Orioles Offseason Preview

Bleacher Report Senior Writer INovember 15, 2008

This year the Baltimore Orioles struggled, winning 68 games and losing 93. They had one good pitcher in Jeremy Guthrie, and will definitely have to address that this offseason.

The majority of the Orioles population wants Mark Teixeira back home, in Baltimore. Last year with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels, Teixeira had 33 home runs, 121 RBI and a .308 batting mark

O's fans also want AJ Burnett. Burnett has family in Baltimore. The O's have been looking at him for years. Last year with Toronto, Burnett had 18 wins, 10 losses and a 4.10 earned run average.

I don't think they want him here.

Why? The O's have boatloads of pitching talent.

Not only do they have Guthrie, they have guys in the minors such as Chris Tillman, David Hernandez, Radhames Liz (who showed glimpses of the future at times this year), now Brian Matusz, Jason Berken, and Brad Bergesen.

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As for Mark Teixeira, I'd certainly welcome a guy who could consistently put up 30-120-.300, but he'd be a big blow to our payroll. With the Angels this year, Teixeira made $12.5 million. As a team, the O's made a little under $67 million.

Also, Burnett is good, but it's high risk and high reward. Right now, the O's need high reward. He has had tons of injury troubles and that isn't worth his $13.5 million salary.

If Andy MacPhail is true to his word, and the team is actually rebuilding, they need to stay young. If that means get rid of Aubrey Huff, Ramon Hernandez, and all the other vets, so be it. The team needs to get Matt Wieters up to Baltimore, as well as Chris Tillman and others.

I've also heard from ESPN that the O's are a likely suitor to pursue Manny Ramirez. I am 50/50 on this trade. While I saw what Manny could do with the Dodgers, the Dodgers are in the National League West. The worst division of the past few seasons.

Also, the Dodgers were already a semi competitive team when Manny arrived. They had a potent lineup with Russell Martin, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Jeff Kent, and Andre Ethier.

They also had a rotation about 30 times better then the O's with Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Greg Maddux, and Hiroki Kuroda. So when people say Manny carried them to the playoffs alone, they're crazy. It's not like the Dodgers were down 20 games when he got there to a team of the Cubs caliber.

They were down to an Arizona Diamondbacks team, the worst division leader at that point. They are a terrible offensive team. Besides Brandon Webb and Danny Haren, their rotation is iffy, at best.

When Manny played his first game in a Dodger uniform on August 1, the Dodgers were just three games behind Arizona. So think twice before saying Manny took them to the playoffs himself. He was definitely a huge help, but they needed the help of every one.

My advice to the O's: stay young. The O's should be plenty busy this off season. They'll have to resign Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Jeremy Guthrie. They'll have to again decide on what to do with Brian Roberts. They'll have to decide what their rotation will look like next year.

The O's need not spend millions and millions of dollars. The last time we used that technique was when we got Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford.

Let's not go there again.


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