With the 2013 season right around the corner, it’s clear that the Baltimore Orioles’ front office isn’t just thinking about the upcoming year – but rather success for years to come.
The Orioles avoided arbitration with a number of players this week, signing Matt Wieters, Tommy Hunter and Jason Hammel to one year deals. Each player made a significant impact on the team’s success last year.
I wrote last week about the contributions of Adam Jones, and the symbolic nature of his long term deal. It was a sure signal to the Baltimore fan base that the organization is ready to invest in building a strong team for years to come. That was made even more evident this week with the extension of both Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette through 2018. That duo was undeniably the biggest reason for the success the club enjoyed last year. Now, the next piece of the puzzle is Matt Wieters. Duquette told the media this weekend that the Orioles are definitely interested in pursuing that long term deal.
Over the past several seasons, the Orioles have been able to acquire or draft a number of young, extremely talented players. Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Matt Wieters make up a strong core both offensively and defensively. Markakis and Jones have already been inked long term. The signing of Wieters to a multi-year deal would help to ensure success for years to come.
Many fans have rumbled about the lack of activity this offseason. Buck Showalter was quoted this weekend as saying that the Orioles’ best move this offseason was to avoid “stupid” deals. Dealing away strong prospects may help in the short term, but that’s not what the organization values most right now, Perhaps the Orioles won’t win the World Series this year, but the front office is dedicated to something greater – enjoying success for many years to come, and restoring the team to its once prominent status.
Showalter also spoke highly today of the Orioles’ farm system, noting that the current pool of talent is far greater than it was just a few years ago. That’s how you win consistently, and that’s exactly what Oriole fans have been waiting for.