Hey Oriole fans! Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. Not a ton went on in Birdland last week but there were a few things I would like to comment on...
MASN's Steve Melewski reports that Andy MacPhail is willing to take a chance on some "high risk, high reward" arms like Erik Bedard and Ben Sheets this offseason. By proxy, I think you can include Rich Harden in that discussion.
If you can't get John Lackey, (and my other favorite to throw money at this offseason, Tim Hudson, is back off the market) this is not a bad way to go. A rotation of Erik Bedard, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jeremy Guthrie and Brad Bergesen is actually, at least, a competent rotation to open the year with.
The Orioles can afford to take a chance on a short term deal on an injury-prone pitcher due to a lot of money coming off the budget and that there are the likes of Jake Arrietta, David Hernandez and Jason Berken in the wings to fill in those potential missed starts.
Besides, how funny would it be to bring back Bedard with Adam Jones patrolling center, Tillman following him in the rotation and Kam Mickolio warming up to relieve him?
Speaking of trades, the Cubs have traded RP Aaron Heilman to the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospects.
What does this have to do with the Orioles? Last offseason, the O's traded SP Garrett Olson and RP Henry Williamson to the Cubs for Felix Pie. The Cubs in turn sent Olson and IF Ronny Cedeno to Seattle for Heilman.
So the Cubs traded away Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno and netted minor leaguers Williamson (a minor league career 4.46 ERA), RP Scott Maine (a middling relief prospect) and 1B Ryne White (career minor league OPS .754). Hmmm. That's not a great haul.
Of all the players that traded hands in these deals, the Orioles got the best player. And it's not really close.
The Orioles claimed C Craig Tatum off waivers from the Reds last week. The guy has a good defensive reputation and lately has hit lefties well. May be an interesting guy to watch in Spring Training since the backup catcher spot is currently unoccupied.
Farewell to P Rad Liz who was removed from the 40-man roster and claimed off waivers by the Padres.
Liz certainly had his issues and may never develop the control to pitch at the major league level but the O's did him no favors last season by declaring that he would be groomed as a reliever and then procedded to jerk him back and forth from the rotation to the 'pen.
Good luck Mr. Liz.
In my last installment of Base Hits, I wondered if Japanese pitcher Hisanori Takahashi would consider joining his former teammate Koji Uehara in Baltimore next season. Well, according to NPB Tracker, the Orioles are indeed interested in speaking with Takahashi about pitching for Baltimore in 2010. However, scouting director John Stockstill said that the Orioles would not offer him a contract until January if interested.
I love flipflopflyball.com. In this graphic, you can see that Oriole starters pitched fewer innings than any other starting staff in baseball. Which is hardly surprising...