Orioles Notes: Scott, MacPhail, Guerrero

The Orioles avoided arbitration with Luke Scott today, but here's a few more tidbits from Charm City…

  • Scott's contract includes a standard awards package that could put another $350K into his pocket according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.
  • President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail talked to a group of Baltimore School of Law students today, and The Baltimore Suns' Keith Van Valkenburg has the goods. MacPhail acknowledged that the team will not "be buying No. 1 pitchers" because they're expensive and fragile by the time they hit free agency. "It's just a bad place for us to spend our money."
  • MacPhail said the team intends to stay the course and build from within, especially on the mound. "Given the economics of it, it's the only approach. It's not just the right approach, it's the only approach. We have to stick with it."
  • The franchise is not able to sustain a $140MM payroll, and MacPhail doesn't foresee a salary cap anytime soon. "If you want a cap, OK, but in my opinion that means you're going to have no baseball for at least a year. Let's not fool ourselves into thinking the players will cave."
  • ESPN.com's Keith Law tells Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com that he doesn't like what the Orioles have done this offseason. Vladimir Guerrero is, in Law's estimation, "in the toaster" even if he's not yet toast. Blocking Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie with Guerrero doesn't make sense to Law.


Leave a Reply

82 Comments on "Orioles Notes: Scott, MacPhail, Guerrero"


andrewrickli
4 years 5 months ago

Hmm. He won’t buy an ace? We might need to one day to contend if Matusz, or Arrieta don’t step up

basemonkey
4 years 5 months ago

Think about how MLB service time works.

I think what MacPhail is referring to is the fact that, due to the way MLB service time and arbitration years work out, by the time players reach free agency, they are going to be about around 28-30 years old. In spite of that being the prime years for most players, with pitchers, there is a high chance that you really only get a couple years of peak performance, and then a tail off because of health. For pitchers, at, say, age 28, if they are a top tier arm they will probably command several years into their decline years at a very high premium rate.

One good recent example of that might be the Johan Santana deal for the Mets, which on balance, is pretty typical free agent timeline for a top tier pitcher. All of this said, you might get lucky and sign a special durable starting pitcher, but it’s a high stakes gamble.

Ibleedblackandorange
4 years 5 months ago

Anyone in on trading for Liriano? Maybe put a package together….some combo of Pie or Reimlod and Tillman and maybe a mid-round pick? I think that would be a nice package for a number 1 or 2 ……

Ibleedblackandorange
4 years 5 months ago

How about a package for Liriano? Some combo of Reimold or Pie and Tillman and maybe a mid-round pick for him…..That would be a nice way to round out our rotation…..

Thoughts?

JOldewurtel
4 years 5 months ago

you can’t trade picks… and the Twins are loaded in the OF so they would have no need for Reimold or Pie…

Ibleedblackandorange
4 years 5 months ago

I was making an assumption that people would know I meant trade the player from a mid round pick. We may not everything they need, but they could turn around and make a package trade as well…..liriano is something worth looking into

basemonkey
4 years 5 months ago

Mid round picks don’t mean the same thing it might as in other sports that have some kind of way of establishing consensus because there is a amateur league, like, say, college basketball or football. With baseball, the fact that you can sign college guys and high school guys who face widely changing inconsistent competition, changes it quite a bit (not to even mention the international kids).

Ibleedblackandorange
4 years 5 months ago

There are no guarantees no matter what the sport. Some first round picks in other sports have been busts just the same, no matter what the criteria is. I’m looking for a unique way to get liriano. Offer draftees, pie, reimold, tillman, arrieta…..I wanna win NOW! I’m tired of losing.

basemonkey
4 years 5 months ago

I understand that you’re saying there are no gaurantees. That has nothing to do with my point.

I am just saying that, in baseball, the consensus of the value of a given draft pick varies more wildly than in other sports. So the way we might value one of our, say, 3rd round picks might have been valued as a 8th round pick by another club. So it’s not going to be as tempting as it might be, as, say offering a mid round pick.

In football or basketball, most teams’ draft day boards lineup more or less the same. How else can we explain in baseball how top flight 1st round picks who were projected as lottery picks drop all the time? In football and basketball, you don’t have a top 5 pick drop 10 slots. If it varies that much with the elite draftees, it varies even moreso with middle and late round picks.

And our, say, early round 2005 pick like Reimold is not quite the same as, say, the Dodgers 2005 later round pick of Josh Bell (4th Round), or the Yankees 8th round pick in 2005, and 2nd place runner up ROY Austin Jackson. That kind of variance in the middle rounds is not a garuantee or no-gaurantee thing. It’s the norm.

andrewrickli
4 years 5 months ago

Amen. Maybe add bullpen help. Liriano would be a nice addition to the Oioles

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

ugh. just ugh

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

I’m totally with Law here. I’m sure the O’s will win more games in 2011, but they aren’t any closer to the playoffs

4 years 5 months ago

This was my main point, which was sort of subverted by the quoting in the article. Thanks.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

is this actually keith? cool.

Hi keith

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Just curious if that’s really you … Where do you get that Reynolds is old, just not a good player, or a butcher defensively?

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

well he’s not young, he’s offensively inconsistent, and has a -5.9 UZR/150 at 3B.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

You’re right, he’s 27. I’d say he’s in his prime, which isn’t old IMO.

Eh, maybe. However, his down years are still a significant improvement over last year, anything Josh Bell would do this year, and better than any other 3B Baltimore had a shot of landing.

-5.9? Yeah, but a +2.5 last year and improving over the last three years.

If you want knock Vlad, go for it. But they gave up a middle reliever, with back potential, for a pretty solid 3rd basemen for the next couple seasons.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

i do agree that he is in his prime, but i don’t think that helps the O’s as i still see them as the fourth or fifth team in the division.

yes he is an improvement over bell, but he’s moving from NL West to AL East. I dont see much of a bounceback season from him, though camden is a hitters park.

he’s had a -3.9, -11.0, and a -11.4 UZR between 2007-2009. He might have improved in 2010, or it could be an outlier

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

and i do agree that the deal was a steal, but its a move that a team closer to contention would make, not a rebuilding team

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

He’s in his prime, Law said he was old in his article. I see a big difference, that’s all.

You’re right. The NL West is full of solid pitching and big ball parks. The pitching talent in the AL is there, but he’s now going to be playing around 110 of his games in Tampa, Toronto, NY, Boston and Baltimore.

I’m not sure where you’re getting your fielding numbers. On Fangraphs, I see a UZR/150 of -11.3, -7.4 and +2.5 the last three years. I see an upward trend, you see an outlier in 2010. I’ve seen comments by scouts saying he’s improving, and the numbers seem to indicate that.

Anytime you can get a steal on a trade, I think you make it, contending or not. That said, he’s signed through 2013, and if the Orioles CAN’T contend by then, well, keep me away from bridges.

Rabbitov
4 years 5 months ago

How is 27 not young? Sure he’s not a prospect. But most prospects haven’t hit 40+ HRs in the major leagues

Omazing
4 years 5 months ago

Mr Law,
Texas drew less fans than Baltimore back in 2008:
24,320 per game (1,945,677, 25th overall in MLB).

In 2010 Texas attracted: 30,928 per game (2,505,171 overall, 14th in MLB).

Differential of 560,000 people. Still not making sense?

Don’t burn your hand taking the toast out of the toaster!

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

O’s aren’t nearly as good as the 2010 rangers

Omazing
4 years 5 months ago

Possibly not, at least the 2009 O’s weren’t but the idea of bringing in superstars to attract a fan base (just like the Rangers did) & lead a team full of youth (just like the Rangers) makes sense in my mind but not Keith’s. I say it’s a great blueprint to follow especially when the O’s haven’t spent a dime the past 10 years. Where does that money go?

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

That’s why most Baltimore fans will disagree with Law. It isn’t as simple as playoffs or bust.

This is a franchise that hasn’t seen respectability in over a decade and you’re talking about playoffs?! Playoffs?! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

I think most fans would be thrilled with a .500 season.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

i would be too, if it meant +.500 in 2012. The O’s really aren’t setting themselves up for that though

Jerry Lehman
4 years 5 months ago

McPhail is extremely frustrating. How can he say that the O’s can’t sustain a 140 million dollar payroll? They are drawing 15,000 fans a game because they have sucked for so long. If they were competing for a playoff spot, they could draw 45,000 per game. Do the freakin’ math, McFail!

4 years 5 months ago

MacPhail is pretty much on the money. Do you know how many teams have a $140 million payroll?

Next year I’d put the over/under at 4, which I might take the under on (Yanks, Sox, Phillies)

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

How? Because drawing under 2 million fans a year doesn’t support a 140 million dollar payroll. Look at other teams with similar attendance and then compare payrolls.

Rabbitov
4 years 5 months ago

$140 million dollar payroll does NOT equal the playoffs. I’m not sure the exact dollar figures but look at what the Mets did the past few years, and the Tigers. Hell look at the Red Sox last year, injuries aside, if payroll was the only indicator of a record wouldn’t they have made the playoffs?

McPhail is frustrating for a lot of reasons (lack of international signings) but he is not frustrating for being smart with his money is the regular free agent market.

4 years 5 months ago

Normally I agree with Law but here I disagree. Let’s look at what the O’s have done:

Accardo – cheap, relatively reliable reliever. Gives them another veteran in a young bullpen.
Gregg – DURABILITY. He hasn’t been on the DL. ever.
Reynolds – trading from an area of surplus (the bullpen) for a power hitting 3B. Power is something this lineup seriously lacked.
Lee – finally gives the team a half-decent 1B. Glove and bat wise.
Vlad – steady, strong hitter. I personally see them trading Pie or Reimold anyway. Besides, nothing from Reimold’s 2010 suggests he’s worth keeping unblocked.

Overall I think they’ve done a good job. Let’s not forget that part of this is keeping the faith with the young players so they don’t want to leave when they hit free agency. I think the moves were well done.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

like: accardo, reynold, lee
dislike: gregg, vlad

Rabbitov
4 years 5 months ago

Not sure how you can forget to include JJ Hardy (Jeff and Frank). Also I like the David Riske signing better than Accardo.

Its amazing how many people don’t like the Vlad signing. A hitter like him may never come around again, and if you’ve seen him play consistently its no surprise at all he’s stayed successful up until now. I don’t care if his knees are balky, and his back is sore, as long as he can see and his shoulders and arms work he is going to mash.

bant87
4 years 5 months ago

i honestly think what alot of people are forgettin is this is the last year of MacPhails contract and i think just cause of that he is tryin to go all in not for playoffs but to get butts in the seats so he has a better chance to renew his contract

bant87
4 years 5 months ago

i honestly think what most people are forgettin is that this is the last year on MacPhails contract and he is going all in, not to make the playoffs but have a respectable season and put butts in the seats so he will have a better chance at renewin his contract

bant87
4 years 5 months ago

i honestly think that alot of people are forgettin that this is the final year of MacPhails contract i think that has alot to do with the moves he is makin. He’s not really going all in for playoffs but he is going all in for a respectable season and gettin butts in the seats tryin to help his chanes for gettin renewed but this is also Angelos’ team so who knows.

bant87
4 years 5 months ago

sorry about the triple post just signed up and had trouble didnt think it sent

Fruitbowl
4 years 5 months ago

Who needs to buy an ace when you draft as well as the Os do? Just look at that awesome first rounder from 2009. Couple more of those and the Os will have one of the most feared competitive eating rotations in all of baseball.

4 years 5 months ago

See Matusz, Brian. Wieters, Matthew. Arrietta, Jacob. Etc.

Hobgood may not have been a great pick yet, but he’s still incredibly young and has time to figure it out. He’s 19 (or 20). Jeeze.

slider32
4 years 5 months ago

The O’s pitching problems have been two fold, their older pitchers haven’t pitched like #1 and #2s, and their younger pitchers haven’t pitched like Price, Lester, Buchholz, and others. It’s time for the young arms to show something.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Just curious, how many teams have bought an “ace” and how many of those teams still wish they had their receipt?

4 years 5 months ago

Yankees – CC – no
Yankees – AJ – God yes
Mets – Johan – probably (for the cost)
Red Sox – Lackey – too early to tell
Phillies – Lee – I’m gonna say no, unless he begins to decline rapidly after the first year or two.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Zito.

Give CC more time. I still have hope his body will age pretty fast at 300+ lbs.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

teh Mets

Rabbitov
4 years 5 months ago

Joke Fail! Starring Fruitbowl.

Seriously dude this is one of the most unfunny and misinformed posts I have ever read. You probably should just go back to watching South Park.

moltsy
4 years 5 months ago

Most Oriole fans seem to be very excited for this season and it shouldn’t be hard to see why. I just don’t understand how anyone could be negative about the offseason moves. Lee solidifies a position that was screaming for a true 1Bman. Hardy (who would still be the starting SS for the contending Twins if they hadn’t signed a foreign phenom), greatly improves the SS position offensively, and can hold his own defensively. Reynolds might hit 50 homeruns playing half his games in the sandbox at Camden…raw, YOUNG (not old) power hitter. I saw an article comparing his numbers to Mike Schmidt’s at the same point in their careers and they were quite similar!….the guy is 27!….wow, the early verdicts and judgements made by some is just amazing. Gregg will have his ups and downs sure, but he will ALWAYS be available (no DL)….his endurance is unquestioned, and having that bulldog mentality can only rub off in the pen. Also, Buck will keep him in line….when it’s time to hand over the ball, it’s time to hand over the ball. Vlad….poor Vlad….has the guy EVER hit below .300?….yea he dropped off in the second half last season, so let’s say he hits .280 with 22 HR’s and 85 RBI’s….I’ll still take it!…it’s a ONE-YEAR contract!!….how is he blocking anything from happening!…if Reimold tears it up in spring or AAA, Buck will find a way to get him in the lineup….don’t forget the inevitable injuries as well which create unforeseen roster space. Just having Vlad lurking in the on deck circle is a fear factor the Birds haven’t had for awhile and that goes a long way. Will Markakis break out this year with all of the added protection?….less spotlight and pressure on Wieters and Jones….how will they respond?….Lee played with a busted thumb the entire season last year, what will he do completely healthy?….’09 numbers?….they threw $8MM at Vlad, what message does that send to future free agents?…..the positives are everywhere – outstanding job Andy Macphail.

Fruitbowl
4 years 5 months ago

Nice wall.

Leonard Washington
4 years 5 months ago

Vlad is not toast I think he has a few very solid DH years left in him if he can stay healthy. I like the Orioles moves this off season.

slider32
4 years 5 months ago

Law is way off on this one, he couldn’t think of anything to write about! Now that it’s Buck’s team the O’s are going to be competitive. They won’t be able to score 100 more runs than last year, but they will have a different mind set. The fans are excited about the team and will come out to support it, instead of filling the seats with Sox and Yanks fans. With Buck and the additions the team will have their eye on the prize which they haven’t had in Baltimore for a long time.

Sockmonkey23
4 years 5 months ago

I think Law is right in some ways. I read this offseason as throwing the towel in on Reimold and Bell. But there’s nobody to block at 1B or SS, so those moves seem fine.

They’re all-in on “changing the culture of losing” rather than testing the talent, and so we’ve shifted the model from the Rays to the Rangers. After the awful debacle of 2010, it’s not hard to see why.

basemonkey
4 years 5 months ago

Think about how MLB service time works.

I think what MacPhail is referring to is the fact that, due to the way MLB service time and arbitration years work out, by the time players reach free agency, they are going to be about around 28-30 years old. In spite of that being the prime years for most players, with pitchers, there is a high chance that you really only get a couple years of peak performance, and then a tail off because of health. For pitchers, at, say, age 28, if they are a top tier arm they will probably command several years into their decline years at a very high premium rate.

One good recent example of that might be the Johan Santana deal for the Mets, which on balance, is pretty typical free agent timeline for a top tier pitcher. All of this said, you might get lucky and sign a special durable starting pitcher, but it’s a high stakes gamble.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

The young arms under Buck Showalter:

Brian Matusz: 7-1, 2.11 ERA in his last 11 starts.
Brad Bergesen: 5-3, 2.88 ERA in his last 11 starts.
Jake Arrieta: 3-3, 3.78 ERA in his last eight starts.
Chris Tillman: 1-1, 4.08 ERA in his last five starts.

link to masnsports.com

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

The young arms under Buck Showalter:

Brian Matusz: 7-1, 2.11 ERA in his last 11 starts.
Brad Bergesen: 5-3, 2.88 ERA in his last 11 starts.
Jake Arrieta: 3-3, 3.78 ERA in his last eight starts.
Chris Tillman: 1-1, 4.08 ERA in his last five starts.

(Yes, this is from Roch Kubatko of MASN)

switchhitingjesus
4 years 5 months ago

you watch baseball right. would you rather have the yankees starting 5 or the orioles.

basemonkey
4 years 5 months ago

Potential-wise, Matusz, Tillman, and Arrieta all project to be top of the rotation types. Britton too.

phoenix2042
4 years 5 months ago

he was 4-0 with a low 2 ERA in his first 4 starts. and just when you thought he was going to have a good year… tragedy struck in the form of realizing he sucks!

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Last year? Without checking, I highly doubt Burnett had an ERA of 2.11 for a little more than a third of a season.

And I think any Yankee fan would trade Burnett for Matusz in a second. So yeah, bad example.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

i’d still take the Yanks. better 1-3

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

I think any baseball fan would take CC over Matusz in a nanosecond.

switchhitingjesus
4 years 5 months ago

as of right now I would take CC, but you can’t argue the fact that Matusz could be one of best young starters going into the future.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Eh, I think considering their salaries, a number of small market teams would take Matusz. Not every team can afford 20+ million on a single player.

4 years 5 months ago

Good lord you have no clue.

Hardy – all-star not too long ago. the talent is there.
Vlad – .300/.345/.496 in 2010. nothing left, totally.
Lee – .306/.393/.579 in 2009. half decent, totally.
Gregg – 3.51 ERA in the AL East last year.
Reynolds – yes. he will k a lot. He will not hit .212 again or w/e it was last year.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

For the next 3 years i’d take CC. after that, its a coin toss

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Not trying to knock you, but you’re a Yanks fan, right?

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

5 spots to a rotation, yes? It’s important.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

no im a jays fan

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

well considering salaries i suppose. My point was that if you had to pick the better player most would pick sabathia

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

hardy – 2008 is the only offensively above average year
vlad – his post-allstar numbers were very weak
lee – this is true, lee was a very nice pick-up
gregg – he’s still in the AL East, so i don’t get this point
reynold – he just might K 300 times. he just might

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

yes. The yanks 1-3 is that much better.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

correct

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Well this isn’t fantasy baseball, so we can’t pretend their salaries don’t matter.

Rabbitov
4 years 5 months ago

There are variables involved, but I think it is incredibly possible with the Os young pitching that their rotation is not only better, but much better than the Yankees rotation this year. Sabathia is the only pitcher we can’t compete with.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Outside of NY, salaries matter.

And considering the conversation was about the rotation as a whole going forward, it certainly matters next year.

I’m not sure why CC v Matusz, contracts ignored, is much of a conversation.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 5 months ago

even considering salaries that’s the order i’d put it in

4 years 5 months ago

You’re literally just making statements with no statistical backing. Support your arguments with data or stop talking.

The D-backs “gave up” on Reynolds because they struck out more than any other team last year. The trade-off of k’s for power works for the O’s, not them.

Gregg pitched to a 3.5 ERA in a high-leverage position in the hardest division in baseball. This proves his credentials, it doesn’t undermine them.

Please make a coherent argument, because everything you’ve said thus far is negative opinion after negative opinion based on nothing.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

I don’t think Gregg will be asked to close on a regular basis. They’ve still got Koji and Gonzalez on the roster.

4 years 5 months ago

accardo is AAA cannon fodder. he was good when he threw in the mid-high nineties and could throw strikes. he can do neither now. he hits 91-92mph and throws all over the map.

4 years 5 months ago

Hardy > Izturis. Simple as that.
Vlad – Straight gamble. He hits well, it’s a good deal. If not, then yeah, it sucked.
Gregg – AL East was mentioned to say that he didn’t pitch against scrubs last year.
Reynolds – won’t K 300 times. If you have any argument as to why he would, please enlighten me.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

CC, sure.

AJ Burnett had an ERA just under 6.00 in the second half last year.

Phil Hughes had a solid first half, but posted nearly a 5.00 ERA post all star break.

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

Yeah, I shouldn’t have wasted my time either. :-/

Ibleedblackandorange
4 years 5 months ago

If they are in complete now mode, why would they consider moving liriano? They would need to keep him to make a postseason run. If he walks at free agency, he walks. But if a team is in now mode, they wouldn’t get rid of one of the better lefties in the game!

OrangeCards
4 years 5 months ago

6 games is not 11 games.