MacPhail: O’s Will Look To Upgrade Offense

The Orioles' bats haven't dazzled this season, ranking 27th in runs scored and 22nd in team OPS at .705. Peter Schmuck from the Baltimore Sun relays some information from Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, saying that the O's will look to upgrade those marks via free agency this offseason.

Sitting in the MASN broadcast booth during the Orioles game, MacPhail said they'd be looking at players who had a chance to improve their performance in 2011. Schmuck, like many Orioles fans, shudders at the thought of a repeat of this past offseason's Garrett Atkins signing, but that does seem to be what MacPhail was hinting at.

A couple of potential free agents who fit that mold could be (my own speculation) Jhonny Peralta (if his club option is declined) or Jorge Cantu. Several new candidates will likely arise in the form of non-tendered players, like Atkins a year prior. The O's won't be looking to break the bank on free agents though; MacPhail conceded that they're more than a player or two away from contention, but also said he isn't going to sit idly and wait.

Baltimore has a few players entrenched in their current positions — Matt Wieters, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis. Luke Scott can play first base or the outfield, but has served as mostly a designated hitter. Overall though, they have the flexibility to look for veteran plug-ins for several spots on the diamond, and the money coming off the books to make it happen. Between Kevin Millwood, Cesar Izturis, Koji Uehara, and Ty Wigginton, the O's have over $20MM freeing up this winter.


62 Responses to MacPhail: O’s Will Look To Upgrade Offense Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    I’d like to see them sign Jorge Cantu, trade Luke Scott for as much proven pitching that they can get. Then sign Joe Beimel, acquire someone like Trevor Plouffe, and make Felix Pie the starting LF next season

    • basemonkey 5 years ago

      I like the thought but, seeing what a premium starting pitching is, the return Scott would get probably wouldn’t make you happy. I like his bat a lot, and he’s been only getting more consistent, but he is primarily a DH with an ok LF glove. We have to understand that another team is not going to give up a vet 12 game winner SP for a good power bat without a true position.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        What if I told you that it might be possible to turn Luke Scott into a decent relief pitcher?

  2. JTrea81 5 years ago

    Sounds like more of the same from MacFail. When will he learn that the O’s need proven talent that can make a difference, and stop going after retreads that he hopes will overachieve?

    Probably never, which is why as O’s fans we are lucky to have Showalter who won’t let MacPhail get away with the same type of pathetic offseason as they had last time.

  3. baseballdude 5 years ago

    SIGN CARL CRAWFORD!! lol i dont c it happening tho

  4. Their outfield is set, Matt Weiters needs to get used to the level still, the infield needs some work. Try and sign a bridge third baseman for Josh Bell, B-Rob will man 2B, Ceasar Izturis needs to go, Luke Scott will probably be dealt for proven talent. Make Felix Pie starting LF. He shows he can hit for a nice average, and run. In a full season I think he can hit 20 HR. But other than that, Scott and Ty Wiggington should be dealt for proven talent.

  5. stovin 5 years ago

    The Orioles really need to stop spending money on just ok players. Jorge Cantu is never going to help this ball club reach the playoffs. MacFail is only losing fans. This team will make the playoffs next year if MacFail listens to Showalter. I say bring Dunn to Baltimore and go hard after Yu Darvish. We could make the playoffs looking like this 1: Guthrie 2: Darvish 3: Matusz 4: Bergy 5: Arrieta. Its all about pitching. But we also really need a home run hitter.

    • Assuming Yu Darvish will actually be posted in the next couple years, do you really think the Orioles are prepared to pay the many many many millions it will take to get him? He’s already had three better seasons than Daisuke’s best. If Daisuke cost 110M in posting fees and salary, what crazy number do you think Darvish will fetch? And will Baltimore spend that money? I’m not sure I see that happening.

      Darvish has also made a lot of noise about not wanting to come to the US to play ball. He could certainly change his mind but it’s not impossible he is posted and refuses to come. I’d love to see him in MLB but until he is actually posted, I’d temper my enthusiasm.

  6. stovin 5 years ago

    The Orioles could make the playoffs next year if they make the right moves during the off season. They have done great since Buck took over. If they listen to Buck and not MacFail then the orioles will be alot better. They can’t sign Cantu. They have to go after Dunn. And push hard for Yu Darvish. Pitching is what they need. A home run hitter would be nice too. They will be much better if they do this.

    • basemonkey 5 years ago

      I think you’re basically reciting what all of us, including MacPhail and the front office, already knows. This team needs a good pitcher and a slugger. Those two pieces have been on the Os offseason wish list for, say, 10 years now.

      There’s a lot more that goes into it than just being a matter of picking who you like and then going out and signing those players. Most people seem to relate it to how they draft their own fantasy teams. For the Os at this point, the best players just won’t play in Baltimore no matter the number. And, to get the next tier of player, are they worth the draft pick hit to the farm system that it would take to get him? Like, say, if they wanted a guy like Orlando Hudson, they’d have to give up pretty high picks who would otherwise allow them to add a Tillman, Reimold, or Arrieta caliber player to the system.

  7. There pitching is still young and developing (even the ones in the majors). Much of their core (matusz, wieters, jones, markakis) along with their young players are locked up for years to come. Flipping Scott & others this winter/next season would be wise as well as signing high upside players this winter with the potential for them to have good a good season or maybe even flip them at the deadline too. Like mcphail said, they are still more than one player away from competing all season in that powerhouse division. Allowing another year of development for their young pitchers along with josh bell, and they could be in a position to spend big for those few pieces next off season to fill the holes they need to compete consistently.

    I am an O’s fan, but I do not see them being in the hunt next season unless something surprising happens. For next season, I see low risk signings along with buck’s management’s next season along with the continued development of their players along with the increasing age of yankee player’s, and the ray’s decreasing payroll to lead to a more successful season for the O’s.

  8. myname_989 5 years ago

    The Orioles have been pretty impressive under Buck Showalter. They have some nice pieces in place, at positions where impressive pieces are hard to come by. I think with a few additions, they could be a real nuisance, at the very least, in the AL East. When I look at the Orioles offense, they could really benefit by a guy who gets on base at the top of their order, and a guy with extra base / homerun potential. Two places they could really look to upgrade are in left field, despite an okay season out of Felix Pie, and at short stop, where Cesar Izturis has been dreadful. In my opinion, two guys they should look into bringing aboard, who may be slight risks, are Omar Vizquel and if they can persuade him to go there, probably with a luxurious contract, Jayson Werth. Just an opinion, but guys like Jorge Cantu aren’t going to help the O’s.

    • Vizquel is not a starter at this point of his career.

      • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

        Vizquel has been starting in Chicago lately and putting up better numbers than guys half his age.

  9. tomymogo 5 years ago

    Andyyyy, offense come on don’t be stupid you need some serious pitchers

    • Look at the O’s starters ERA since Buck took over. They probably should add a starter like Jake Westbrook. I like a 2011 rotation of Guthrie, Matusz, Westbrook, Arrieta, and Bergesen/Tillman. As far as bullpen help, the Orioles will maybe sign a middle reliever or two, but yeah they’re not going after a Rafael Soriano type guy, especially not after the Michael Gonzalez experiment. Look for them to resign Koji though, assuming the price is right. When he’s healthy, he’s a darn good pitcher.

      I’m actually OK with our pitching. What the Orioles really need are some middle of the order hitters. Luke Scott’s the only legitimate power threat on that team. That has to change.

  10. Oh I completely agree that they need some serious pitchers. And that they are going to need more than one player to be able to compete consistently. Another year of development from their young players should allow them to see who can be a legitimate part of the team’s future. They will have some money coming off the books this season (mainly kevin millwood) and could decide to reinvest that into another pitcher or sign some low risk position players and look to go after serious parts of their team next offseason.

  11. stovin 5 years ago

    Where would Werth play? Nick plays RF.

    • myname_989 5 years ago

      Jayson Werth has shown his more than capable of playing all three outfield positions.

      • stovin 5 years ago

        Awesome. Some days we could also put him at DH. I think he would love hitting at Camden Yards.

        • myname_989 5 years ago

          To be honest, I’ll miss seeing him go, but I’ve all but accepted the fact that he’ll be cashing in somewhere. Lol

          • myname_989 5 years ago

            Yeah, that made no sense. Lol. What I meant to say was, “I’ll hate seeing him go.”

      • All due respect to Werth but he is a downgrade from Jones and/or Pie in Center Field. LF/RF/DH okay but if he is your starting center fielder you are in trouble defensively.

        • Werth wouldn’t be playing center field. The Orioles aren’t moving Jones out of center field. It’s that simple.

      • All due respect to Werth but he is a downgrade from Jones and/or Pie in Center Field. LF/RF/DH okay but if he is your starting center fielder you are in trouble defensively.

  12. stovin 5 years ago

    I wonder if 3 years 48 million would get it done. Plus a 1 year op at 17 mill that year. For Werth to O’s.

  13. Montero1220 5 years ago

    What the O’s gameplan should be this offseason:

    Sign/Trade For an elite 1B (Pena, Konerko, Fielder)
    Sign/Trade for Ace (Yu Darvish, Cliff Lee) or Veteran Innings Eater (Javier Vazquez)

    I think they will be a good team next year.

    • The Yankees have made the Vazquez mistake twice now in the AL. You don’t compete with 35 year old rejects that couldn’t cut it for you competition. (See Jaret Wright) Lee or Darvish I am fine with.

    • The Yankees have made the Vazquez mistake twice now in the AL. You don’t compete with 35 year old rejects that couldn’t cut it for you competition. (See Jaret Wright) Lee or Darvish I am fine with.

    • I’d be happy with Pena or Konerko. No Prince Fielder though, whenever I see that man I can’t help but think of Mo Vaughn. That body of his is not going to hold up for much longer. Plus his defense is abysmal. Trust me, if people are concerned about Dunn’s defense, they should probably be concerned about Prince’s defense as well.

    • I’d be happy with Pena or Konerko. No Prince Fielder though, whenever I see that man I can’t help but think of Mo Vaughn. That body of his is not going to hold up for much longer. Plus his defense is abysmal. Trust me, if people are concerned about Dunn’s defense, they should probably be concerned about Prince’s defense as well.

  14. stovin 5 years ago

    If we got Werth I would be ok with re signing Wigginton to a 1 year contract to play first. If we don’t get Werth I want Dunn to play 1B. Then for SS maybe we can bring back Tejada. Line Up: 1: Roberts 2B 2: Markakis RF 3: Werth LF 4: Scott DH 5: Wigginton 1B 6: Wieters C 7: Jones CF 8: Bell 3B 9: Tejada SS.

  15. Tejada @ SS ? and you really think Bell is MLB Ready? He has look grossly over matched at the plate during his stint here.

    • ugen64 5 years ago

      Tejada – no way. his range was average at best for a 3B – he would be a butcher at SS. I’m sure we could find a shortstop who can hit as well as him (.696 OPS) with significantly better defense, still at a reasonable price. he’s approaching Yuniesky Betancourt levels of non-value.

      • Didn’t we have enough of Tejada the butcher at 3B this year. Notice what changes came right about the time Buck got to the O’s: Tejada out at 3B, Wiggy out at 2B, Roberts back, Pie in left. No wonder the ERAs dropped by over 1.5 runs a game after filling the major defensive holes.

      • Didn’t we have enough of Tejada the butcher at 3B this year. Notice what changes came right about the time Buck got to the O’s: Tejada out at 3B, Wiggy out at 2B, Roberts back, Pie in left. No wonder the ERAs dropped by over 1.5 runs a game after filling the major defensive holes.

    • ugen64 5 years ago

      Tejada – no way. his range was average at best for a 3B – he would be a butcher at SS. I’m sure we could find a shortstop who can hit as well as him (.696 OPS) with significantly better defense, still at a reasonable price. he’s approaching Yuniesky Betancourt levels of non-value.

  16. Tejada @ SS ? and you really think Bell is MLB ready? He has looked grossly overmatched at the plate.

    • Bell needs to learn how to not swing at everything under the sun. Also, he needs to play with a little more heart. I’ve already seen two plays within the last few weeks where he came in to score, and both times he came in standing even though he barely beat the throw. I don’t get how you can possibly come in standing if there’s even a shadow of a doubt that it’s going to be a close play.

  17. The Mythical One 5 years ago

    I think you need to take a look at what the free agent SS market is shaping up to be. If you exclude all the guys with options on their contracts (which will most likely be picked up in all cases) the leftovers make Izturis look like a very good option.

    • Exactly. I shuddered when I looked at the free agents at shortstop. Cesar is sadly probably the best option assuming the Mets don’t buy out Jose Reyes’s contract. The Orioles will have to look at the trade market to make an upgrade at shortstop. Peralta could play shortstop, but I’d like him more at third base. Plus Cesar’s defense is invaluable to the Orioles’ young pitchers.

      • The Mythical One 5 years ago

        There is a possibility that some upgrades will come as non tenders or be available in a trade. I don’t know how exactly Andy is thinking he can upgrade the offense while not spending a lot of money and signing guys that have a chance to rebound. The only offensive upgrade available as a free agent would be Juan Uribe. I think you lose something with the glove for sure, but you get around 20+HR and at least 40-50RBI. Not great, but an offensive upgrade for sure. But does his offense outweigh the hit to the defense? Obviously in our position we can’t have the perfect solution.

        • I wouldn’t be looking at Uribe except maybe at third base. Having a good defensive shortstop right now is important for the Orioles and their young pitchers. Through my 23 years of life, I’ve noticed that nothing kills a young pitcher’s confidence/control more than not being able to trust the defense behind them. Then they start trying to do too much like Matusz was doing earlier this year. Buck’s preaching a throw strikes and trust the guys behind you philosophy to the young pitchers, and Uribe would kill that philosophy if he was at shortstop. At third, I’d be willing to put up with him simply because he’s a power bat.

  18. cbm5042 5 years ago

    They key for the Orioles to begin contending is their infield, specifically their corners. The young pitching is looking to be coming along and rumors are Ted Lilly would happily come to Baltimore according to Gammons. That would solidify the SP with Guthrie, Lilly, Matusz, Arrieta, and Bergesen with Britton on his way and they could take a flyer on a guy like Webb as well. The top priority should be finding a way to pry Furcal from LA and their divorce woes, Andy loves Cubs and Aramis Ramirez would be an upgrade at 3B. Konerko would be fantastic at 1B but Buck has a soft spot for Victor Martinez and either would be beneficial. Keep Scott, he has shown an improved approach and would thrive in a power lineup…

    2B Roberts
    SS Furcal
    RF Markakis
    1B Konerko/Martinez
    DH Scott
    3B Ramirez
    CA Wieters
    CF Jones
    LF Pie

    That is a playoff caliber lineup even in the AL Beast.

    The Orioles are cutting 20 mil from their 60 some mil payroll this season and have had as high as 100 mil as recent as 2007 so the payroll has lots of room for growth. Money is not an issue for this franchise. They should easily have 40-50 mil to sign new players for 2011. They also have a brand new BEAUTIFUL spring training complex and a proven MLB manager with a team on the rise.

    Thoughts?

    • 89Orioles 5 years ago

      i like furcal but he is so injury prone. if youre gonna take the risk, i wish that reyes would become available from the mets

      • cbm5042 5 years ago

        Totally agree if Reyes becomes available he is a better option but I’m not
        sure the Mets part with him

    • Furcal is a HUUUUUUGE risk. The Orioles better have a backup plan if they wish to pursue Furcal. I like the idea of signing Martinez, but I’d prefer a power guy there like Pena or Konerko. Martinez would be a nice consolation prize if they don’t get Pena, Dunn, or Konerko.

      Ramirez… yeah, I’d rather bring back Wigginton for a year and let him play there. The Orioles shouldn’t look for anything long term yet because I think if the Orioles can just shorten Bell’s swing, that would help out his hitting so much. I’m not ready to give up on Bell yet. Bell wasn’t ready to come up to the majors this year.

      And Adam Jones batting eighth? Horse dung. Middle of the order should be: 1B (whoever that may be), Jones, Scott or 1B, Scott, Jones depending on who the first baseman is.

      • cbm5042 5 years ago

        Jones hasn’t shown me enough to be a middle of the order guy. He needs one
        more season to prove his plate discipline issues are behind him. Besides, if
        you sign two big power bats and have Scott, where else could Jonesy go? He
        COULD go ahead of Wieters but that still puts him at 7…

        2B Roberts, SS Table Setter, RF Markakis, 1B Power Bat, DH Scott, 3B Power
        Bat, 7,8,9…

        I mean where does he fit who are you bumping down? Remember, I think they
        sign a big bat at 1B and 3B…

        • If we could get a shortstop who could bat second for just Pie and Tillman, I’d do that trade in a heartbeat assuming we find a replacement for Pie not named Corey Patterson. Maybe sign Alex Gonzalez? Even at his worst, he’s still a huge upgrade offensively over Izturis and he’s still a pretty good fielder. Off the top of my head, I’m sure the Mets would at least entertain offers for Reyes.

          Big bat at first, I see it being either Dunn or Konerko, possibly Pena. I think that if we sold the Orioles to Dunn in the right way, he’d be more than happy to come here. Question is his defense. Konerko could be had for probably cheaper and he’s a terrific club house guy. After the Garrett Atkins failure, I don’t think we will gamble on someone regressing like Pena. Hopefully the Atkins experience also means that the Orioles won’t take a chance on Derrick Lee.

          Big bat at third… I don’t see us signing Beltre. He’s simply not worth overpaying for. Ask the Mariners how signing Beltre after a huge contract year worked out for them. There is, however, Juan Uribe. Ty Wigginton is another option, especially since he is emerged as a veteran leader on this year’s team with his blue-collar attitude. I would not mind seeing Wiggy at third at all. Uribe might come a tad bit cheaper though. We’ll have to see.

          And I see Jones as a #3 or #6 hitter for us next year. Call me crazy, but I hate having a #3 hitter who’s hitting around .250 (Wigginton). Also, who else could do it other than Nick? And then who would hit second? Don’t say Carl Crawford because realistically he is not coming to Baltimore. I’ve accepted this as fact.

      • cbm5042 5 years ago

        Ideally I would like to get a big bat in LF, trade Pie and Tillman for a SS,
        get a big bat like Konerko or Dunn at 1B, DH Scott, and resign Wiggy to play
        3B all season…

    • All I’ve been hearing is that Lilly wants to go back to the Cubs. If the Orioles could pry him away though, that would be a huge help. Plenty of good veteran starters out there this year. I like Jake Westbrook and Lilly. Orioles won’t sign both, but I’m fairly certain they’ll sign one of those two guys.

  19. cbm5042 5 years ago

    Trade for Furcal and pry from LA and their divorce woes.

    Sign Konerko for 1B (Martinez seems to be Buck’s favorite)

    Sign Aramis Ramirez from Cubs (Andy loves Cubs and he would upgrade 3B)

    Furcal, Konerko, and Ramirez would totally transform that infield. The lineup would be play off worthy.

    The starting pitching, while young, is looking very impressive as the year progresses and a pitcher like Ted Lilly is rumored to be an easy “get” for the Os if they pay the money, according to Gammons.

    The Os have about 20 mil coming off the books on a 60 mil payroll and have had as high as a 100 mil payroll as recently as 2007. So the Os easily have 40-50 mil to spend on upgrades and signings for 2011.

    Finally, they have a brand new BEAUTIFUL spring training complex ready for 2011 and a respected and exciting MLB manager with a team on the rise.

  20. stovin 5 years ago

    How about Konerko at 1B. For SS we try and get Alex Gonzalez. 3B we pick up Ramirez. And instead of Lilly we go after Kuroda.

    • I’d LOVE Konerko. One of my favorite players, great guy great hitter. Gonzalez has “Adrian Beltre contract year” written all over him, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him at SS in 2011. If he wants anything over $6 million a year, we should just resign Izturis. I’d rather see us pick up Cantu or resign Wigginton than go after Ramirez, especially after the Garrett Atkins experience. I wouldn’t mind Kuroda, but I’d rather see the Orioles get Ted Lilly or Jake Westbrook.

  21. cbm5042 5 years ago

    Why Kuroda over Lilly? Lilly is a veteran lefty with good K numbers and low walk rate. He would fit in perfectly as a #2 behind Guthrie.

  22. 89Orioles 5 years ago

    heres is my radical plan…sign crawford AND werth, trade markakis and a pitcher to the padres for adrian gonzales….then 2 mid level prospects for zambrano from the cubs. gives us our ace. ten maybe pick up lilly from the dodgers.
    1-crawford lf
    2-roberts 2b
    3-werth rf
    4-gonzales 1b
    5-jones cf
    6-scott/pie dh
    7-weiters c
    8-bell/wigginston 3b
    9-istursis/other ss

    pitching
    1-zambrano
    2-guthrie
    3-matusz
    4-lilly
    5-arrieta/bergeson

    • If the Padres would take that trade, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Markakis and Tillman for Gonzalez sounds good to me. I’d make sure that we could actually sign him to an extension before pulling the trigger on the deal. No way are we getting Crawford. Yankees and Sox will be all over him. I wouldn’t sign him if he wants more than $15 million a year. One of those two teams will give him a ridiculous deal and they will regret it. I could definitely see us getting Werth though. And NO CARLOS ZAMBRANO. Dear God no. If we could somehow get the Cubs to eat that contract and give up no relevant prospects, I’d be willing to take a shot on him, but that’s not happening. Plus, mark my words, either Matusz or Arrieta will be an ace by the end of next year. Which one? I don’t know. Matusz has much better control, but Arrieta’s got the far nastier stuff.

      And I’d still let Roberts bat leadoff. The guy is the sparkplug to our offense. Plus Crawford is too much of a free swinger to be a leadoff hitter. I’d love him at #2 or #3 though. Switch Roberts and Crawford and Jones and Werth and that’s a playoff caliber lineup.

  23. 89Orioles 5 years ago

    as good as guthrie can be, the orioles need a true ace on top the rotation. showwalters style can help Zambrano continue his late season sucess. the lack of drama i think would return him to what he is capable of, even in the al east

    • No drama? This is the AL East. If AJ Burnett can’t handle it, I don’t think that the only man in baseball more unpredictable and unstable than him could either. Now with that said, I think that Buck could have a positive influence on him, but I do not want that contract. No way.

    • Oh yeah, and by the end of 2011, we will have an ace. It’ll be either Matusz or Arrieta. My money’s on Matusz, but if Arrieta’s control keeps on improving like it has been, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arrieta winds up being better than Matusz.

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