All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > 2014 Orioles Thread (79-57): Magic Number at 18
9/30/2013 4:42 PM
Definitely disappointing to finish so poorly after the first half they put together, but looking purely at the overall results, it's hard to argue this was a good season. It was important to follow up last season with another winning year, especially with so many people predicting a return to the basement and a sub-.500 season.

I think their biggest focus for next season has to be creating more concrete roles for guys. Last year, a big part of their success was working with all the moving parts and pushing the right buttons, but I actually think that same approach hurt them this season. 7 guys played 140+ games, but even then, they still moved around constantly in the lineup. The defense was fantastic, setting a major league record for fielding % and fewest errors in a season.

Recommendations for next season:

1. Find a LF that can hit consistently. McLouth is a great 4th OF option with his speed and defense, but they relied on him too much this season and I just don't think he's good enough to be an everyday type guy. I think he'll be gone anyway with his rumoured asking price. I think they need to go hard after Ellsbury or Zobrist (if not both). Even if they have to overpay, getting them away from Boston and TB respectively will be worth it.

2. Make Markakis the full-time leadoff hitter. This season he hit around .320 when leading off, and that was primarily against lefties. McLouth hit around .260 and Roberts hit around .120. Why Nick wasn't in the top spot every game down the stretch is beyond me.

3. Find a DH. I wouldn't be opposed to bringing Morse back on the cheap, but as much as Buck hates it, they need a specific guy for that role. Filling the DH spot with spare parts off the bench every night just isn't going to cut it.

4. Explore trades for pitching. I'd even consider dealing Bundy, as their window is now and he likely won't contribute significantly at the major league level before 2015 at the earliest. Garza is the only guy on the market I'd even really contemplate and he'll likely be overpaid.

5. Try Jim Johnson as a starter again. His sinker, mix of pitches and ability to keep the ball in the yard, coupled with the O's defense, make him a solid starting candidate if they can stretch him out. It's hard to justify giving $9M to a closer (which is likely what he'll end up getting).

Based on what they have right now, here is what their lineup should look like for next season:

1. Markakis
2. Machado
3. Davis
4. Jones
5. DH (Morse?)
6. Wieters
7. Hardy
8. Schoop
9. Urrutia

Projected rotation:

1. Tillman
2. Gausman
3. Chen
4. Feldman (It sounds like they'll be bringing him back)
5. Gonzalez/Norris

11/13/2013 1:53 PM
Looks like the O's are shopping Wieters, and kicking the tires on some Hardy action. It sounds like Wieters is going to go wherever the top dollar is after 2015, so I don't mind them listening to offers, though I think they should keep him for one more season, especially to see if his offensive value can increase.

I can't see them trading Hardy unless it's for something ridiculously valuable. No point in creating a huge hole just to fill another.
11/14/2013 4:23 PM
4. Explore trades for pitching. I'd even consider dealing Bundy, as their window is now and he likely won't contribute significantly at the major league level before 2015 at the earliest. Garza is the only guy on the market I'd even really contemplate and he'll likely be overpaid.
You realize Bundy's value is really low right now after surgery, right?  He'd be a sell-low guy this offseason.  Doesn't make any sense to trade him at the moment.
11/14/2013 4:40 PM
I don't want to trade for pitching this offseason, I want to sign FAs.  There are 3 former Cy Young candidates who are all likely to take 1-year deals in the ballpark of $10 million this offseason - Halladay, Hudson, and Josh Johnson.  I would love to see the Orioles sign any 2 of them - preferably the 2 old guys - and hope that at least 1 stays healthy.  New national TV contracts mean every team has an extra $25 or $30 million to play with for next year.  Halladay and Hudson would be great guys to spend it on.

My top priority after that would be to sign Robinson Cano, but I know we won't do it.  I'm sure most of the people on here are aware that I'm generally strongly averse to the expensive signing.  O's fans wouldn't stop berating the front office and particularly Angelos for not shelling out the money for Pujols or Josh Hamilton.  Meant we didn't want to win in the eyes of people who don't understand the economics of the game at all.  Looking like good no-interest decisions now.  I did want to shell out the money for Anibal Sanchez last offseason - verifiable by many of my posts still visible 10-15 pages back in this thread.  All he did was lead the AL in ERA.  Point here being you can't just throw money at the sexiest acquisitions, you have to find the guys whose career arcs suggest that at the time of their signing they are good value for the money you spend.  Cano is still young enough and talented enough that I think if he winds up signing a 7-year deal, even at $25 million a year, he'll be close enough to worth it to be a good spend.  You have to take a few high-end "bad value" guys to be a consistent WS contender.  Or be the Rays, one or ther other.  Cano doesn't even fit the profile of guys I like - he doesn't walk enough, swings at too many pitches.  But he has good pitch recognition at least, he just has bad strike zone awareness.  There is still a chance that will continue to develop as he has to cope with declining bat speed by the end of his next contract.  He set new career highs in walk rate each of the past 2 seasons, so he's certainly trending in the right direction.

The pitchers I mentioned in the first paragraph are also at a good point to be bargains.  They're ace-caliber pitchers who carry enough risk to dampen the pricetag.  Hudson in particular is coming off an ankle injury, there was never anything wrong with his arm, elbow, or shoulder - at least not since 2009.  Halladay is a bigger risk coming off shoulder surgery, and had a 4.55 ERA after he came back for the end of the season.  But the upside is huge there, if he really goes for 1 year, $10 million - or even 2/$20 - he's worth the risk.  Hell, give him 2/$20 and give him an innings-based vesting option for $15 or $16 million in 2016.
11/15/2013 4:40 PM
Not sure Halladay has anything left - he'd be a good "mentor" signing. I think Hudson would be perfect - groundball pitcher with something left in the tank and would be great to work with the O's young pitchers. I'd take a flier on Johnson too, but my expectations wouldn't be high.
11/15/2013 7:56 PM
I have a lot more faith in Halladay than Johnson at this point.
12/3/2013 12:31 PM
Johnson gone. Not a surprise, since they clearly weren't going to pay him $10-11M. They need to invest that in FAs now though or fans are going to riot.
12/4/2013 1:33 AM
The A's are the poster children for not paying their relievers.  I have to think they're planning on giving him a shot at the rotation, with Straily sliding into long relief.
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12/4/2013 3:36 AM
You think Billy Beane just decided to trade away a speed guy, which is kinda one of his things right now, for the right to pay $11 million for a closer?  The same man who hates to pay $4 million for a bullpen arm?

I mean maybe, but I feel like he has to at least think there's a possibility of slotting JJ into the rotation somewhere...
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12/5/2013 2:42 PM
There are no Type A's anymore. A's would have to make a qualifying offer to him. I think they may still trade Johnson for more than they gave up. The O's were under pressure to just get SOMETHING before they non-tendered him.
12/7/2013 9:01 AM
Real bummed on McLouth leaving. He got 2/10.75 from the team we take a significant amount of television money from each year to likely fill the same role he would have had with the O's as a 4th OF. Although as of now he would probably be starting. I just don't understand the argument that we can't afford to raise the payroll especially when we currently have a window to win now and are certainly comparable to the Nats what we can afford.

I don't know how much stock you guys put into what Grantland puts up, but in their MLB trade value column we had 4 guys in the top 50. So 4 all stars are on bargain contracts and the front office still has no money to spend? If these guys were actually paid market value we would unload them like we did Johnson and return to the bottom of the AL East. This is the time to take advantage of our unbelieveable stroke of luck with guys like Hardy, Davis, Manny, etc. and Duquette and Co. are watching it pass them by.
12/13/2013 11:26 PM
I have been a Oriole fan for 47 years. I am tired of seeing every team in their division trying to improve while they sit or regress. You listen to Duquett talk about how he likes the starting pitching depth and it makes me sick. As long as this ownership and front office is still there Baltimore will never win this division again. I would love to change to another but just csn't. At this point I think I will be dead before the manegment starts to care about winning as much as us fans. Extra money from tv and departures and none of it goes to payroll it is depressing 4th place is the best they can hope for.
12/15/2013 10:16 PM
M's will trade Eric Bedard back for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman....and 5 others
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All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > 2014 Orioles Thread (79-57): Magic Number at 18

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