Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Looking Forward to the Orioles Windfall, Part 1

In these dark days, I'd like to look forward to 2010. A projected roster for 2010:

C Matt Wieters
1B Ty Wigginton
2B Brian Roberts
SS Cesar Izturis
3B ????
LF Nolan Reimold
CF Adam Jones
RF Nick Markakis
DH Luke Scott

BN Felix Pie
BN ???
BN Robert Andino
BN Chad Moeller

SP Guthrie
SP Tillman
SP Matusz
SP Bergesen
SP ????

RP Jim Johnson
RP Matt Albers/Jim Miller/Kam Mickolio/Bob McCrory/David Hernandez/Dennis Sarfate/David Pauley/Jason Berken
RP Brian Bass
RP Chris Ray
RP Cla Meredith
RP Koji Uehara
RP Mark Hendrickson

A few explanations and assumptions...

Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora are not brought back. Wigginton takes over at first base primarily since he's under contract...and the third base free agents look better than the first base class.

I'm assuming Chad Moeller or a guy like Moeller. I'm assuming Robert Andino or Justin Turner/Blake Davis coming up from AAA.

No Jake Arrieta? Nope. I'll explain.

I'm looking at a 7 man bullpen with five of the slots pretty well filled. I'm assuming that the Orioles will resign Mark Hendrickson (or someone like him) since he's the only lefty in the bullpen and there's not a lot of options in Norfolk. There are a ton of guys in the minors (or who just broke into the majors) to fill that last spot and step in for injured relievers.

So, the position player spots are pretty well filled for 2010 other than third and arguably first if you believe that Wiggy in a bench player.

The bullpen is fairly set as well with maybe one free agent signing of a lefty reliever necessary. 4 of 5 starter slots (at least) are solid too.

The O's have a 2009 payroll of $67,101,666. Estimated payroll for 2010 minus my assumptions:

2010 Salary (in millions)
Roberts 10.0
Uehara 5.0
Markakis 7.1
Wigginton 3.5
Izturis 2.6
Scott 5.0
Matusz 0.87
Ray 1.0
Moeller 0.85
Guthrie 3.5
Jones 0.8
Johnson 0.5
Hendrickson 1.75
Pie 0.45
Bass 0.45
Andino 0.45
Bergesen 0.45
Hernandez 0.45
Reimold 0.45
Tillman 0.45
Wieters 0.45
Meredith 0.60
1st baseman/bench
3rd baseman
Veteran Starter

Total 46.67

I have estimated arbitration/free agent numbers for some of the players.

Roughly estimated, the Orioles will fill 22 of the 25 roster spot while saving about $20 million off of their already paltry 2009 payroll.

There's money to be spent to fill those holes. Where might the Orioles spend it?

Third Base

This is the biggest need for the O's in 2010 and they have only shaky prospects at best in the minors. Their best prospect is the recently acquired Josh Bell and there is some question as to whether he will stick at third. There are two scenarios:

A) You think Bell is your 3B in 2011-12.
B) You don't think Bell's glove will play at third in the majors.

If you think Bell will be here in the next couple of years, there is only one choice to make: Joe Crede

Joe Crede

2007 .216 .258 .317 .576 4 0 .102 23.9
2008 .248 .314 .460 .773 17 0 .212 7.6
2009 .231 .289 .432 .721 14 0 .201 17.8

Crede is sneaky valuable. His glove is still terrific and he provides some good pop from, admittedly, a not so great bat. FanGraphs places his value at $8.3 million thus far for 2009. The Orioles could sign him for a song, he signed with the Twins for $2.5 mil plus incentives. A deal for $3 mil with incentives up to $5 mil and a club option for 2011 would almost surely get the deal done. He's a good stopgap and his defense next to Cesar Izturis would certainly help out the young pitching staff. The risk with Crede is health but the other viable 3B free agent option will take more than a 1-2 year commitment.

Longer commitment guys:

Adrian Beltre

2007 .276 .319 .482 .802 26 14 .207 -3.4
2008 .266 .327 .457 .784 25 8 .191 15.7
2009 .265 .296 .373 .670 5 9 .108 15.7

Beltre will only be 31 next season and while he has flaws as a hitter, his glove more than makes up for it.

He has good power but he's a free swinger although his walk rate is better in recent years than when he came up. His home/away splits for his career lean heavily toward the road since he has made his home in Dodger Stadium and Safeco Field for his entire career. His OPS is nearly 100 points higher on the road.

He would be an extremely dangerous hitter in OPACY and as long as he's healthy going into the 2010 season, I wouldn't have an issue with a 4 year contract for him. I probably wouldn't be upset with a longer deal either.

Good power, great glove. It works.

Chone Figgins

2007 .330 .393 .432 .825 3 41 .102 -6.1
2008 .276 .367 .318 .685 1 34 .042 13.8
2009 .300 .391 .397 .789 3 33 .097 11.2

The glove is not as good as Beltre but he still provides good speed, good on base skills and is a surprisingly good hitter. I'm not as big a fan of signing Figgins. I don't think that Figgins' skills will age as well as Beltre's will (and Chone is a year older) but he's still a massive upgrade over the last few seasons of Melvin Mora.

Baltimore has the money to spend. Let's spend it.

Before you know it, we'll turn around and Nick Markakis will be 30...

More to come in Part 2...


David Precht said...

I agree on most of what you've offered, but I'm wondering why Brandon Synder hasn't been factored in as a 1st base possibility? His bat has heated up and, while he doesn't have the kind of power a prototypical first baseman "should" display, he does have solid defense and offensive numbers in the mold of James Loney.

In that situation, Wiggington becomes a bench guy and they can sign a stopgap 3rd baseman (I'm hoping for Crede as his defense and offensive numbers are solid, but I fear he'll use this years numbers to find a long-term deal).

Also, what do you think about Bell? Does he fit in? What's your opinion?

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Louis said...

Did you see they're working on a movie based on Rick Dempsey's life? It's about how his Little League coach turned out to be a bank robber! Here's where I saw the news:


I'm pretty sure that Happy Madison company is owned by Adam Sandler!

~ Louis