Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Schmuck: Not affording a free-agent pitcher like Bronson Arroyo could cost the Orioles

As Bronson Arroyo sails out of Baltimore…

The Orioles’ frustrating offseason got a little more frustrating Friday when the front office came up short in its pursuit of veteran pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who seemed to be the best fit of the remaining pitchers available in the free-agent market.

Maybe pursuit isn’t the right word, since the Orioles still seem to be playing hard to get just a few days before before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Executive vice president Dan Duquette continues to insist that he wants to solidify the starting rotation, but it’s fair to wonder at this point just how much the team really wants to win this year.

...Team owner Peter Angelos said recently that the Orioles are not in a position to compete on an economic level with baseball’s big-revenue teams, and no one would dispute that. It’s not unreasonable, however, for fans to expect them to compete on an economic level with the Milwaukee Brewers, who splurged for Matt Garza, or the Diamondbacks.

Duquette made it clear a week ago at FanFest that the organization is committed to building a playoff contender through player development and trades rather than an emphasis on big-money free agents, which would be a fine philosophy if it didn’t sound a bit like he was already looking past this season.

That said, it’s hard to fault Duquette after he and Buck Showalter pulled the franchise out of a 14-year ditch. He has made some smooth moves to help transform the Orioles into an attractive and entertaining team, and probably deserves more patience than he has been getting from fans and media this winter.

It just seems like he’s playing a dangerous game and gambling with some of the goodwill that has been restored over the past two years.

The Orioles certainly could have afforded to pursue Arroyo more aggressively, but the fact that they’re in the second week of February without a truly significant free-agent acquisition should tell you everything you need to know.

Repoz Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:05 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. BDC Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4653882)
I'm still struck by how relatively young the Orioles are, especially since they've had a couple of years in contention now and several players (Jones, Wieters, even Markakis, who just turned 30) who are non-ancient but have been in Baltimore for quite a while. Foregoing the chance to load up on older players for a playoff push – in fact, shedding some of their oldest guys – seems smart. OTOH they aren't going out and getting any good players, either. They could certainly slip back to the 65-69 win ranks, even this year. But I'd hardly dress them down for not spending tens of millions on some senior pitcher.
   2. Joey B. Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4653886)
Time to cue up Peter Angelos sockpuppet donlock once again...
   3. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4653897)
Reports seemed to indicate that Arroyo wanted to be in the NL, not that money was the issue.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4653899)
Arroyo wouldn't have been able to pass the Orioles physical anyway.
   5. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4653907)
But I'd hardly dress them down for not spending tens of millions on some senior pitcher.


I'd dress them down for basically doing nothing. For a fan, it seems like it would hard to look at the number of guys in their peaks on that roster and not be disappointed with the effort put in to this offseason. Bundy and Gausman might be good, but they haven't done much yet, and who knows what they'll produce in 2014. Where are these trades that are supposed to build the franchise? When is the Orioles year supposed to be?

I don't know if this is Duquette or what, but this offseason (and last offseason) has seen a team on the cusp of contention just sitting on their hands and doing nothing to get fans excited.
   6. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4653912)
It seems pretty obvious that it isn't Duquette's fault, but that ownership refuses to raise payroll. The Pirates appear to be in the same situation. Both teams have spent the winter reputedly interested in various free agents but never particularly close to actually spending any money.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4653913)
I'd be more critical of the fact they weren't in on Maholm at that price. Not that Maholm is any great shakes, but he adds nice depth. Arroyo was an overpay. They should probably be in on Santana if the price is right.
   8. boteman Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4653915)
In the interview linked here the other day Duquette said that Angelos absolutely does NOT limit his spending. On the contrary if it's a big ticket item he's deliberative because he's a lawyer, but can be persuaded. I love to hate Angelos but this makes him out to be almost reasonable. Maybe the Duke isn't such an idiot for passing on Arroyo?
   9. Riki Tiki Javy Lopez Posted: February 09, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4653916)
I wonder how much of the 'anger' that Schmuck and other O's writers (and fans) have isn't directed more at 'we didn't get the guy we thought we were going to get based on a list we created'?

I mean, none of those jokers predicted McClouth's signing, and subsequent rampant success. Maybe, just maybe, Duquette DOES have a plan, and it just isn't one these guys have written about or expect?

Duke has said since the offseason they'd like to bolster the rotation. That hasn't changed. Slow playing the market leaves him with the eventual upperhand.

(I would, however, have loved for the Birds to push all their chips into the middle of the Cano table. Sigh.)
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 09, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4653926)
In the interview linked here the other day Duquette said that Angelos absolutely does NOT limit his spending.

Isn't it part of "the code" that MLB front office personnel, and those who aspire to return to those positions, DO NOT toss ownership under the bus?
   11. ptodd Posted: February 09, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4653941)
If you take into account revenue sharing the Orioles spend less than 40% of revenue on payroll, which is well below the 47% MLB avg. And its revenues are understated due to their ownership of MASN whose revenue/profits are not included, so its actually worse than this.
   12. toratoratora Posted: February 09, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4653944)
On the contrary if it's a big ticket item he's deliberative because he's a lawyer, but can be persuaded.

According to rumor he's so deliberate that people can't reach him for days at a time in the middle of negotiations. IIRC David Cone had exactly this issue when he was dealing with the O's and I'm pretty sure he's pulled disappearing acts other times as well.

Losing Arroyo is no big deal. I think he'd get killed in the AL East and for that money they could do better. But Maholm only cost 1.5-that's the sort of bargain they should be aiming at and that Duquette specializes in.
   13. Al Kaline Trio Posted: February 09, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4653948)
Orioles do nothing = not committed and non-playoff
Orioles + Arroyo = committed and playoff bound
???

Go get Santana, or Ubaldo or trade for Price. Overpaying for Arroyo is the kind of meh thing that mediocre teams do (sorry Diamondbacks). Maybe if they signed Maholm and Arroyo then hope one of the young guys takes a big step forward but Arroyo alone ain't doing it.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: February 09, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4653957)
Orioles do nothing = not committed and non-playoff
Orioles + Arroyo = committed and playoff bound


It's about showing you're "serious" and you show you're "serious" by signing "proven veterans" that fans may have heard of or at least sportswriters can spin into "significant" acquisitions.

That such a signing might be lousy return for $25 M is just nit-picking. :-)

Maholm should have a chat with his agent. Vargas 4/$32, Hughes 3/$24, Feldman 3/$30. Even Hammel 1/$6, Volquez 1/$5, Hernandez 1/$4.5, Chen 1/$4.25, Floyd 1/$4. Even Felipe Paulino pulled down a 1/$2 contract. And some owners should be having chats with their GMs as to why they don't have Maholm under contract for 2/$13 (and it probably wouldn't have taken even that much).

By the way, what are the Marlins up to?

Jeff Baker, 2/3.7
Furcal, 1/3
Garret Jones 2/7.75
Marmol 1/1.25
McGehee 1/1.1
Salty 3/21
Dobbs 1/1.7
Mike Dunn 1/1.4

plus minor contracts for Reed Johnson, H Rodriquez, Slowey, Valdespin and Wigginton. C'mon, who gives a guaranteed contract to Casey McGehee at this point? Wigginton, Dobbs and McGehee on one team would be kinda fun though.

I'm guessing they got a memo from Bud and the union.

   15. Al Kaline Trio Posted: February 09, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4654018)
Walt do you think Jeff Baker was a good signing? I was hoping the A's could have gotten him and dumped Colaspo's contract on somebody.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4654025)
Erv Santana close to signing and BAL and TOR are said to be the finalists.
   17. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4654035)
By the way, what are the Marlins up to?

Jeff Baker, 2/3.7
Furcal, 1/3
Garret Jones 2/7.75
Marmol 1/1.25
McGehee 1/1.1
Salty 3/21
Dobbs 1/1.7
Mike Dunn 1/1.4


God what a wretched team.
   18. ptodd Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4654040)
Just running through Cotts 40% of teams have cut payroll this year. What happened to all the TV money?. The Yankees and Mariners have accounted for 1/2 of the free agent money spent.
   19. boteman Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:19 AM (#4654042)
What happened to all the TV money?

Three words that sound like thwiss tanker count.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4654047)
Walt do you think Jeff Baker was a good signing?

At that price, sure. None of those Marlins signings are "bad" per se other than probably McGehee (and Salty doesn't really belong, he's there for completeness). Ignoring Salty, that's about $14 M for those 7 players so they only have to amass 2-3 WAR among them to pay off. It's just weird to sign 7 guys all of whom probably project to under 1 WAR each. Just how much veteran filler does any one team need?

On Baker -- he has his uses and I appreciated his tenure with the Cubs. But he's still only good for 200 PA a year and WAR has him as barely above replacement in 1600 PA. He's starting to see more starts at 1B/LF/RF than 2B/3B -- 38 starts vs 6 last year; 43 starts vs 5 in 2012. (I'm surprised by that.) So I suspect he's near his sell-by date. But it's less than $2 M per year so who cares? And, yeah, he still hits lefties.

I'm sure my clubhouse presence alone is worth .1-.2 WAR so I can't wait for the Marlins to sign me. I'm even willing to discount to $.9 M.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:52 AM (#4654058)

Just running through Cotts 40% of teams have cut payroll this year. What happened to all the TV money?. The Yankees and Mariners have accounted for 1/2 of the free agent money spent.


Wasn't this kind of a stinkey FA market? Cano and Tanaka and not much else?

I thought the Baker signing was great. He's the perfect guy to have on your bench - he can mash lefties and play lots of different positions. My guess is lots of teams will want to trade for him at the deadline.
   22. Dan Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:25 AM (#4654071)
Walt do you think Jeff Baker was a good signing? I was hoping the A's could have gotten him and dumped Colaspo's contract on somebody.


I'm not Walt, but I think Baker is a really good lefty killer type with a lot of positional versatility. The way he was used by the Rangers seems to fit with the general impression of his infield defense at 2B/3B, but he's decent enough at those 2 spots to play there a few times per month if you need an occasional fill-in. He's not the guy to start every day at one of those spots if your starter is on the shelf, but as a platoon guy at 1B or a corner OF spot who can occasionally play 3B or 2B he's a really good use of a bench spot on today's pitching heavy rosters. He seems like an odd signing by the Marlins though; they're not exactly the kind of team to be picking up free agent priced role players. They'd be better off spending that kind of money on a reclamation project who has upside to be an everyday guy or something. But for a team like the Rays or Dodgers or another team that expects to contend I think he'd make a lot of sense at that price. Perhaps the Marlins are planning on platooning him and Jones for a cheap .850+ OPS first baseman. If platooned aggressively those two could basically be as productive as a guy like Mike Napoli. Plus they always have the option of selling him at the deadline for some kind of longshot prospect.
   23. Belfry Bob Posted: February 10, 2014 at 09:24 AM (#4654107)
I thought the O's should have resigned Feldman. None of the others seemed worth the money / draft picks they are requiring. Arroyo would have been eaten alive in the AL East. VERY happy the O's didn't go there!
   24. donlock Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4654175)
I think the last big salary pitcher the O's acquired was Kevin Millstone, I mean, Millwood. He provided a lot of nothing for $12 mil ($3 mil paid by Rangers).Peter Schmuck and others raved about his work ethic, disposition, role modelling and, of course, veteran leadership for the younger pitchers. On the other hand, he was 4-16 that year and led the league in losses. I would rather see what the younger pitchers on the roster can do.

Pleasantly surprised that there can be a discussion of the Orioles without too many "Heat up the tar . I've got the feathers. Now where is that SOB, Angelos?" diversions. Would be nice if the Tampa people would stay in their own thread.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4654212)
I think the last big salary pitcher the O's acquired was Kevin Millstone, I mean, Millwood. He provided a lot of nothing for $12 mil ($3 mil paid by Rangers).Peter Schmuck and others raved about his work ethic, disposition, role modelling and, of course, veteran leadership for the younger pitchers. On the other hand, he was 4-16 that year and led the league in losses. I would rather see what the younger pitchers on the roster can do.


Of course, part of the reason he went 4-16 is that the Orioles gave him basically no run support that year, and another part is that their defense stabbed him right in the kidney (.317 BABIP).
   26. Brian Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4654230)
They should probably be in on Santana if the price is right.


It is an obvious joke but also true: I KNOW Santana couldn't get past the Orioles physical.
   27. Buck Coats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4654274)
I was assuming he meant Ervin, not Johan
   28. Moeball Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4654293)
Overpaying for Arroyo is the kind of meh thing that mediocre teams do (sorry Diamondbacks).


So true. I couldn't understand why there were so many articles about Arroyo being a "premium" free agent and all the teams chasing him. He is durable, I'll give him that - he's averaged over 210 innings/season for the last 9 years. On the other hand, he's done it at a 104 ERA+ performance level, which is nothing to get that excited about.

Maybe the definition of "premium" has changed. Or maybe it's just been a slow news week.

   29. TerpNats Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4654318)
I think (Jeff) Baker is a really good lefty killer type with a lot of positional versatility. The way he was used by the Rangers seems to fit with the general impression of his infield defense at 2B/3B, but he's decent enough at those 2 spots to play there a few times per month if you need an occasional fill-in. He's not the guy to start every day at one of those spots if your starter is on the shelf, but as a platoon guy at 1B or a corner OF spot who can occasionally play 3B or 2B he's a really good use of a bench spot on today's pitching heavy rosters. He seems like an odd signing by the Marlins though; they're not exactly the kind of team to be picking up free agent priced role players. They'd be better off spending that kind of money on a reclamation project who has upside to be an everyday guy or something. But for a team like the Rays or Dodgers or another team that expects to contend I think he'd make a lot of sense at that price. Perhaps the Marlins are planning on platooning him and Jones for a cheap .850+ OPS first baseman. If platooned aggressively those two could basically be as productive as a guy like Mike Napoli. Plus they always have the option of selling him at the deadline for some kind of longshot prospect.
He would have been ideal for the Nats -- not only that, but he's a local guy too (Gar-Field HS, Woodbridge, Va.); I'm guessing that seeking a two-year contract was the deal-breaker with Rizzo. Still, if the Fish are out of it by July 31, he might be able to get Baker and give up no more than a middling prospect.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4654416)
I don't think Cots includes arb-signing estimates ... not sure how many arb-eligibles haven't signed yet.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harveys Wallbangers
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(815 - 11:19pm, Dec 22)
Last: Rickey! trades in sheep and threats

Hall of Merit2015 Election Results - Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez & Curt Schilling elected to the Hall of Merit!
(1 - 11:13pm, Dec 22)
Last: Joey Numbaz (Scruff)

NewsblogThe Downside of the Recent Padres Acquisitions | Articles | Bill James Online
(35 - 11:09pm, Dec 22)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

Hall of MeritNew Eligibles Year by Year
(963 - 10:59pm, Dec 22)
Last: Joey Numbaz (Scruff)

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5554 - 10:54pm, Dec 22)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogJonah Keri's Hypothetical Hall of Fame Ballot; Plus a Randy Johnson Appreciation
(23 - 10:48pm, Dec 22)
Last: baudib

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(252 - 9:57pm, Dec 22)
Last: Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy

NewsblogYankees will pay for education of children of NYPD cop Ramos - NY Daily News
(22 - 9:54pm, Dec 22)
Last: Arbitol Dijaler

NewsblogTurner Situation Could Lead To Sea Change In Draft Pick Trades - BaseballAmerica.com
(16 - 9:37pm, Dec 22)
Last: Cabbage

NewsblogPirates Win Bidding For Jung-ho Kang
(15 - 9:26pm, Dec 22)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1372 - 9:10pm, Dec 22)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot
(116 - 8:19pm, Dec 22)
Last: Joey Numbaz (Scruff)

NewsblogFree Agent Spending By Division – MLB Trade Rumors
(9 - 7:01pm, Dec 22)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Soccer December 2014
(357 - 5:38pm, Dec 22)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9303 - 4:38pm, Dec 22)
Last: Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor

Page rendered in 0.3297 seconds
48 querie(s) executed