Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles: Don't be fooled!

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!

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Dan Duquette

  • Chuck in Edgewood

    Hi Dom: Dan and Buck have quietly but constantly told us that they want to build a club that contends on a continual basis and a key component of the organizational strategy is based on the development of their minor league players. During the year, after Buck recaps a game, he almost always talks about the performance of one of the minor league players that week, usually one of the pitchers. When they show Buck in his office, you always see the organizational depth chart right behind him. I just think they are committed to a long term philosophy vs. a big purchase of “top tier” free agents. And I also think this is a major reason why the Angelos family signed both Dan and Buck to long term contracts. I’m sure they are quietly awaiting the day when more of their position players (ala Manny Machado) challenge the major league players for the starting positions. I just think it is less the spending of the big sums of money for some of these free agents and more of the length of contract that they demand (and get).
    Enjoy reading all of your articles…..keep up the good work!!

    • Domenic Vadala

      Thanks for the kind words Chuck; much appreciated! I would tend to agree that’s te long-term goal. Many folks aren’t going to see or understand that, but I think you’re spot on. Thanks for reading!

    • margaret

      I totally agree with what you’re saying, the hard part is that willingness to wait is coming at the expense of a frustrated fan base. granted, I think the O’s played over their heads in 2012, coming back down to earth last year, but they may need to make a splash, even a smaller one like a Grant Balfour (I’ve seen the infamous “Balfour Rage” in Oakland, the fans were totally into it, it was really fun and would bring a whole new energy to the stadium) to buy themselves a little more time and patience from the fanbase to help those young talented players develop. the guys in the minors not named Dylan Bundy that management has eyes on aren’t household names yet, and its names like Choo and Fister and Cano that fans see signing elsewhere that brings up those frustrations.