Here’s a small bit of news — perhaps obvious to anyone who saw the team last year…
From the Orioles.com: All four of Baltimore’s affected players — first baseman Kevin Millar, left fielder Jay Payton and infielders Alex Cintron and Juan Castro — were designated as neither Type A nor Type B free agents. That means that there is virtually no advantage to offering them arbitration, beyond the possibility that they’d accept and stay in the fold.
The Orioles aren’t expected to make a serious play for any of their outgoing free agents, but Millar likely represents the best chance of the four to return…
Millar has voiced his desire to come back to Baltimore for a fourth season, though, and will likely be available to sign late in the process. With that in mind, his candidacy may become more attractive over time.
I say bring Millar back — if the team needs him, and he’s willing to play a reserve role; however, let’s see what’s on the open market and via trade before considering him as an option.
Everyone else, we can live without on the squad.
The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafarado has a general baseball round-up section on the Boston.com website (that does a bang-up job of covering the sport) and there’s a Q&A with former Oriole Jay Payton.
It seems the Red Sox have a need for a righthanded-hitting outfielder. Any interest in coming back?
JP: “When I talked to my agent recently, Boston was the first team I mentioned. I don’t know if it’s in the cards or if I squished my chances of ever returning there. I know the circumstances of my departure from there a few years back were blown out of proportion. I’ve talked to Tito [Terry Francona] several times since then and we’re OK. I’d love the chance to go back there because that’s a winning organization and they’re committed to winning. They do things the right way.”
Enjoy your time in Baltimore and any chance of going back?
JP: “I wish we could have won more and I wish I could have played a little more, but it became obvious they’re going with younger guys. I would never say never to anything, but it seems they’re looking for younger players.”
Interesting words. As it is right now, Jay Payton is obviously not coming back to Baltimore and the team is looking to get younger; however, he did do a decent job in coming off the bench and playing the outfield in spots while Jones was hurt. I’d be curious to see where he ends up in light of the economy, his numbers last year and also his age.
I would not say Payton was productive while in Baltimore, but he always looked to be in shape, and was intense as you could get on the field.