Monday, November 1, 2010

The Oriole Windfall for 2011, Part 3

Shortstop


Pricey Options

None. The Orioles can't afford, nor should they want, Derek Jeter. Even if the Mets do not pick up Jose Reyes' option, he is an injury risk and would be expensive regardless. Japanese SS Hiroyuki Nakajima will probably not be posted by the Seibu Lions. The Phillies will not decline Jimmy Rollins' option.

That leaves...

Mid-Range Options

J..J Hardy

Hardy isn't hitting like he did a couple years ago but still has some pop in his bat and his glove is still very legitimate at short. He has posted UZRs of 6.1, 6.1 and 8.1 over the past three seasons. But his struggles at the plate have diminished his value. You should be able to sign the guy for 2 seasons at $5-6 mil per season and he will provide a fair bat and good defense until (perhaps) Manny Machado gets to Baltimore.

Orlando Cabrera

Cabrera will be 36 next season but can still play a decent shortstop. There's also a slight chance his bat returns to pre-2010 levels (which would be a nice upgrade from Cesar Izturis' bat). He could be worth a one year gamble in the neighborhood of $3 mil.

Budget Options

Cesar Izturis

Izturis is all about the glove. If you just want a glove who will come cheap, Izturis may be your man. A one year deal at around $2 mil. Or...

Robert Andino

Andino may be able to play just as well at short and play for the league minimum. If you're just going to punt on the shortstop position in 2011 anyway, it may be worth it to just plug Andino in and see what happens. There is still a long shot that his bat improves, we can't say that about Izturis.


Starting Pitching

Pricey Options

None

Sure, the Orioles could go all in on Cliff Lee but the Rangers and the Yankees already have inside tracks on his services.

Mid-Range

Javier Vasquez

Make no mistake, Vasquez had a poor year in his return to the Bronx. And it was for real. His 5.32 ERA was backed by a 5.56 FIP and a 4.90 xFIP. But he could come at a bargain and/or a short contract. A one-year, incentive laden deal could add an average veteran arm. $6-8 mil for one season should get it done.

Jake Westbrook


Westbrook was expected to sign an extension with the Cardinals but all has been quiet on that front. It would probably take a three-year deal to sign Westbrook, probably around $8 mil per season. The only question is, do you want a mediocre pitcher on the wrong side of 32 signed for 3 seasons? He will certainly have value...but in theory, the Orioles have better options coming up through the system.

Budget Options


The Motley Crew


There are a ton of interesting options from the group of injury risks and cast-offs out there this year. Tiger hurler Jeremy Bonderman is still just 28 and there is still time to harness some of his potential. Ditto for the Marlins' Andrew Miller, a former 1st round pick who hasn't panned out in the bigs but is just 25 and is a flame-throwing lefty. Former Oriole John Maine is likely to be non-tendered by the Mets. Brandon McCarthy, Jeff Suppan, Zach Duke and Noah Lowry are also going to be out there, as well as other vets nearing the end of their careers.

These are not sexy options but if you sign two or three of them to compete for a spot in the rotation, perhaps one works out. If not, you can send them to the bullpen. Remember, this is how we got Jeremy Guthrie. Low cost, low risk.

The Bullpen


If you read this blog even casually, you know how I fell about the construction of the bullpen. Most of our bullpen for 2011 is already in the organization. Fill out the pen with current players under contract (including Michael Gonzlaez, who we just have to hope and pray can be worth anything close to the $6 mil he'll be making this season) and fill in the holes with arms from AAA and veteran cast-offs (see Will Ohman, 2010).

Next time, we'll (finally) wrap this up with a look at how I think the roster should be constructed and the financial ramifications of those roster moves...

2 comments:

Vuff said...

Just wanted to point out that Hardy isn't a free agent, even though Cot's says he is. If he were, I'd want the O's to jump on him ASAP... but right now, I'm ambivalent, since Nakajima isn't getting posted.

Heath said...

Thanks for the tip on Hardy. I must have been following Cot's blindly but usually they are spot on. Some of my fellow bloggers believed him to be a FA as well.

I suppose there's a chance the Twins decline arbitration on him but that seems a slim chance right now.