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Orioles Now And…What Next?

Orioles GM Andy MacPhailThat was an unexpectedly busy week in Birdland, yes? Our consensus frustration about the lack of movement evaporated in the wake of rapid-fire news that both Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins joined the black and orange. Great discussions ensued.

I like both moves. In particular, I have zero concern about the financials on the Gonzalez deal. I’d have less than zero concern if that were possible. When it comes to the Orioles spending money I only care about one thing: are they spending recklessly in a way that might negatively impact future moves? The Gonzalez deal doesn’t reach that threshold. Whether he’s “overpaid” or not is pretty much a non-issue.

Along the same lines, I don’t care about the second-round pick. There’s a chance that in two or three years we’ll look at some other team’s breakout star and say “we could have had him.” That doesn’t automatically equate to “our scouts and decision makers definitely would have picked him.” The MLB draft just isn’t like that.

I heard a few minutes of Gonzalez’s appearance on 105.7 this afternoon and came away impressed. He’s got a great attitude and my early read is that he’s the kind of guy who might quickly become a fan favorite. If he pitches to his record I think we’ve got a guy we’ll enjoy rooting for.

As for Atkins, I see him as a versatile stopgap who should be an upgrade. That’s enough.

So, what next?

I’m kind of hoping for Carlos Delgado or Troy Glaus even though both carry some risk. It’s hard to ignore that power potential if it comes at the right price. I’d also like to see Bedard back in the family.

However it shakes out, the Orioles are a better team now than they were at the end of the 2009 season. Yet I think we’d all agree that there’s work to be done. For MacPhail’s part, he’s willing to let the market “percolate.”.

So let’s have at it. And if you’re reading this in the MD/Baltimore area, enjoy the snow. You’ve pretty much got no choice.

6 comments to Orioles Now And…What Next?

  • Andrew

    As I said, I like the Atkins move but we all have to remember that it isn’t like he’s had one bad year. He’s been in a freefall decline for three years now despite playing in the notorious hitter’s park that is Coor’s Field (KLaw thinks his problem is that his bat speed has completely disappeared) and it is likely that we get nothing at all from him. But I still like the deal as a low-risk flier (which is more the kind of thing I think the O’s ought to be doing, trying to catch lightning).

    However, if – as Roch suggested the other day – Garret Atkins is our cleanup hitter now, I’m going to turn around on this deal so fast. The guy is a lot more like our #7 hitter until he proves that he isn’t completely worthless anymore.

  • sci

    Yeah, the idea of Atkins as our cleanup hitter is even worse than Millar as our cleanup hitter, and that was quite depressing. I think Delgado for a year with an option year added could actually work, knowing that if Snyder or someone else rips it up in the minors you can just ease them in at 1B. Then sign Bedard and your work is done for this offseason. 2010 is certainly not the year to go all out. You shoot for 2011. But no more excuses come 2011 – that’s the year we have to go for it. Should be interesting, and a lot more will be clear as this season progresses.

    On another note, Law likes the Gonzalez signing and does not seem to like the Atkins signing. Interesting. The more I think about it, the more I like the Gonzalez signing. Atkins is totally without risk, so it doesn’t really affect much. He’s a stopgap, and if he somehow rediscovers his power, so much the better.

  • dan the man

    @Andrew – Does anyone else think it was a silly thing for Roch to put something like “the Orioles think Atkins could be their cleanup hitter” in his blog? I mean, for one, obviously they don’t think that, even if they say they do, and if they do, it’s all completely dependent on if he returns to form. The Atkins of a few years ago? Sure, he could bat cleanup on the O’s. But it seems to me Roch invited a lot of needless backlash in his comments by not clarifying what the O’s meant. Garrett Atkins is not going to bat cleanup for the Orioles, end of story.

  • Andrew

    @dan the man – Meh, Roch puts a lot of foolish things in his blog (but then, we all do). I’m not worried about – it really, really, really isn’t a real possibility. Atkins stinks until he proves otherwise, and it would be really dumb to put someone who stinks in the cleanup spot*.

    *But would it be as dumb as continually putting Cesar Izturis in the two-spot?

  • Andrew

    Oh, hey, the Yankee…I mean Raven-loving girlfriend and I are going to be around for the holidays and we were looking for someplace interesting to eat/do in or around Baltimore in the days after Christmas. I’m rarely ever home anymore so I feel like I don’t have much of a pulse for it. Can anyone shoot me a few tips?

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    sign here if you think neal should hire a ravens fan to post a football thread on like, wednesdays.

    Big Ben’s Motorcycle