1. First step sign our guys to extension as the core players to set up the next 5 years success- Davis, Weiters, Tillman, Manny, Hardy and Johnson. Some would think Manny could wait since he has 2-3 years left before we need to deal with him. He is the future centerpiece. Signing him now will be cheaper than 2-3 years from now to a 7-10 year deal. Weiters is the biggest question mark. Will Boras allow him to sign with free agency waiting in 2015? If not then trade him and get the farm system from another organization. McCann is expected to get 5 years for $75 -$80. His bat is more effective than Matt's but his throw outs and defense are a little less. So offering Matt 5 years for $80 is a realistic number. Boras also has Davis. One year at defense and offense he is expected is not worth $25 a year. Offering and average of $18-$20 for a 4 year deal is right inline. You could add a 5 and 6-year option. Tillman is set by the Linecum deal in my frame. He has had 1 year but is young and bright future. Offering 3 years with 4 and 5-year options at an overage of $14 per year seems proper. This will answer what we need and what 2014 may look like more than anything else.
2. Our free agents are not the tops of the line. Signing BRob and McLouth depend on how much. Letting all the rest go including Feldman (at best a 4 or 5 position starter on an contender) is going to add money to the fold to actually consider a free agent signing or a trade. We need to find a Number 2 position if we cannot come up with a number 1 position. Tillman next year is still young. I would like to see him in the number 2 position for his final development piece. We need money be it number 1 or 2 position. Quality over Quantity needs to be a mantra moving forward. Remembering “IF” we sign a top free agent it is not just the money but draft that we need to be cautious with. The draft position should be protected UNLESS this is a guaranteed top quality young talent we will have for years.
3. OBP, RISP, CLUTCH are the qualifications and requirements for any offense added. Hitting Lefties is an added need. BRob is a perfect offensive piece to model what we need. Not Home Runs but an offensive piece that goes deep in count wearing the pitcher out and able to get the hit out of pitchers frustration. Carols Beltran comes to mind. He could help with this teams offense. He will cost $15 plus per year. Sign to a 1-year with 2 years options if it can be done. Another piece could be Kendrick Morales.
4. Bench depth was even less than poor this year. Outside of Flaherty and Valencia I was less than satisfied. Let them all go. Look for Defense and OBP in each piece. Ben Zobrist may not make it out of Tampa. But if he does pay him, get him, .... He is the most versatile and dangerous OBP hitter we faced this year. His offensive numbers do not show it but he destroyed the teams in the Eastern Division.
5. Brian Matusz, McFarland, Gausman… from bullpen needs to be given shot at a starter role. But I would not go so far as to ruin the bullpen. It was a good bullpen last year. It was over worked and tired after the all star break form the over work. The minors are not ready to put someone else on the 25-man roster. Rodriguez, …. all needing parts if not all of 2014 to develop more. It could be IF we determine that Gausman in a later part of the year is best to be stretched, worked and pitch development to be a starter than send him to the minors for a period.
6. I am concerned about the possible impediment no matter what is done on player from to our success. As much as the aesthetics are the best in mlb at Camden Yards, it is a serious detriment to the pitching of our team. The free agent quality pitchers that will not come here easily exemplify this. The fences in the power alleys need to be moved from the area left field side of bullpen to the score board back 10 15 feet. Any seats lost can be made up with another addition to upper deck on right and left. Because of the weather (warm weather air currents) it is a death trap for pitching.
Money is going to be needed to make the next step. The next step is to be a significant contender. It requires talent and deep bench and minors. Possibly the MOST IMPORTANT DECISION is not the Dan’s and Buck’s. It lies with Peter Angelos to open the wallet and let Dan and Buck use both hands. It cannot be with talk or with minor moves. It needs to be with action and major moves as I describe in Number 1, 2 and 3. If the Orioles are the number 7 position in financial strength this says the money is available from the tv, MASN, and attendance to “Pay-It-Forward”.
I admit to not knowing the minors of other teams and some of the under the rador players but here is a nice list to consider
Kedrys Morales, Corry Hart, Rick Nolasco (probably resigned), Tim Hudson (price down with injury but a Duquette type of move for rehabbing), Bronson Arryo (old but innings eater and coming off a good year)…
Players that would cost a number 1 draft choice (?)- Carlos, Beltran, Sin-Soo-Shoo, Erwin Santana, … The money to these guys would need to be justified and gathered from not signing some of our people.
“IF” the do try to sign Weiters to extension now I expect (prediction) him to balk with Boras driving the issue. TRADE him. The dodgers would take Mat in a heart beat over McCann and would give significant parts of minors pitching and an mlb roster top pitcher. I want Matt. But I am in the corner of Bucks remarks from 2years ago- We want players that want to be here. Put it in action by signing.