When I wrote over the weekend about Yu Darvish, many of your replies surprised me. I didn't keep a tally, but it sure seemed most fans that left a comment were against going after Darvish via free agency if he is posted if the total price tag for a posting fee and contract would total $100 million or more.
I admire your restraint considering how badly the Orioles need pitching. But many of you just felt that is too much money and that is taking too big a risk on Darvish.
I am very intrigued by Darvish and his possible major league future. He seems like a good fit for the Orioles, but I would have a hard time agreeing that is the best way to spend $100 million.
But maybe the Orioles do need to pony up $60 million or more, say for a Mark Buehrle. Unlike Darvish, they would be acquiring more of a sure thing, a player with a long track record of success, but still some good years left. I would think the young pitchers could sure learn a lot about Buehrle's approach and ability to get hitters out without much fastball velocity.
In order to convince a top pitcher to come to a last-place team in baseball's best division and face that opposition, the Orioles are likely going to have to overpay big in dollars, contract length or probably both.
If we could dream for a moment and put Buehrle and Jeremy Guthrie at the top of the rotation and then fill the other three spots from a group of Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter, Chris Tillman, Jason Berken, Alfredo Simon or even Jim Johnson, perhaps the O's would at least have the makings of a decent rotation and a little depth in reserve.
As free agency begins, maybe you could put fans in one or more of the following categories:
Fan A: It's time to spend, spend, spend. The Orioles should start throwing money around like it's confetti. Significantly boosting the payroll may also boost fans hopes and enthusiasm for the team.
Fan B: The Orioles should be spending more, but not go crazy in the free agent market. They have to be wise about how they spend the cash.
Fan C: The Orioles are not at the point to spend too much on free agents. You should only do that when you are close to winning and this team is not at that point right now.
Fan D: The Orioles should try to build with a young team that has a lower payroll. Find some young talent to build for the future, leaving payroll room later to add a key free agent. But this team first needs to fix its issues in-house with the minors and player development.
Fan E: It almost doesn't matter what they do, I see little or no hope for the future.
Fan F: I don't even know why I am reading this. I jumped off the Orioles bandwagon long ago.
Now let's read your take: Which category of fan are you? How involved should the club be in free agency? Do they need to make a big splash? How much should they spend on any of the top free agents?