By the way, although Fielder would have definitely helped the Orioles at the plate; however, it would have been a very poor use of resources by the organization. I don’t think he would have aged all that well, considering his body type.
Plus, do you think that the Orioles would want to pay a guy north of $23 million per year? Does it make sense to devote that much of a payroll to one guy? The Detroit Tigers felt the need to, despite being favorites in American League Central already.
The Orioles will not be contending for a championship anytime soon, so it would have little sense to sign him now.
It would have been a fun show to watch, however.
The team needs a lot more than a power-slugging first baseman; quite frankly, the Orioles have more holes to cover, need to work on a deeper bench, and really need to do a better job developing minor league talent.
The local media and professionals who cover the team day by day were definitely right about Fielder, despite what the national writers and some online personalities thought.
Despite the acquisition of Wilson Betemit, I think the Orioles are still lacking in power and also an ability to get on-base.
The Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo Encina in a piece on their website today looked into that issue. It’s kind of startling to realize that Nick Markakis was the only regular with an on-base percentage over .340.
He also notes that, “last season, the Red Sox (.349), Yankees (.343), Rangers (.340) and Tigers (.340) each had team on-base percentages of .340 or higher.”
Obviously, all the teams listed in the previous paragraph were over .500 and contenders in the American League.
The Orioles have their problems, but if they can get their batters to work on plate discipline – not easily fixed – and get players who can get on base with some proficiency, it would go a long way to improving things.
Closer Francisco Cordero – who was targeted by the Orioles – decided to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays. He will be a setup man, instead of closing out games.
Also, pitcher Rick VandenHurk was designated for assignment to make room for Betemit.
Finally, Robert Andino signed a one-year deal with the Orioles this morning, avoiding arbitration. I’m curious to see if he starts at second base this year – assuming Roberts is even able to play – or if a utility role is in the cards.