausen (40)
Bobby Jenks (32)
Kameron Loe (31)
Mark Lowe (30)
Brandon Lyon (33)
Guillermo Mota (39)
Brad Penny (35)
Ramon Ramirez (31)
Jon Rauch (34)
Francisco Rodriguez (31)
Kyle Waldrop (27)

Left-handed relievers
Rich Hill (32)
Will Ohman (35)
Hideki Okajima (37)
Rafael Perez (31)
J.C. Romero (37)

Bourn and Lohse would cost the Orioles their first-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Duquette wants to hold onto it.

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