Archive for the Offseason 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

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

Orioles Acquire Travis Snider, Gain Additional Depth

Posted in Offense, Offseason, Trades with tags , , , on January 29, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

On Tuesday the Baltimore Orioles finally decided to do something this offseason by acquiring Pirates outfielder Travis Snider for minor league left handed pitcher (and Baseball Prospectus #9 Orioles prospect) Stephen Tarpley, along with a “player to be named later”, which is rumored to possibly be minor league left handed pitcher Steven Brault.  Today at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I take a quick look at what the Orioles have in Snider and what they gave up to get him.

Direct Link to Article –> Orioles Acquire Travis Snider, Gain Much Needed Depth

My (Hypothetical) Hall of Fame Ballot for 2015

Posted in Hall of Fame, Offseason with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Similar to last year, I put together my picks for the Baseball Hall of Fame, you know if I actually had a vote. I went through a lot of things leading up to my actual picks in last year’s piece, including my stance on whether players who have used (or are suspected to have used) steroids belong the Hall of Fame. My views have not changed at all since then, so I will direct you to that article if you’d like to see it or reacquaint yourself. Additionally, since many of the players I would have voted for did not get in last year, my stance on their inclusion has not changed. For a complete list of players on the 2015 ballot, click here.

LINK –> My (Hypothetical) Hall of Fame Ballot for 2014

I will add though that the rules have slightly changed, in that players can only stay on the ballot a maximum of 10 years, rather than 15. Any player who was on the ballot between 10 and 15 years at the time of the rule change was allowed to stay on the ballot for a total of 15 years. Essentially, with an ever-increasing ballot of worthy players, this rule change screws Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, and possibly Edgar Martinez.

Here’s my ballot for 2015. Continue reading

Delmon Young Returns to Orioles, Makes Blogger Sad

Posted in Offense, Offseason with tags , , on January 1, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

My first post of the new year is over at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, and it’s about the recent signing of Delmon Young.  The good news is that there’s nowhere to go but up!

Direct Link to Article –> Delmon Young Returns to Orioles, Makes Blogger Sad

Should Orioles Take Advantage of San Diego’s Outfield Surplus?

Posted in Offense, Offseason, Trades with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Over the last couple of weeks, the San Diego Padres have signed and/or traded for every single outfielder in major league baseball.  Ok, that’s not entirely true, but it’s definitely felt that way.  As a result, the Padres have a genuine surplus of major league quality outfielders on their roster and only three spots on the field to play them, although the boys at Cespedes Family BBQ had a good suggestion.

Since the Orioles are looking for potential upgrades in the outfield, it’s natural to wonder if San Diego can send one of those players east to Baltimore.  Today at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I take a look at whether any of them may be wearing orange and black in 2015.

Direct Link to Article –> Should Orioles Take Advantage of San Diego’s Outfield Surplus?

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

Orioles Trade Target: Michael Saunders

Posted in Offense, Offseason, Trades with tags , , , , on November 18, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Since the Orioles officially declined the team option on Nick Markakis, they’ll have some decisions to make.  Since it looks like he may require a four-year contract, it may be best for the Orioles to move on.  If they decide to take that route, they could go into the 2015 season with an Adam Jones, Steve Pearce, Alejandro De Aza, and David Lough outfield, or they could replace Markakis through a trade (as I mentioned in a previous post, upgrades on the outfield free agent market are virtually non-existent).  Today at ESPN Sweetspot Network affiliated Orioles blog Camden Depot, I explain why the Orioles should look into acquiring Michael Saunders from the Seattle Mariners.

Direct Link to Article –> Orioles Trade Target: Michael Saunders

Should the Orioles Trade Matt Wieters?

Posted in Offseason with tags , , , on November 7, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

After an elbow injury (requiring Tommy John surgery) ended Matt Wieters‘ 2014 season in the middle of May, Caleb Joseph filled and provided enough value to potentially make Matt Wieters expendable.  Joseph didn’t hit he ball, but his defensive skills, specifically his pitch framing saved enough runs to more than offset his offensive shortcomings.  Today at ESPN Sweetspot Network Orioles blog Camden Depot, I take a look at whether the Orioles should look into dealing their All-Star catcher to make room for Caleb Joseph, pitch framer extraordinaire.

Direct Link to Article –> Should the Orioles Trade Matt Wieters?