Orioles Notes: Blair, Starters, Tanaka, Wright

Paul Blair, one of baseball's all-time greatest defensive players, passed away today at age 69.  Blair spent 13 of his 17 Major League seasons with the Orioles, with his superb center field defense playing a key role in Baltimore's success in the late 60's and early 70's.  Blair won eight Gold Gloves over his career and accumulated 18.6 defensive WAR over his career (according to Baseball Reference), tied for 58th-best all-time.  While he was best known for his glove, Blair also enjoyed a few impressive years at the plate, including hitting .285/.327/.477 with 26 homers for the O's in 1969.  Blair won four World Series rings in his career — with the Orioles in 1966 and 1970, and with the Yankees in 1977-78.  We at MLBTR express our condolences to Blair's family and loved ones.

Here's the latest from Camden Yards…

  • The Orioles will focus on free agent starters like A.J. Burnett or Bronson Arroyo rather than Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun.  Pitchers like Burnett or Arroyo have "a track record of stability [and] can be signed to shorter-term deals" than Jimenez, Santana and Garza, Encina writes.  The Orioles "aren't high" on Garza in general.
  • Also from Encina, the O's may put their closer search on hold for now and focus on other needs.  For the time being, Tommy Hunter projects as Baltimore's closer.
  • Minor league right-hander Mike Wright drew attention at the July deadline and MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko notes that the O's aren't keen to trade Wright.  A rival scout isn't high on Wright's potential, telling Kubatko that Wright is "a back-of-the-rotation starter in the majors, at best."  Wright, who turns 24 in January, was taken in the third round of the 2011 draft and he posted a 3.26 ERA, 3.54 K/BB rate and 8.3 K/9 in 150 1/3 IP for Double-A Bowie in 2013.
  • The Orioles are hesitant to trade young starters like Wright or Eduardo Rodriguez, but Kubatko notes that they might have to make such a move to acquire a rotation upgrade if they won't pursue Tanaka and have doubts about the free agent market.  Kubatko says that Jeff Samardzija is still "a potential trade target" for Baltimore, though the Cubs would surely ask for young pitching in return.
  • Kubatko and Encina both reiterate Dan Duquette's claim that the Orioles won't be part of the market for Masahiro Tanaka, since Tanaka will be out of the team's price range.


19 Responses to Orioles Notes: Blair, Starters, Tanaka, Wright Leave a Reply

  1. guest_54 2 years ago

    Last bullet point seems to need fixing: Rubatko and Encina

  2. Tigers72 2 years ago

    I wonder if Wright, rodreigez, and one more solid prospect like Schoop for Shark and Nate Scherholts. Nate can help left field with that other young player they just got.

    • BaMafromLa 2 years ago

      I’m no Baltimore fan, but I wouldn’t do that trade. That seems like way too much to give up for Samardzija (Even with Schierholtz in the deal).

      • Tigers72 2 years ago

        Ya I’m not a fan of either team just throwing out a idea I made in like 2 seconds. Maybe take out Schoop and replace him with some other position prospect like Urrita. Maybe they throw in a pitching prospect in low or high A who is high risk high reward type of guy and no position prospect.

        • basemonkey 2 years ago

          The guys you’re throwing in are MLB-ready guys who the Os feel will be MLB regulars. Schoop may be nearly as good as Machado at 2B. Urrutia is a Cuban player who was an All-Star there, and is a real x-factor who’s getting adjusted to MLB.

          The two pitching prospects you’re proposing are solid prospects with about a #2-3 ceiling for Rodriguez. #3-5 for Wright. That’s not nothing. It’s a top heavy system that drops off a lot after Wright.

      • Rabbitov 2 years ago

        If you look deep down into your heart you will see that there’s an Os fan in each and every one of us.

        • snowbladerp14 2 years ago

          as an Os fan you have to look pretty deep these days

    • basemonkey 2 years ago

      Waaay too much. The Os have balked on trading either Schoop or Rodriguez for MLB guys. You’re offering tweeners close to free agency.

  3. Tim 2 years ago

    SPEND SOME MONEY!!! I’m so tired of hearing about people being “out of price range”. Their price range has nothing to do with black and red finances, and everything to do with personal wealth and prearranged profit margins.

    Baltimore will never be the NYY or LAD, but they are NOT the Tampa Bay Rays.

    The Nationals give all of their TV money to Baltimore… and then Baltimore pockets the money and watches the Nationals spend. What is wrong with this picture?

  4. Richard Mccockface 2 years ago

    I think a bag of balls are out of peter Angelos price range

    • Jack Ball 2 years ago

      A bag of popcorn is out of Angelos’ price range.

  5. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    Ultimately, when do the Orioles plan on doing something?
    Maybe Spring Training is the official start to the Oriole off-season?
    The O’s may put their closer search
    on hold for now… On hold? I don’t think it ever started and if it did
    Angelos and his known associates will conveniently will move the goal posts and therefore will make it impossible to sign
    anyone. Angelos just simply does not care, he just sits back and
    collects from all the profit sharing and TV Revenue deals! Selig and and anyone else who is charge of the MLB can’t make him do a blessed thing.

  6. Badmamajama11 2 years ago

    I guess as an O’s fan I could sit here and easily knock the off-season so far. I mean the whole Balfour thing was sloppy but despite all the rumors, no one has still jumped into sign him yet despite him being “healthy”. So maybe it was the right call not to. I’m not mad they traded Johnson and seeing what some teams have signed closers for this off-season, them giving JJ 10-11 million would have made little sense. The only player who I’m mad they missed out on so far is Mujica. No to E. Santana. He’s too inconsistent and cost a 1st rd. pick. Garza’s health is in question. Jimenez also cost a pick but if it were me, I’d consider it. Burnett would be my pick from the pitchers left (if he ever makes his mind up if he’s going to retire).

  7. Joe Orsatti 2 years ago

    I’m a Phillies fan, however all of this “out of range” stuff is frustrating. Baltimore has a great thing going for them in one of the richest divisions in the game. They are letting the window close without even giving effort. You have a young core, spend some money and prospects because your window is now.

  8. Benjamin Rush 2 years ago

    It’s always great to hear the daily dish on how the Orioles will not do anything necessary to win. Thanks Pete.

  9. radicalhenri 2 years ago

    aj burnett… has a track record… of stability?

    • Bonzi77 2 years ago

      He can reliably be counted on to not ask for a multi-year deal.

  10. thebigdog 2 years ago

    Paul Blair was outstanding… rest in peace.

  11. Chinmakes5 2 years ago

    The O’s have jettisoned 35 million dollars of payroll since the end of the season, They will get an additional 28 million for the new TV/internet deal. That is a 60 million dollar swing, and they have signed 1 major league free agent for 2.5 million. Forbes reported in 2012 the O’s were the second most profitable team in baseball making 30 million. The Yankees made 1.4. Looks like they will make a lot more this season. Get upset people. I won’t go to Camden Yards this year, I can’t give my money to Peter Angelos. He deserves to make a profit not a windfall.

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