did make some new additions in the offseason gearing up for 2010 baseball season. The most glaring weakness during the season was the lack of a staff ace. Jeremy Guthrie, who came into 2009 as the number one starter, simply did not live up to expectations. His HR rate was up as was his ERA. With that said, the Orioles dipped into the trade market and acquired Kevin Millwood from the Texas Rangers
. The main piece that the Orioles sent to Arlington was relief pitcher, Chris Ray, who was coming off a series of injuries and was ineffective in his return.
In getting Millwood, the Orioles may not have gotten a true ace, but they did acquire an innings eater who will take pressure off Jeremy Guthrie and tutor the young starters the Orioles have. Kevin Millwood has excellent baseball knowledge having come up through the Atlanta Braves
organization. He learned from the best, including Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz. Other stops for Kevin have included the Phillies
, and Rangers. He is a proven pitcher that should be a great presence to lead the Orioles pitching staff.
As far as hitting was concerned, the Orioles had two primary needs, which were the infield corners, first and third base. The Orioles had looked at some of the free agents including Chone Figgins, Adrian Beltre, and Nick Johnson. After checking out their options, the Orioles decided to bring back a former player in Miguel Tejada. This time however, the familiar face will be moving over to third base, which he was completely open to. On the other side of the diamond, the Orioles signed Garrett Atkins, which was heavily speculated throughout the offseason. Atkins seemed to work his way out of hitter friendly Colorado
with three straight years of declining power numbers, but the Orioles hope he can regain his power stroke at similarly hitter friendly Camden Yards. Tejada's power numbers have been in decline as well, possibly linked to performance enhancing drugs. Miguel still hits for average, makes great contact, and can be counted on for 15-20 HRs and 75-85 RBIs per year.
Time will ultimately tell if these moves pay off for the Orioles. They can also both be viewed as short term signings as prospects Brandon Snyder (1B) and Josh Bell (3B) are coming up fast.
Next entry will take a look at the Orioles chances to contend with the big boys in the AL East in 2010, plus a glimpse into what lies ahead.