There were a lot of names linked to the Baltimore Orioles in day one of the MLB winter meetings yesterday – A LOT. The ones that seemed to be the biggest to me were Bartolo Colon and Nelson Cruz. Let me state for the record that I think that signing Colon would be a mistake. Granted he’s had a bit of a resurgence of late with Oakland, however at 40 years old there’s no guarantee that his production will continue. I think that most fans could take Nelson Cruz or leave him, although if I had to pick between the two I think most people would prefer Cruz. (They both have the PED use in their recent past, for what that’s worth.)
The Orioles have also been linked back to their former starter, Jason Hammel, along with the likes of even Shin-Soo Choo (to a much lesser degree). One way or the other, Duquette did say that he’d have a new player on the roster by the end of the week. However with all of that said, I would encourage fans to take a bit of a skeptical view of any player that pops up on the radar as being connected to the Birds (or any other team for that matter). We see this every year at the winter meetings, and it never seems to end. All of this is simply speculation, although some of it will certainly yield results with various players signing with various teams, or teams trading pieces towards the end of the week or even afterwards.
In the case of Choo, the Orioles appear to be interested but not at the price for which Choo and agent Scott Boras (there’s that name again) want. (On a side note, would a decent deal for Choo warm Boras up to the O’s?) However I suppose my point is that fans need to take everything they hear with a grain of salt – UNTIL the team itself announces a trade or a signing with someone. Don’t be fooled into believing any of the hype that comes with the winter meetings regarding players going to various teams!
If Duquette is to be believed (and I take him at his word), the Orioles will be getting a new player this week. One other thing to watch, the O’s will as always participate in the Rule 5 draft at the end of the week (Thursday). The past two years’ worth of Rule 5 drafts have yielded good results for the Orioles, as they picked up Ryan Flaherty and TJ McFarland. Will this year’s draft yield similar results? Stay tuned!