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Hot Stove Roundup: Pre-Football Edition

I’ll have the normal Sunday football thoughts/thread up tomorrow morning, but tonight I wanted to sneak in some quick baseball thoughts.

First, some more on Mike Mussina‘s decision to retire.

I knew I’d be in the minority with my thoughts, but I was surprised just how many people rose to greet the news with fond memories. While I don’t necessarily agree, there was something about it that I liked quite a bit.

The tenor of most comments I read or heard (here and elsewhere) ran something along these lines: people feel that Mussina was a great Oriole, and they feel it’s a shame he didn’t stay here. That’s pretty easy. It’s the reason, though, that struck me. I got the sense that folks reacted to Mussina the way they did because they want to feel good about the team again like they did when he was here. Leaving aside the debate about Mussina himself, these feelings speak to a passion for the team that still lingers. It’s in a deep recession, yes, but it seems to be there.

I wish more people could get over their anger, because if they did they’d probably find a way to get excited about the direction in which the team is heading. Nevertheless, I get the sense that they’ll trickle back once MacPhail‘s labors start to bear on-field fruit. Maybe there’s something out there, waiting to be reawakened.

In Hot Stove news…

The only thing happening is the Cesar Izturis rumor. That’s not a name we discussed much (if at all) but it makes a great deal of sense. He’s still young (28), he’ll hit .260, and he plays great defense. I wouldn’t mind at all seeing him come here on a three-year deal.

The buzz about AJ Burnett is getting interesting. He wants five years, and it seems that only the Blue Jays might be willing to go there. I’m fairly certain the O’s won’t do that, and I’m fairly certain they shouldn’t do that. It’s all rumors at this point, but early signs point to him landing somewhere other than Camden Yards.

Nothing new on the Mark Teixeira front, although I still think the O’s will make a credible offer. Not just a “see, we tried!” offer but a reasonable, competitive offer. Logically enough, though, I have my doubts about him ending up here.

We probably won’t see any news over the next week or so on account of the Thanksgiving holiday, but here’s hoping for a juicy rumor or three.

24 comments to Hot Stove Roundup: Pre-Football Edition

  • dan the man

    There’s nothing wrong at all with signing Cesar Izturis IF we are able to sign a couple of legitimate starting pitchers. If Cesar is our biggest acquisition over the off-season, then that is going to be a huge problem. There’s no real reason to think that would be the case yet, but it’s worrisome that the O’s aren’t really in any of the rumors floating around yet in terms of offers being made to FAs. MacPhail is tight-lipped, though, and Hot Stove things with the O’s tend to happen suddenly after the Winter Meetings.

    Hot Stove season is a patience-tester for sure.

  • neal s

    There is no way Izturis ends up being the only acquisition.

    Can you even imagine? It’s one thing if Burnett and Teixeira don’t come here — that’s sort of expected — but what if there’s also no Garland, Pavano, no trades, etc.? Just Cesar Izturis.

    The only person in the world who’d benefit from that is Drew.

  • Greg

    I think Cesar Itzuris is a good play to make. He’s a stopap, that’s all he needs to be for right now. He’s a slight offensive upgrade and supposedly plays top notch defense, which is exactly what the Orioles need.

    Dipping into Japan for Uehara could be HUGE if it happens. Not only do we get a “stopgap” 34-year old control pitcher, but if they treat him right, they could open the flood gates for Japanese players in the future. That, to me, would be a huge signing on so many levels.

    As for the big name FA’s, I’m at the point now where if we sign them; great, awesome… if not.. I’m comfortable with payroll flexibility in the future. Unlike last year, we stand to go into 2009 with significantly more depth in the rotation and a lot less questions moving forward.

  • CharlatanFisk 1570

    Yeah, why go after Cabrera or Furcal when you can “slightly upgrade” (aka – “cheaper version”) with Izturis? If they bring Izturis here, I’d would have probably made a play for Mike Bordick instead.


  • CharlatanFisk 1570

    And as for Mussina, the reason 99% of the sane people actually applauded him for what he did in 2000 was because it was the RIGHT thing to do.

    Someone had to make the franchise understand that intentionally constructing a team not capable of competing was wrong.

    And Mussina did just that. Any of us would have done the same thing.

  • some facts.

    no, you and Mussina would have done that.

    Not alot of other people…thats more of what you don’t get. Keep going, it’s funny.

  • CharlatanFisk 1570

    Yeah, I think you got me there, “Facts”.

    Most everyone but me and MM would have stayed in Baltimore for $45 million over 5 years (and lose) rather than take the $87 million/6-year offer from the Yankees (and win).

    “I can take $42 million LESS in Baltimore and lose…or take $42 million more in New York and win.”

    Yeah, the Baltimore deal looks better after all.

    My bad…

  • dan the man

    There was a rumor that the O’s turned down Olson for Greene. If there’s any truth to it, I agree with turning it down. We are not in a position to trade young starting pitching for older, struggling position players, even if there’s a good chance Greene does a good job filling the need at SS.

  • CharlatanFisk 1570

    I wouldn’t have traded Olson for Greene either.

    DCabrera for Greene…abso-friggin-lutely.

    Olson, though, is worth keeping around.

    Unlike a lot of the stiffs they’ve trotted out there over the last 3 seasons, he has starts where he really looks like he can get people out in the big leagues consistently.

  • Greg

    I would strongly consider Olson for Greene if Greene wasn’t a one year rental. I would have definitely done it for DCab.

    Drew is right. Mussina did exactly what he shouldve done. The Orioles lowballed him, he said that’s not how you win over your players, and he walked. It was a slap in the face to Mussina, and he gave it right back to them when he signed with the Yankees. Its upsetting, but it’s a move I fault Mussina for at all.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    greg stop being a drew sycophant!!!

  • some facts.

    ahhh forrester… 45 million? thats as amazingly off base as you are.

    did you get that figure out of the bottom of a donut bag?, No matter, just keep making crap up, its hilarious…. like a clown.

  • CharlatanFisk 1570

    No, I didn’t get those figures from the bottom of a donut bag.

    I got them from the bottom of the American League East.

  • neal s

    I agree that Olson for Greene would have been a stretch, and Greg’s read is right on. Giving up Olson for a rental wouldn’t be smart, although the basic talent swap is tempting. I also agree with Drew (and probably everyone else) that if the Padres would take the DC Cab you’d have to do it without blinking. But Kevin Towers is no fool.

    As to the Mussina thing, there’s a new post up on the main page that seeks to clarify some of the issues regarding his departure, particularly regarding the dollar figures. It represents what I hope will be my last thoughts on the issue, but one never knows.

  • some facts.

    Thanks for the post on the salary Neal. I think anyone who follows the team knew the O’s offer was in the mid-80’s.

    45 million. funny…. like a clown.

  • CharlatanFisk1570

    Actually, anyone who follows the team knows they offered $45 million, $50 million, $60 million, $72 million and, finally, a last-ditch offer for $78 million. Funny (speaking of clowns) how the team could “only” find $45 million for their best player, then within months could go to $78 million. Must have had a good couple of months in the courtroom.

    No offer in the “mid-80’s” was made. That’s not a low blow, just a fact.

  • some facts.

    once again… you are lying. 45 million. you are a clown.

    All salary negociations start somewhere, lumpy…

    Do you think every contract offered is the one accepted? Just the O’s start lower and wind up somewhere else as a final offer? You really, REALLY need help dude.

    Why dont you take your personal issues (no not those) …the one you have with the O’s and seek help. you need it, its obvious.

    Not a low blow, just a fact.

  • neal s

    Ease off on making it personal, facts.

  • some facts.

    sorry Neal.

    Look, I’m splitting. Can’t stand reading that jerk’s agenda anymore. Every single thread winds up with that a-hole spewing his freakish personal issues/agenda. I cant just sit and read it without responding in kind.

    I’ll try back maybe when the season gets underway, and see if things are better around here. Hopefully we get some good FA’s! Later Neal, good luck. Go O’s!

  • Greg

    I hate when the baseball thread gets buried. I have things to say!

    It’s looking as though according to Roch that Burnett is not coming here. Period. MacPhail apparently won’t give him five years, and some other clubs (like the Jays) will. Lately I question Roch’s credibility because of the huge Adam Loewen gaffe, but I really can’t argue with his position within the media as the #1 Orioles news outlet.

    What I really wanted to talk about was the Pirates signing Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh to minor league deals. For those not in the loop, they are two Indian prospects who won a contest and now they are coming to the States to try and perform in the Pirates minor league system. There aren’t many, if any Indian players, so that is really cool that they are able to come here and do that. I always wondered why the Orioles weren’t all over that. Lately the Pirate’s minor league system has really started to blossom, and I would expect them to start doing some damage right around the time we expect the Orioles to.

    For those unaware of the dealings related to Japanese ball players, they have a site for you:


    Not only do they keep track of all the young japanese studs that are contemplating coming here, but keep tabs on all of the current and former Japanese players that are here now. I was surprised to know that there are only 14 active Japanese MLB ballplayers, 13 in the minors, and 18 past players. That’s 45 total.

    I have noted in the past about the Orioles expressing interest in 34-year old Koji Uehara to be a starter for them in 2009, but looking at his stats… he is in a pretty steep decline. It’s looking to me like his ineffectiveness in the past two years has pushed him into the bullpen, and hasn’t pitched over 90 innings since 2006. You have to wonder if that would be a good pick up at 34 years old.

    I had recently read that Yu Darvish has no intention of coming to the MLB and instead wants to acheive 200 wins in Japan first… he’s already a quarter of the way there.

    The Red Sox have offered $6MM for Junichi Tazawa, who just recently pitched two consecutive complete game shutouts.

    I love Japanese players, I really hope the Orioles can score one in the near future.

  • dan the man

    Good shit, Greg. I noticed those Pirates signings on MLBTR and wondered why, for one, there aren’t any Indian ballplayers and two, why the Orioles weren’t in on that shit. Get international, damnit!

    I don’t take Roch’s speculation about Burnett as anything more than that – speculation. He doesn’t have any more of a clue right now than anybody, I reckon. I think he’s expecting the Orioles won’t get anything done with Burnett, but that he’s basing it on a hunch. I’ve heard plenty of things that say Burnett WILL come here, and the 5-year thing might just be his agent driving the market. I hear you, though, Roch really hasn’t said much of anything that’s groundbreaking recently – in fact, his blog has been downright boring for a little while. He’s much better during the season when he’s getting good inside player interviews and stuff like that.

    Meanwhile, it looks like the giants have signed Edgar Rent-an-error, which is good because he kinda sucks and also it means the market is finally moving a little bit. I think the O’s are more in on Furcal than people think, too.

  • Greg

    Furcal scares me because of his injury last year. Bulging discs. Other than that, he’s a great short stop. I’d love to have him.

    I am really starting to hate Khalil Greene as an option. Defensively, he’s good. At the plate, he’s like Jay Gibbons. We would also have to trade for him, he’s a one-year rental, and we already turned down Olson for him. I don’t see why Izturis isn’t a better option– same good glove, slightly less power, but he can actually get on base, and I think overall he’d be cheaper to have.

    The other big option seems to be Bobby Crosby. I can’t vouch for his glove, but his bat seems to be inbetween Greene and Izturis. My vote is for Izturis, unless they can somehow wrangle Furcal away.

  • dan the man

    Yeah, me too. Unless Orlando decides he’s not too good to play here, which I doubt. And I’m not his age is real conducive to what we’re trying to do. We just need a guy that we can say, “Ok, we’ve got a solid guy for a few years, we can stop worrying so much about shortstop and go for pitching, pitching, pitching.” Especially if he’s cheap and we can still trade somewhere down the line for a young SS prospect. Or draft one.

    I’ve love to hear one scrap of news about a starting pitcher for the O’s, though. There’s really no rumors out there right now that say anything specific about offers, etc.

  • Greg

    It’s early… it won’t be until after winter meetings that I will start getting antsy if nothing is happening.