What To Expect When you’re Expecting, Free Agent Edition

First of all… hey, how’ve you been?  I know that you don’t really care but I feel like I owe you an explanation for my absence from this blog.

You see, I’m what you would call a “hater.”  I do my best work when I am angry or blasting someone for doing/saying something that I think is downright stupid. That was very very easy to do when the Orioles were terrible for pretty much my entire life after middle school.  Then something crazy happened; 2012.  The Orioles were far from perfect and in fact very lucky in my opinion to do as well as they did.  Anyway, I #BuckledUp and enjoyed the ride.  We were at more games down the stretch than I can remember and we were at every playoff game at OPACY.  It was terrible.  The playoff games were both the best and worst experiences of my life as a fan of anything.  I was a wreck.  Not a single heckle, sitting with my head down nervously with every pitch and every swing of every game.  Nervously tapping my toes, unable to eat due to lack of hunger (which is ridiculous because I am fat) and all the while half covering my face with my hat just peering over the brim to see every second of action.  Being there for the playoff loss was heart breaking but witnessing the win in person was worth every second and every breath and for sure the lost voice.  It was the first time I remember having a full grasp on what they call “Orioles Magic” and while I certainly wasn’t a fan of some of the individuals or the overall structure of that team, it felt so greedy after years of absolute awful results to complain about what was happening.  So we all took some time off.  The O’s aren’t as bad as they have been but they are a while away from getting my ass back in an Oriole Park seat for playoff baseball so weeeeeeee’re baaaack.  Maybe the shine of .500+ ball has worn, maybe our expectations are higher but most likely it is that we can’t sit back and listen to it anymore.  We’re elitists, whether it is right or wrong we were never really that good at keeping our mouths shut.  We’ve been running our mouths to each other for the last year and a half and in the midst of free agent season going on in the only american sport we really care about we couldn’t sit back and let the conversation go on without us.

Now, to some actual baseball stuff.  I am working on another post that is taking up way too much of my time doing research (another reason I took my break…this is time-consuming) but I didn’t want to be absent any longer.  According to MLB Trade Rumors these are the 10 best free agents still on the market.  Here are the reasons why the Orioles will and will not sign each one:

  • #3.  Shin Soo Choo – Why the Orioles will sign him: None, they won’t.  It would make too much sense.  It would be expensive but I would love to see him in orange and black. Why the Orioles won’t sign him:  Too expensive.  They are, whether you like it or not, working on a budget and they don’t allocate that budget very well. I am slightly impressed that Duquette finally wised up and realized that spending 8 figures on a bullpen arm was totally unacceptable though.
  • #5.  Masahiro Tanaka – Why the Orioles will sign him: n/a.  Why the Orioles won’t sign him: The only thing more pathetic than the Orioles scouting system is the Orioles international scouting system.  They lucked into Chen (somehow) and they gave up on Koji for $4.25M.  Inexcusable.
  • #6.  Ervin Santana – Why the Orioles will sign him: He has name recognition and is a bad fit.  That is their move.  It is why I was sure at the beginning of the offseason that we’d see Bartolo Colon in an O’s jersey come April.  Thank god that didn’t happen.  So this is the next logical choice for them.  While younger by about 46 years and in better physical condition than Bartolo, he also will not be worth the salary he’ll receive from somebody.  He gives up a ton of home runs and is experiencing some kind of voodoo induced declined in BABIP the last couple of years that is bound to catch up with him and when it does it won’t be pretty.  Especially if it catches up to him in OPACY.  Why the Orioles won’t sign him: I haven’t really heard them connected.  Not sure if they were immediately priced out or if they just don’t see him as a good fit.  Hell, they already have several 3,4 and 5 starters on the roster.  Even some 7’s and 8’s to go with them.
  • #7.  Matt Garza – Why the Orioles will sign him: He used to play for the Cubs.  Is this still a thing the O’s do?  You know, pick up the scraps of a team that hasn’t won since dinosaurs roamed the earth.  Why the Orioles won’t sign him:  He should get himself back in the NL and sign a short-term deal, pitch well in a bad division and bloat his stats while pitching against pitchers and then come to Baltimore and get paid a lot to suck.
  • #9.  AJ Burnett –  Why the Orioles will sign him:  He lives in Maryland and the O’s are always a year or two too late.  Why the Orioles won’t sign him:  He appears headed for retirement or back to Pittsburgh.
  • #11.  Ubaldo Jimenez – Why the Orioles will sign him:  He used to be a name.  Why the Orioles won’t sign him:  He had a bounce back year in 2013 and a very good K/9 which means he is not fit for the staff.  If you can strike out 1 batter per inning then you are not allowed in the clubhouse, let alone near any of the other starters.  Wouldn’t want them to learn that trick apparently.
  • #14.  Stephen Drew – Why the Orioles will sign him:  To stick it to Boston!  What?  They have a younger, better SS anyway?  Balls!  Why the Orioles won’t sign him:  The O’s (and probably you) are in love with JJ Hardy.  Don’t get me wrong, I like him but they want to extend him which is the total opposite of what they should do.  He is one of few assets they have that is worth anything on the trade market.  Flip him and bring back some prospects.  I know, that is a dirty word in Birdland…
  • #17.  Nelson Cruz – Why the Orioles will sign him:  Cause they’ve got all this Jim Johnson money burning a hole in their pocket!  Ugh, this signing would actually make me furious.  You have several players on the roster that can only DH but you know what else you need, Baltimore?  Guys that can play the outfield also.  And Nasty Nate McLouth was too expensive at 2 years and $10.75M.  That is a bargain compared to what Cruz will get, and he can’t even play defense when Nolan breaks a bone in the 17th game of the season.  When you are working on a tight budget, you need to be able to plug as many holes with one player as possible, not spend more to get less in the long run.  Why the Orioles won’t sign him:  Hopefully there is a team out there more desperate than Baltimore.
  • #23.  Bronson Arroyo – Why the Orioles will sign him:  Because getting the 23rd ranked free agent of the year as your “big move” is the most Orioles thing you can do.  Why the Orioles won’t sign him:  Dan Duquette hates rock music (this is obviously a loose definition of rock music)?  I got nothing.
  • #25.  Grant Balfour – Why the Orioles will sign him: THEY NEED A CLOSER!  There is a reason that Billy Beane let this guy walk so he could pay Jim Johnson way too much money.  Think about that.  Why the Orioles won’t sign him:  They will.  If only to annoy me, they will sign this dude.  At least he is a bad ass and Australian.  Now if he could only pitch.

And that’s it folks, felt good.  Thanks for reading.

See you at the yard,

Jjaks Clayton

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