Baltimore Orioles Off Season Report
- Updated: December 4, 2008
Season Wrap Up
The O’s finished right about where I expected them to, but there was a silver lining to look forward towards. That is CF Adam Jones, who looks like he might become a decent everyday player once he matures at the plate and becomes a more patient hitter. Then there was the great year by 1B/DH Aubrey Huff and the usual year by RF Nick Markakis. Turning George Sherrill into their closer was a nice surprise as well.
On a personal level, I finally made the trek to Camden Yards and it was well worth the wait. I had been talking about going for 10 years. What a beautiful park and a great experience. That place deserves a better team!
Holes to Fill
I’m going to take this one on in reverse mode. What they don’t need is a OF (LF Luke Scott, CF Jones and RF Markakis), closer (Sherrill), 2B (Brian Roberts) and 3B (Melvin Mora). But they need an Ace and a legitimat #2 starter for their staff. They also NEED a new SS and either a DH or 1B depending on what they do with Huff. Like anyone else, they could also use a good arm in the bullpen to go along with Jamie Walker and Jim Johnson.
The O’s have 4 players hitting the free agent market this off season. They are SS Juan Castro, SS Alex Cintron, 1B Kevin Millar and LF Jay Payton. The only player they may want to hold onto here is Millar and maybe Cintron. Possibilities for them sign via free agency are SS David Eckstein or Alex Cora; maybe Ken Griffey, Jr. for DH/OF; and for pitchers they could go with Tony Armas, Jr., Paul Byrd, Bartolo Colon, Josh Fogg, Mark Hendrikson, Derek Lowe, or Oliver Perez. Nothing spectacular, but maybe enough to get them closer to .500 and respectability. Not many teams can do what the 2008 Rays accomplished.
I still see the Orioles as being last in the AL East, but with a few moves or non-moves (aka trading Brian Roberts), I do see them improving to a possible .500 ballclub. Unfortunately, it will take either some drastic moves by the front office or a number of years to turn this franchise into a contender in this division once again.
Off Season Moves Made So Far
They recently signed RP Brad Hennessey (formerly of the SF Giants) and invited him to Spring Training and he will probably make the team and help the bullpen immediately. If you can remember, Hennessey was the closer in SF for a short time in the 2007 and 2008 seasons.