Obviously yesterday’s big story was the fact that New York signed Masahiro Tanaka. The analysis of this is another story for another day, however more importantly the fact that Tanaka’s deal is done probably means that the log jam of pitchers looking for teams will start to unravel. That of course goes on to mean that the Baltimore Orioles will want to get their act in gear. A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo are the two names to whom the O’s have probably been linked the most this off season (in terms of pitching). The question now becomes whether or not the market for them goes up with Tanaka signing.
I would submit that the Orioles need to sign one of those two pitchers. The good thing for them is that they’d be getting known commodities whereas New York is in essence getting an MLB rookie in Tanaka. However that aside my personal opinion is that Arroyo will bring his talents and his windup to the yard this year. That’s just a prediction – could be wrong, could be right.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN and Baseball American tweeted last night that the Orioles did in fact see something in OFer Tyler Colvin‘s physical that concerned them. It’s unclear what this means or what’s going on, however it appears that the two sides are at an impasse. Let’s be clear; if Colvin doesn’t play for the Orioles in 2014 it won’t be tragic by any means. Furthermore, Colvin has had injury problems in the past – including a collapsed lung. While it does in fact seem like the Orioles over-scrutinize these physicals now, I continue to believe that they’re ultimately doing what’s right for the organization. I maintain that the same people that are upset about this now (and were upset about Balfour awhile back) would be screaming that the team didn’t do it’s due diligence if they signed a player that was an injury risk. So it’s almost a no-win situation for the Orioles in a sense.
Again, it’s unclear where the two sides go now. Some writers have said that perhaps the Orioles could work out a minor league deal with Colvin, which would certainly come with less risk to the club. Of course that would also give the impression that the Orioles simply didn’t want to pay Colvin, but two years $15 million probably wasn’t going to break the bank. We’ll have to see how this plays out, but again it’s worth stating that all players are investments and it’s not unfair of the organization to attempt to cross it’s T’s and dot it’s I’s in terms of getting proper return on their investments. Taking blind risks rarely turns out well – in any walk of life.
Lastly, the Orioles can’t seem to get out of their own way in a sense, even when they aren’t even involved in a situation or circumstance. Yesterday Brian Roberts was interviewed by the YES Network, where he made the following statement:
“When you have the opportunity to play for such a storied franchise and an organization that is always going to give you a chance to win a World Series every year, it doesn’t take a whole lot.
“So, you know, as a kid I think so many of us probably dream of putting that uniform on at some point. I had an incredible opportunity to play so many years in one city, it was just time to move on, I think.
“I’ve never played to prove anyone wrong or make a big name for myself. I just want to play the game and have fun. My goal is to play in a World Series. I’ve had a lot of time to never play in a playoff game and that’s what I’m excited for.”
First off to be clear, Roberts would have in theory had the opportunity to play in some playoff games, but he was injured during the 2012 playoffs which included the Orioles. Brian Roberts has been a fan favorite at Camden Yards for a long time, and I hope that doesn’t change for the record. I do wish that he would have chosen his words more carefully yesterday, however I would fail to believe that they were maliciously inspired. Keep in mind that the Orioles stood by Roberts through his numerous injuries, and in the eyes of many went above and beyond simple player loyalty. So yes while those comments might raise eyebrows, I have serious doubts as to whether there was malice behind them.
The start of the season isn’t far away. Get your Baltimore Orioles spring training tickets here.