MacPhail updates coming

MacPhail updates coming
O's president Andy MacPhail is scheduled to meet with reporters here at the Winter Meetings in Orlando in about a half hour. Roch and myself will both be there with any updates from that briefing. If there wasn't enough fan pressure on the Orioles before today, it just got ratcheted up when the Nationals signed Jason Werth, an O's first-round pick in 1997, to a seven-year deal reportedly worth about 126 million. His agent Scott Boras is holding court now and if anything O's related comes...
Continue reading

Two O's hurlers leave winter ball, Minor likely back at Delmarva

Two O's hurlers leave winter ball, Minor likely back at Delmarva
Two pitchers from the Orioles minor leagues have left their winter ball teams. Pedro Beato is no longer pitching with Licey in the Dominican and Raul Rivero has left the Lara club in Venezuela. Beato, the O's second pick in the 2006 draft, the 32nd overall, pitched in just two games in the Dominican and gave up three runs and two hits over 1 2/3 innings. Beato ended the year on Bowie's disabled list with right shoulder tendonitis, but was healthy enough to pitch in the Dominican and...
Continue reading

Pondering a few questions

Pondering a few questions
With yesterday's, let's say, passionate fan reaction to the O's losing out on Adam Dunn, after they had earlier lost out on Victor Martinez, some are left wondering what the O's now will do at first base. We should remember that is just one of the areas the O's need to address. Here are some other questions/issues they have to answer. *Is Mark Reynolds their guy for third base? His age of 27 and homer total of 76 over the last two years are pluses for him and so is the fact he is signed...
Continue reading

Did the O's really miss that badly on Dunn?

Did the O's really miss that badly on Dunn?
A Baltimore Sun report, citing an industry source, said the O's offered Adam Dunn a four-year deal worth $40 million. Dunn reportedly signed for $56 million over four years with the White Sox, who now may also retain Paul Konerko. Yes, we are all thinking the same thing here. If those reports are accurate, the O's missed by a mile. If both reports are on the money, pun intended, the O's offer to Dunn was a huge swing and miss. Dunn's agent let it be known they were seeking four years and...
Continue reading

Weighing Konerko vs. Pena

Weighing Konerko vs. Pena
Two of the players that must be high on the O's list as possible first baseman for 2011 are Paul Konerko and Carlos Pena. By now, the O's must have had discussions with both and, according to one report, have offered a deal to Konerko. The decisions the club would have to make in choosing between those two and others would have a lot to do with money and length of contract. I cannot see the O's getting Konerko, or having a real chance, without a three or four-year deal. If Adam Dunn...
Continue reading

The offseason plan for Matt Hobgood

The offseason plan for Matt Hobgood
After the Orioles' organizational meetings in Arizona ended last month, O's minor league pitching coordinator Dave Schmidt watched some O's pitchers work in some AFL games and then he headed for California. He spent some time with Matt Hobgood, the O's top pick in the 2009 draft, who went 3-7, 4.40 in 94 innings last year with the Delmarva Shorebirds. Hobgood dealt some with back spasms and shoulder soreness last year. And, it's no secret the right-hander could have been in better shape...
Continue reading

Will Joel Guzman return to the Orioles next season?

Will Joel Guzman return to the Orioles next season?
Joel Guzman was one of the top hitters on the O's farm last year. He hit .279-33-98 at Bowie, leading the O's farm system in homers and runs batted in. In 130 Baysox games, he recorded 21 doubles, scored 87 runs, slugged .519 and had an OPS of .863. He led the Eastern League in homers and total bases, was 2nd in RBI and 5th in extra-base hits. Guzman is a one-time top Dodgers prospect, who signed with Los Angeles as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican in 2001. At the time, his signing bonus...
Continue reading

Not too concerned about strikeouts

Not too concerned about strikeouts
Well, it's a big "if", but "if" say the Orioles were to add Adam Dunn or Carlos Pena at first base and Mark Reynolds for third base, they'd gain some power for next year's lineup. But they'd be adding a lot of strikeouts as well. Dunn and Reynolds combined for a whopping 410 strikeouts last year and Pena and Reynolds combined for 369. My take on that is basically, so what. Power hitters usually strikeout at a higher rate than most. Some do it at a very high rate. Often it's a...
Continue reading

Jeter's contract talks: It's gotten messy

Jeter's contract talks:  It's gotten messy
I think Derek Jeter needs to understand something. His next contract will not pay him an average of 18.9 million dollars per year like his last one did. His 10-year, $189 million dollar deal ran out after the 2010 season and Jeter is now a free agent. The Yankees' captain is just 74 hits from 3,000 but something is happening now that is surprising to me - Jeter's current negotiations with the team are getting messy. After his agent said he was "baffled" by the Yankees approach to the...
Continue reading

Rule 5 prep and the Pie video

Rule 5 prep and the Pie video
Now that all Major League teams have set their 40-man rosters, clubs have begun preparations for the Rule 5 draft which comes up December 9 at the Winter Meetings. "Now you simply go through all your reports and most people don't realize that there are more than 10,000 reports on this year's (available) players in virtually every club's system," O's director of player development, John Stockstill said. "In our case, (assistant director of player development) Tripp Norton we be...
Continue reading

Checking the minor league free agents list

Checking the minor league free agents list
Since the season ended, 24 players that were with the Orioles in the minors and/or big leagues this past year have become minor league free agents. They are now free to sign with any organization. Here is the list. Infielders: Michael Aubrey, Scott Moore. Outfielders: Lou Montanez, Jeff Salazar, Jonathan Tucker, Joel Guzman. Catchers: Zach Booker, Phil Britton, Michel Hernandez, Steve Lerud, Rolando Pettit. Pitchers: Alberto Castillo, Jose Diaz, Jose Duran, Chris George, Mike...
Continue reading

After three seasons in Bowie, Komminsk looks forward to the next challenge

After three seasons in Bowie, Komminsk looks forward to the next challenge
Brad Komminsk can probably tell you a lot about Portland, Reading, Akron, Erie and New Britain. He visited those cities in six of the last nine years as an Eastern League manager, first in Akron for the Indians from 2002-04 and the last three years for the Orioles with the Bowie Baysox. But after three winning seasons in Bowie, Komminsk will take the job as Norfolk Tides hitting coach in the Triple-A International League for the 2011 season. "As much as I loved Bowie and the staff and fans...
Continue reading

Time to hear from the new O's coaches

Time to hear from the new O's coaches
The Orioles made most of their new coaching staff available to reporters on a telephone conference call today. Here are some excerpts and quotes from the new coaches. Bench coach Willie Randolph talked about his relationship with Buck Showalter: "Knowing Buck for as long I have, hopefully, we'll have some fun and the only way you have fun is winning ballgames. Buck is very prepared and one of the smartest guys I know in the game. He's going to delegate and let us do our jobs, which is all...
Continue reading

Victor goes to Detroit and O's fans feel spurned yet again

Victor goes to Detroit and O's fans feel spurned yet again
I certainly understand the angst and depression that is prevailing among some O's fans tonight with the news that free agent Victor Martinez is going to sign with Detroit. Those fans feel the O's will never get anyone good through free agency and that the O's will always come up short here. The reason they feel like that is obvious - that is the way it always seems to go. I don't subscribe, however, to any theory that the club came up with a figure of 48 million they knew they could...
Continue reading

Mahoney could get more OF starts next season

Mahoney could get more OF starts next season
Last season, O's minor league player of the year Joe Mahoney, a first baseman, did start a few games in left field for the Double-A Bowie Baysox. Next year, Mahoney will be back at first base, but the number of games he plays as an outfielder should increase also. "I didn't mind it and they said they may put me out there once or twice a week (next season). The more versatile you can be, the more valuable you are," Mahoney said. There are a few good reasons for Mahoney to try his hand in...
Continue reading

Expanded playoffs may be the right move for baseball

Expanded playoffs may be the right move for baseball
It looks like Major League Baseball is on its way to expanding the playoffs from eight to 10 teams. MLB's special 14-man, on-field committee, a group that includes Andy MacPhail and Frank Robinson, will meet on the topic at the upcoming winter meetings. Under the plan, there would be two wild-card teams in each league. When I first heard of this talk of expanding the playoffs, my first reaction was negative. Were the powers that be in the game going to mess with something that is working...
Continue reading

More O's minor leaguers are released

More O's minor leaguers are released
The Orioles have released 14 more minor league players as the club continues to reduce its number of players in the minors after trimming two minor league clubs at the end of the 2010 season. Now that the O's no longer need to send players to Bluefield or fill the roster of a second Dominican Summer League squad, some players became expendable. Six of the 14 were taken by the club in either the 2008 or 2009 draft. Preston Hale and Brad Decater were players taken in the 2010 draft. In a...
Continue reading

The 40-man: A look at who made it and who didn't

The 40-man:  A look at who made it and who didn't
Congrats are in order for Zach Britton, Joe Mahoney and Matt Angle, who were added to the Orioles' 40-man roster on Friday. Now they cannot be taken by another club in the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings. But some players were left unprotected and can be taken by another club, however, must stay in the Majors for all of 2011 or they will most likely return to Baltimore. By the way, it should be pointed out that Britton was drafted in round three, Mahoney in round six and Angle in round...
Continue reading

Britton on Boras and his offseason plans

Britton on Boras and his offseason plans
It was about a month ago that O's top pitching prospect Zach Britton sat with agent Scott Boras for lunch. Nearly four hours later they were still talking. "We had a long lunch with Scott and talked baseball a lot, but it was more just getting to know him and I was really impressed," Britton said. So the lefty that was the O's minor league pitcher of the year for the 2010 season, decided it was time to change agents. He moved from the Hendricks brothers, neither of which he had ever...
Continue reading

Britton joins forces with Boras

Britton joins forces with Boras
The Orioles 2010 minor league pitcher of the year, Zach Britton, has become the latest player in the organization to be represented by agent Scott Boras. About a month ago, Britton decided to switch from the Hendricks brothers to the Boras corporation. "I was with Hendricks Sports and dealt with Matt Laird," Britton said. "He was great but I never really had contact with the Hendricks brothers myself, so I just never felt comfortable going forward with people I hadn't met. So I had a...
Continue reading