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Healing the O’s October 26, 2007

Posted by nukemhill in Baseball.

Okay. As many of you (all one of you?!) know, I’ve been a diehard O’s fan since we moved to Baltimore in ’95.  I got lucky, as the ’96 season was wire-to-wire, and were it not for Jeffrey Meier, we might have been looking at a World Series appearance, and a completely different follow-up decade.

Water under the bridge, though.  What’s done is done.  We’ve had a decade of futility, and currently no real positive outlook in sight.

Or is there?

Here’s a list of the prospective free agents after the World Series ends (probably on Sunday in Colorado).   I’ve been talking with some people who seem to know, and apparently Peter Angelos is pulling in upwards of $150-175 million per year from his MASN contract with Comcast alone.  I’ve got some ideas on how Angelos can spend this money.

First, sign ARod.  I know, I know.  He’s going to be offered a ridiculous amount of money from the likes of Boston, the Cubs, probably San Francisco, etc.  So what.  Hand him a blank check and a pen.  Tell him whatever it takes.  We’ll have to overpay, but who cares.  Angelos is going to have the money.  I’d bet if we offered him $35M per year for at least 8 years, he’d sign.  Then move him back to shortstop.  Why?

Second, sign Mike Lowell.  He’s a strong third baseman, and lead the Red Sox in RBIs in ’07 (120+).  Put him at third, Rodriguez at short, and the left side of the infield is locked up for at least the next 5 years.  I’d sign Lowell at $15-20 per year.  He’d be worth it, as a complement to ARod.

Third, re-sign Bedard.  Gotta happen.  And if we pull off the first two steps here, I think he’d be amenable.  If he sees that we’re really committing to building a team that can support him offensively, I think he’d be willing to stick around.  Probably take North of $18 million per year for at least 5 years before he’d commit.  He’s worth it, though.  God, what a pitcher.

Okay, we’ve got two legit power hitters locking down third and short.  What about Miggy and Melvin, you ask?  Trade ‘m.  I’m tired of them.  They’re selfish, petulant, and don’t give a crap about the team.  We played solid .500 ball without them during the late Summer.  As soon as they came back?  Tank-city.  Trade them, together, or separately, to a team (teams) who are willing to give up pitching prospects.  Especially middle-relievers.  Probably won’t get value-for-value, but given the state of our bullpen, that’ll be okay.  Anything is better than what we’ve had to deal with for the last couple of years.

We should be looking at free-agency for pitching and probably the outfield, too.  Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter are free.  I’d probably lean towards Hunter, only because I like his attitude more.   But Jones would be no slouch.  Corey’s a free-agent.  I think we can upgrade.  I like him, but I don’t think he’s the spark plug we need.

Finally, and this is after next season–sign Texiera.  He’d lock up First for years, and can hit the hell out of the ball.  Even better, he wants to play for the O’s.  He’s a local boy.  Get him.

I think this is a formula for success.  Is it expensive?  You betcha.  Can Angelos afford it?  Absolutely.  Especially as he’ll rejuvenate the fanbase, which has suffered greatly during the drought.  He has to do something, and I think this works. If we started strong, and went into the second half of the season in contention, seats would be filled at Camden Yards.

I remember the sellouts of old. Oriole Park rocked. It can again. But only if Angelos is willing to break the bank.



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