Archive for the Free Agency Category

Matt Wieters Accepts Qualifying Offer: Now What?

Posted in Free Agency, Offense, Offseason, Pitching with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Last Friday Matt Wieters surprised many by accepting the qualifying offer the Orioles made him. As a result, he will now be a member of the 2016 Orioles on a one year, $15.8 million contract. That’s not a small amount of money, but it’s surprising he accepted the deal, considering there are no other catchers on the free agent market, leading one to believe that Wieters would have been in line for a large payday had he rejected the qualifying offer. Either he found that the offers he would’ve received were lower than expected, thought he could make even more money on the free agent market after the 2016 season, enjoyed playing in Baltimore (the only organization he’s ever known), or a combination of all three.

The situation of Wieters accepting the qualifying offer has already been covered in excellent fashion (as usual) over at Camden Depot. On Monday, Jon Shepherd provided a very thorough and realistic set of options as to where the Orioles offseason may go as a result of this, while Tuesday saw Matt Perez laid out some reasons (in much more depth than what I have above) as to why Wieters may have accepted the qualifying offer. Since the situation has already been covered so well, I won’t be going over any of that in this piece and I suggest that you head over to Camden Depot and read the articles in their entirety.

If you read Camden Depot on even a semi-regular basis, you already know that the writers recently participated in an exercise outlining their individual plans as to how they thought the Orioles should approach the offseason, with Jon picking what he ultimately thought would be the best course of action. An index of the entire series can be found HERE. What I would like to do is take another look at my personal blueprint for the Orioles 2016 season, and see how Matt Wieters accepting the qualifying offer (which I did offer him in my hypothetical offseason) changes my strategy going forward.

My blueprint can be found HERE (it focused on building major league depth and a minor league system), but below is a quick recap of the free agent signings I would have made.

  • LHP J.A. Happ – 3 years, $24 million ($8 million annually, 3rd year an option)
  • OF Denard Span – 4 years, $56 million ($14 million annually, 4th year an option)
  • OF Gerardo Parra – 3 years, $24 million ($8 million annually)
  • UTIL Steve Pearce – 2 years, $12 million ($6 million annually)
  • 1B/DH Mike Napoli – 1 year, $5.25 million
  • OF/DH Matt Joyce – 1 year, $2 million

The original assumption was that after paying players currently on the roster, providing raises in arbitration (using the numbers provided at MLB Trade Rumors), and paying league minimum to players who have not accrued enough service time, I would have approximately $44.7 million to spend on free agents. Now that Wieters has accepted the qualifying offer I extended him, that number has decreased to $28.9 million. Let’s see what adjustments can be made while following the same set of rules (which includes NO trades). Continue reading

Is a Reunion With Jim Johnson a Good Idea?

Posted in Free Agency, Pitching with tags , , , , , on November 18, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Late last week, there was an interesting exchange between Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter and the Orioles beat reporters involving former Orioles closer Jim Johnson. The discussion revolved around whether it was a good idea for the Orioles to bring him back as a free agent after being gone from the team for the past two years. Today over at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I explore whether that would be a good idea.

 

Direct Link to Article –> Is a Reunion With Jim Johnson a Good Idea?

Blueprint for the 2016 Orioles (Option 3): Building Major League Depth and a Minor League System

Posted in Draft, Free Agency, Offense, Offseason, Pitching, Rule 4 with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Over the course of this week and next, the writers of ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot have been putting forth their plans on how they would construct the 2016 Orioles given a budget of $120 million. After everyone has given their thoughts, editor and founder Jon Shepherd will decide which direction to take (or which combination of directions to take). The first two options have been posted earlier this week and I’m up next. My strategy involves building depth at the major league level by adding free agents who aren’t tied to draft pick compensation. This allows the Orioles to keep their picks and add additional draft selections through the loss of their own free agents.

Direct Link to Article –> Building Major League Depth and a Minor League System

Another Look at the 2016 Orioles

Posted in Free Agency, Offense, Pitching with tags , on March 13, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

The 2015 season hasn’t even started yet, but today at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I start to take a look at what the 2016 Baltimore roster could potentially look like.  It may sound too early to be talking about such things, but the Orioles find themselves in a somewhat unique situation, as 11 of their players are currently scheduled to hit free agency following the end of the 2015 season.  If all 11 leave, the resulting depth chart may not look so pretty…

Direct Link to Article –> Another Look at the 2016 Orioles

Non-Tendered Players Who Could Help the Orioles in 2015 (and Beyond)

Posted in Free Agency, Offense, Offseason, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , on December 5, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

The deadline to tender arbitration eligible players ended at midnight this past Wednesday morning.  While the Orioles tendered contracts to all of their (11!) arbitration eligible players, many other teams decided against it, giving the league 32 new free agents.  With the recent departures of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis, the Orioles will need to find some replacements.  While those replacements won’t be found in this group, there could be a few players who could help the team this year, and possibly next.  Today at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I look who those players could be.

Direct Link to Article –> Non-Tendered Players Who Could Help the Orioles in 2015 (and Beyond)

Orioles Sign Oliver Drake to a Major League Contract

Posted in Free Agency, Offseason, Pitching with tags , on November 20, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

On Tuesday, the Orioles signed RHP Oliver Drake to a contract. Drake, who was drafted in the 43rd round of the 2008 draft by the Orioles out of the United States Naval Academy has spent his entire professional career in the Orioles minor league system and had become a minor league free agent following the 2014 season, which he spent entirely in Bowie (AA). In fact, Drake has only appeared in AAA once, throwing 2 innings for Norfolk in 2011. The fact that the Orioles signed Drake isn’t all that interesting (they signed a bunch of guys who aren’t expected to see much time in the major leagues yesterday). What’s interesting is that they signed him to a major league deal.

The fact that Drake gets a major league deal, doesn’t mean that he’ll be on the major league club, but it does mean that he’ll be occupying a spot on the 40-man roster (at least for the moment). Kiley McDaniel, the lead prospect analyst for Fangraphs gives the details of the deal.

Continue reading

Can Heath Bell Help the Orioles?

Posted in Free Agency, Playoffs with tags , , , , on May 23, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

About one week ago, the boys over at MLB Trade Rumors indicated that the Orioles were one of four teams that were interested in Heath Bell, which prompted the following reaction…

Turns out the Orioles weren’t joking, as they signed Bell to a minor league contract two days later. It’s not like the Baltimore bullpen doesn’t need help. They are currently have the 5th worst FIP in all of baseball (or 26th best if you’re an optimist), and have barely been better than replacement level as a group (0.3 fWAR). Additionally, the bullpen only strikes out 18.0% of batters faced, which places them 28th in baseball (not good). Ryan Webb, Darren O’Day, and Zach Britton are the only relievers who can be trusted at this point, so taking a flier on Bell isn’t the worst idea. Continue reading