What adding Ervin Santana could mean for the Orioles

With a flurry of moves the past two weeks, Dan Duquette has set the Orioles up to be a contending team in the AL East, but they might not be done according to Ken Rosenthal:

It seems unlikely for the Orioles to be able to sign Santana after adding Yoon, Jimenez and Cruz, or does it?

I’ve already described what the Orioles would get with Santana, but now with Jimenez in the fold, the Orioles would have the potential of having four starters that are capable of pitching 200 innings – Jimenez, Tillman, Chen and then Santana.

No team in MLB had that happen for them last season with the closest being the Tigers and Reds having three pitchers each having 200 IP or more, and they both made the playoffs.

Also with a Santana signing, the Orioles suddenly have some pitching depth, and there’s a certain player that they’ve scouted and have inquired about before and if they could get him it would be franchise altering. That player is none other than Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins.

With the Orioles having four starting pitchers in the minors that any organization would love to have, the Orioles are dealing from a position of strength and could easily include two of their top arms in a deal for Stanton along with two other pieces were the Marlins to make him available this July.

Stanton would have a Manny Ramirez-like impact for the Orioles. He’s still young at 24 and he’s got plenty of ceiling left and the Orioles will likely have a vacancy in RF after the season as Nick Markakis will likely be bought out as the Orioles won’t pick up his $17.5 million option.

If you were to acquire him, he would also likely be a lot less expensive to sign to an extension than Chris Davis and you could build around a Machado-Jones-Stanton core.

Trading Davis also could easily restock the minors and provide some young ML talent as well to surround those three players – say a trade to Houston and grabbing some of their prospects for instance.

If not Stanton, there will be other names at the deadline to acquire that the Orioles could move Eduardo Rodriguez and/or Mike Wright for.

The key first is signing Santana however, and after a long and brutal offseason, the door of possibilities could suddenly be swung wide open for the Orioles to finally have that franchise altering step that the Red Sox did in Duquette’s tenure.  At  the very least they’d be able to make a real run in 2014 to try to bring a World Series title back to Baltimore for the first time in 31 years.

Any way you look at it, it’s an exciting time to be an Orioles fan again, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

What do you think?  Leave a comment or discuss in the forums here.

Why are the Orioles abandoning efforts to improve team OBP?

If you look at the MLB statistical rankings of the Orioles’ offense in 2013 there’s one outlier – see if you can spot it:

Runs – 5th

Hits – 8th

HR – 1st

RBI – 5th

AVG – 10th

OBP – 19th

SLG – 3rd

OPS – 4th

So which one of those stats stands out?  Yes, it’s OBP (on-base percentage).  So why then have the Orioles made little to no effort to improve team OBP this offseason, and have likely made it worse?

I’m searching for answers because judging by those stats, if the Orioles could fix team OBP, they’d likely have an offense ranked in the top three of MLB.

Instead the Orioles have brought in David Lough (career .308 OBP), Francisco Peguero (career .217 OBP) and Delmon Young (career .316 OBP) while jettisoning Danny Valencia (career .367 OBP  vs. LHP) and Nate McLouth (career .345 OBP vs. RHP).

Signing Jack Cust, who has been out of baseball for 2 years, and his career .374 OBP to a minor league deal is the only significant move the Orioles have made all offseason to improve team OBP.

And now the bats that they are pursuing in Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales, both had average to below average OBP in 2013, which certainly won’t  compensate for the lack of OBP on the club already.

Hitting coach Jim Presley as I mentioned earlier has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t think OBP is all that important and I’m not really sure where Buck stands on the issue, but considering how old school he is, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back his hitting coach.  Presley shouldn’t have been brought back in the first place  in my opinion, because of his disdain for OBP.

But Dan Duquette?   This is a guy that built his teams around OBP which was referenced in an article by the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly in April 2013:

Much has been made about Beane’s infatuation with on-base percentage — that was a major focus of the book and movie — and Duquette is also a big fan of seeking out hitters with high OBPs. But this current Orioles club isn’t exactly an on-base machine — with a .324 mark heading into the road trip.

“We are still working on that,” he said with a laugh.

Duquette points out that OBP was something he focused on when he was building those Montreal clubs, but the concept pre-dates his tenure and Moneyball’s rise.

“These things are getting a lot of publicity. But [Orioles Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver] recognized the value of on-base percentage. You have to have guys on base before you score runs,” Duquette said.

So why then are the Orioles suddenly doing a 180 and instead going after guys that just try to hit the ball out of the ballpark?  Wasn’t Earl Weaver right?

The Red Sox and Cardinals sure thought so and we’ve seen how well they’ve done as both had top three offenses last seasons and met in the World Series while the Orioles missed the playoffs.

Now granted pitching is a big part of why the Orioles didn’t get to the playoffs, but having a top three offense would sure have helped their chances to get a Wild Card berth at the very least, and it would certainly help their chances this year, especially with the potential upgrade of Ubaldo Jimenez to the rotation.

So why aren’t they pursuing it?  They had a chance to get Norichika Aoki who has a career .350+ OBP  from the Brewers but didn’t pursue it.  Shin Soo-Choo was expensive, but the Orioles can apparently  afford Jimenez, Yoon and Cruz or Morales, so why couldn’t they have tried for Choo?  And they didn’t seem to be able to get the money to work out for Andre Ethier in a Jim Johnson swap despite his career .388 OBP vs. RHP.

If the Orioles were truly serious about improving OBP you would think their choices would have been a lot different this offseason.

They’ve still got a chance to make some trades to improve OBP before the season starts, but they need to pursue those avenues and not players that won’t make the necessary impact.  Otherwise, they are doing the opposite of what has made Duquette’s teams successful in the past and what the previous World Series championship teams like the 2013 Red Sox have built their team around.

After all, isn’t a championship the goal, or is it to hit the ball out of the ballpark as many times as possible?

Judging from the Orioles’ offseason thus far, I’d say it’s the latter and that just doesn’t make sense.

What do you think?  Leave a comment or discuss in the forums here.

Did the Orioles fill their SP needs with Ubaldo Jimenez?

Originally published at Eutaw Street Report here.

So according to multiple media reports, the Orioles are close to an agreement or have an agreement (depending on who you believe) with free agent RHP Ubaldo Jimenez:

What are the Orioles getting with Jimenez exactly?

Well first the positives:

Jimenez has pitched 180-200+ innings 5 out of the past 6 seasons making 30 starts in each of those 6 seasons.  He’s got a career GB/FB ratio of 1.43 and a 47.6% GB rate so that will be very useful in Oriole Park at Camden Yards as well as the launching pads of Rogers Centre and Yankee Stadium.

Since 2008 he’s only had one season below 3.0 fWAR, and had a 3.2 fWAR season last year, which would have led the Orioles ahead of Chris Tillman at 2.0 fWAR

Now the negatives:

He may have pitched all those innings and made those starts but the two stats he hasn’t fared so well with lately have been quality starts (QS) and IP/start.  Here’s what they look like over the past five seasons:

2009: 33 GS, 24 QS, 6.61 IP/start

2010: 33 GS, 25 QS, 6.70 IP/start

2011: 32 GS, 16 QS, 5.88 IP/start

2012: 31 GS, 13 QS, 5.68 IP/start

2013: 32 GS, 16 QS, 5.69 IP/start

So notice the starts he made were pretty consistent, however how deep he went into games wasn’t and in spite of his “rebound” year last season, his QS and IP/start still aren’t at his 2009-2010 levels, which is where the Orioles need them to rebound.

In comparison, the Orioles could have had Jason Vargas for the same deal he got with the Royals and Vargas has averaged 18 QS and 6.38 IP/start the past three seasons.  Miguel Gonzalez also had 19 QS and 5.72 IP/start last year and Jimenez isn’t an improvement over that even at 2013 levels.

Also Jimenez has a very high BB rate, with it at 3.9 BB/9 last season which is part of the reason he doesn’t last as long in games.  Even during his best years with the Rockies he was at 3.5-3.7, so walks are just part of his game.

So what do the Orioles have with their reported 4 year $48 million investment?

They’ve got a player that is going to be highly entertaining, but will need to harness his control a bit better so he can last longer in games like he did in 2009 and 2010.  Otherwise their investment is going to seem too costly to justify the fewer QS and IP/start that they could have had with a cheaper option.

The Orioles needed to get another starting pitcher to pitch 180-200 IP in 2014, and I think they did just that.  The question is did they get a pitcher that will give them the much needed 20 QS +/- to help out the bullpen?  For that answer, we’ll have to just wait and see…

A quick Burnett update and thoughts on Yoon

So Ken Rosenthal had this tweet today:

Needless to say, that puts an interesting spin on it.

Am I ready to retract what I said yesterday?  Not quite, as this could be purely damage control by somebody:  Burnett, his agent or perhaps somebody from the Orioles.  In Burnett’s or his agent’s case they don’t want to tarnish future dealings.  As for the Orioles, they need a whole separate damage control department after this offseason so saying they made multiple offers to Burnett hopefully will appease the fanbase.

All I know is that Burnett is a Phillie and the Orioles are still supposedly looking for starting pitching.  Oh, and this “saga” has given me a headache.

Suk-Min Yoon has also been spotted in and around Sarasota and this has lead to Yoon-mania among all the beat writers waiting for the Orioles to finalize his deal as he’s passed the physical.

What’s sad about this is that pretty much this is the news of the offseason for the Orioles, so this besides the numerous quotes of “the ball is coming out of his hand good” or “[Player X] is in the best shape of their life]”  is all they have to cover.

The Orioles will have to hope Yoon-mania is better than advertised  because if he’s not, this offseason will move from terrible to a disaster.  Let’s hope the hype is worth it.

 

Orioles spurn A.J. Burnett, again, to top off terrible offseason

So the truth finally comes out:

Seems all the interest that the Orioles had was nothing more than just talk.  They were going to be aggressive with Burnett, right?  Wrong.

The rumored 2/30 deal that was out there?   Well thanks for playing along folks (Orioles Hangout), that’s what teams do when they have egg on their face, leak something to make it seem like they tried.  But the truth is they didn’t.

This will be the fourth and likely final time A.J. Burnett could have been an Oriole, and the fourth time the Orioles passed.  Burnett would have been a perfect fit for the rotation, a veteran leader that didn’t require draft pick compensation and could be had for less than 3 years and that lived in same county as the ballpark.  All the Orioles had to do was make him an offer he couldn’t refuse.  Simple, right?  But they didn’t.

So all this  “Burnett is scared of the AL East” justification by Orioles fans and writers needs to stop because in the end, it was the Orioles that were unwilling to do what it would take.

Why string the fans along?   Why leak out that you like A.J. Burnett and “want to talk to him” when you have no intention of signing him?

It worked great for FanFest, though as fans thought the Orioles would be adding one of Bronson Arroyo or Burnett to bolster their rotation.  This couldn’t possibly be the team that takes the field Opening Day, right?  Surely not and Dan Duquette said all along they were going to add payroll.  There’s plenty of room for Burnett or Arroyo.

Sure there’s plenty of room, and Burnett and Arroyo are with their new teams and there’s still plenty of room.

Given what’s happened with Burnett, the Santana/Jimenez talk is also just that – talk.

Talk is cheap, and apparently so still are the Orioles who have no intention of doing what it takes to be a winning ballclub this year.

Burnett was their last chance to prove to the fans they were serious about winning this offseason, and they blew it, again.

What do you think?  Leave a comment or discuss in the forums here.

What I learned from Jim Presley about the Orioles’ offense in 2014

Orioles’ hitting coach, Jim Presley was one of the guests on WBAL’s “Hot Stove Baseball” show last night and during that interview he told me all I needed to know about the Orioles’ offense this season.  Most of it should make Orioles fans cringe, as it made me cringe when I heard it.

1.  Team OBP is going to be an issue this year, again.

I wrote about this earlier, but Presley basically confirmed it.  When host Jim Hunter talked about OBP and what the team might have to give up to achieve it, Presley gave Adam Jones as an example.

Paraphrasing, he basically said, that Adam Jones could be a hitter that hits only 17-20 HRs with 70-80 RBI and has a .350 OBP but he wanted him to be a hitter that hits 30 HR and has 100 RBI.

Ugh.  I think we all would be willing to have Jones sacrifice some HRs and RBI if it meant he took some more walks, because baseball is a team sport, and Jones doesn’t have to be the guy every night.    Just look at Mike Trout – he’s not quite a 30 HR/100 RBI guy and he’s the most valuable player in baseball.  And if a player like Jones gets on base, well that’s more runs that can be driven in.  Not to mention working the count for walks and getting on base, tires out pitchers faster, leading to more mistakes they make and more runs they ultimately give up.

It’s obvious Presley cares only about runs scored, and not how you get them, and he prefers HRs to OBP in terms of how you get them.

Don’t expect anybody like David Lough to have help from Presley improving his OBP.

2. Matt Wieters is not going to reach his offensive potential as an Oriole.

This was probably one of the most aggravating things to hear.  When asked about Wieters regaining his offensive skills, Presley basically let him off the hook saying that his game preparation was much more important to the team, calling him the best catcher in baseball, which we know isn’t true.

Presley admitted Wieters’ RH swing was superior to his LH swing and said that he’d be a much better hitter if he concentrated more on that part of his game.  However, the Orioles are content on getting his 20+ HRs and what he gives behind the plate as the offense comes second to that.

OK, so we are going to take the guy that had one of the best seasons in MiLB history and just let that potential go to waste because of his perceived superior catching skills?  Yeah the guy has an arm, but his defense is highly overrated.  And how many ERA titles have the Orioles won because of him behind the plate?  His framing of pitches is known to be poor.

If Wieters were to either give up switch hitting, or concentrate more on his hitting, perhaps you could unlock some of that potential.  Since Wieters is going to be squatting behind the plate every night for Buck Showalter and that is the most important part of his game, Orioles fans will never see his true offensive ability.

If he’s still got his health, the next team to acquire Wieters is going to bring that out in him, guaranteed.    I hope he’s traded sooner than later, because his defensive skills aren’t going to last and his batting skills are rotting in Baltimore.

3.  Expect to see Julio Borbon and Quintin Berry in Baltmore in 2014.

Presley mentioned Borbon and Berry numerous times in the interview, citing their on-base ability, saying that they were both going to help the team win.

Both Borbon and Berry have had shots at the MLB level and haven’t stuck.  For both, this is their third team and both are getting old to be in the minors.  Berry was on the World Series roster for the Tigers in 2012 and the Red Sox last year so he’s got that going for him but he only owns a career .353 OBP in the minors.  Borbon has bounced around from the Rangers to the Cubs and really besides his rookie season hasn’t shown much.  His career MiLB OBP is .357.

I’m not sure why .350 is viewed by the Orioles such a good OBP at the minor league level, because it doesn’t translate to MLB on a 1 to 1 basis.

I’ve proven this when comparing Nate McLouth and David Lough, who interestingly enough, Presley didn’t mention last night even though he’s in camp.

4.  Duquette may be working to acquire a hitter or two.

Presley kind of mentioned this in passing but it is important, because they do need to improve their OBP, and it’s not going to happen working with this hitting coach.  Instead the Orioles will need the proven OBP talent at the MLB level  and there are trade opportunities with Ike Davis, Justin Smoak and Andre Ethier out there and on the block that could improve the club.   I just hope they don’t bring in Kendrys Morales, who I’ve proved is declining, and won’t be worth the cost.

So needless to say, with the lack of importance put on OBP by the hitting coach, the failure to have Wieters do something major to improve his offense, and the Orioles thinking a .350 MiLB  OBP is impressive, we as fans are in for a long, frustrating season if Duquette can’t get more OBP for the offense.

What do you think?  Leave a comment or discuss in the forums here.

Ervin Santana’s long ball tendencies shouldn’t worry the Orioles

I’ve seen a lot of concern lately about the number of HRs Ervin Santana has given up, however if you think about it, a solo HR is just a run, and theoretically if you give up two to three of them a game yet don’t allow any other runs to score in 6-7 IP, you can put up some pretty decent stats including a quality start (QS).

It’s true Santana gave up 26 HR in 211 IP last season which ranked him 29th out of 36 starters with at least 200 IP for the fewest HRs given up.  Santana also ranked 9th in QS (23), 12th in opponents’ AVG (.238), 13th in opponents’ OBP (.288) and 15th in opponents’ OPS (.668).   In addition, Santana ranked 12th in P/PA (3.72), and 14th in WHIP (1.14).

What does this mean?

It means that Santana may give up HRs more often then not, but he can limit the damage to be a good pitcher in MLB.

Pitchers who have better control as Santana does, usually give up more HRs because they are right around the plate, not to mention they pitch more innings giving them more of a chance to give up HRs.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they give up a lot of runs.

Here are the top 10 pitchers with 200+ IP for most HRs given up in 2013:

  1. AJ Griffin (36)
  2. R.A. Dickey (35)
  3. Chris Tillman (33)
  4. Bronson Arroyo (32)
  5. Jeremy Guthrie (30)
  6. CC Sabathia (28)
  7. Ervin Santana (26)
  8. Yu Darvish (25)
  9. Jeff Samardzija (25)
  10. Hisashi Iwakuma (25)

And now here are the top 10 pitchers  with 200+ IP for the most runs given up:

  1. CC Sabathia (122)
  2. R.A. Dickey (113)
  3. Jeff Samardzija (109)
  4. Mark Buehrle (100)
  5. Jeremy Guthrie (99)
  6. Eric Stults (97)
  7. Cole Hamels (94)
  8. Justin Verlander (94)
  9. Jon Lester (94)
  10. C.J. Wilson  (93)

Notice Santana is in the first list but not the 2nd.   He ranks 18th with 85 runs allowed.  Chris Tillman is also in that first list, but not the second and ranks 17th with 87 runs allowed.

So the HRs are clearly not as big of an issue as people make them out to be for pitchers that pitch 200 innings+, and what Santana gives up in HRs, he more than makes up for with his IP and QS and because of that, like Chris Tillman he’d be a good fit for the Orioles in the top of their rotation.

What do you think?  Leave a comment or discuss in the forums here.

 

Three ways to salvage the Orioles’ offseason

Well another one bites the dust as A.J. Burnett is ironing out a deal with the Phillies that will pay him at least $16 million in 2014.    That’s a bit steep, but it still stings as he was the perfect fit for the Orioles, but I said both sides had to realize it.

The Orioles of course realized it too late, so now it was Burnett’s turn to spurn them.

However, all is not lost even though this has been one of the worst offseasons in terms of blowing opportunities and losing out on player after player that could help.

Here’s a few things that they can still do on the eve of Spring Training:

1.  Sign Ervin Santana to a 3/42-45 deal. 

If the Orioles want to win now, they’ve got to have an innings eater in the rotation to give quality innings and that’s what Santana has been for most of his career with a few blips.  Sure you’ll lose the draft pick, but the Orioles pretty much gave up on the draft in 2014 when they traded their competitive balance compensation pick for Bud Norris.

Santana had 23 QS last season for the Royals (10th in MLB) and improved to a 46.2% GB rate in 2013, so he’s no longer as much of a flyball pitcher as he was when he first came up with the Angels

His demands have come down and the Orioles need a starter that can give them those innings and QS pretty much guaranteed.  A 14-15 M dollar deal per year for 3 years should get it done.

He’s going to give up HRs, but his BBs have also dropped since 2011, so the HRs aren’t as much of a concern.

Santana makes the Orioles a better team no matter how you look at it so they must get him.  It’s not an option at this point.

2. Complete the deal with Suk-Min Yoon.

You may have seen the entry earlier, but the Orioles have not finalized a deal yet with the Korean righty.  Yoon won’t be an innings eater per say, but he could still be pretty valuable to the club in either a starting or relief role and would allow you to trade some relievers for OBP in the lineup.  Which leads me to the next point…

3. Trade for a left-handed DH or LFer

I’ve seen the name Kendrys Morales thrown around quite a bit, but I’ve already given my reasons not to sign him.  Instead the Orioles need to look to trades to fill their DH spot to get the OBP they desperately need, and there are two teams, the Mariners and Mets that have players that can fill the Orioles needs:

Justin Smoak

2013 vs. RHP:  .260 AVG, .361 OBP, .477 SLG, .839 OPS, 13.2 BB%

Career vs. RHP: .229 AVG, 323 OBP, .397 SLG, .720 OPS, 12.0 BB%

Ike Davis

2013 vs. RHP:  .222 AVG, .356 OBP .371 SLG, .727 OPS, 17.5 BB%

Career vs. RHP:  .256 AVG, .356 OBP, .471 SLG, .827 OPS, 13.6 BB%

Both Davis and Smoak are solid platoon partner vs. RHP  for Steve Pearce who would hit LHP.  Davis started out terrible but caught fire in the 2nd half.  Smoak would be my primary target as he can play 1B with average defense and could be a temporary solution for Chris Davis leaving if the Orioles can’t extend him.  Davis has the better career numbers, but is a DH only with the occasional spot start at 1B acceptable due to his below average defense.

The Orioles have plenty of relief pitching to deal including Brian Matsuz who could be swapped for either.

As for a LFer, Andre Ethier is the perfect target for the Orioles if the Dodgers decide to trade him.  I’ve talked about him in the forums here, but this is his career slash line vs. RHP:

.309 AVG, .388 OBP, .518 SLG, .906 OPS

Love, love that .388 OBP.

Not to mention you can move Lough out of LF and make him your 4th OFer where his skill set plays a heck of a lot better as a defensive replacement that can play all three OF positions.

The DH spot would then be left up to internal options, which are likely better than the internal LF options.

With a couple of pitchers, and a LH DH or LFer in the fold to platoon with Steve Pearce, the Orioles should be in better shape than 2013 and can add more pieces at the deadline if need be or can still become sellers.

Either way, time is pretty much up to show this club wants to win this year, and unless they improve the roster, it will just be more talk with no action.

What do you think?  Leave a comment or discuss in the forums here.

Yoon to sign soon?

It was the “selfie” seen round the world a few short hours ago:

With that Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon pretty much announced that he had chosen the Orioles as the team he wanted to sign with.

The Orioles are denying any deal is in place yet, and after all the physical hoopla this offseason, who could blame them?  After all Yoon is just coming off an injury and isn’t a sure thing to pass any physical, let alone one like the Orioles’ require.

Still if the deal is completed, Yoon would be a good addition as a potential 5th starter/bullpen arm.  He pitched well in South Korea winning two KBO ERA titles in 2008 and 2011, and in 2009 had a 2-0 record with a 1.13 ERA in 4 games with 16 IP, 2 ER and 13K in the World Baseball Classic.

A shoulder injury forced him into relief last season, but when healthy, he throws his fastball up into the low to mid 90s and has a change-up, an occasional curveball, a hard sinker, and a slider.  The hard sinker would certainly be useful in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Still even with Yoon, the Orioles need to add an innings eater, and A.J. Burnett is still out there, and still at the top of their wish list.  Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez also remain distant possibilities because of the compensation required and draft pick the Orioles would have to give up.

Yoon will help, but the Orioles have much more to do with the start of Spring Training only one day away.

 What do you think?  Leave a comment or discuss in the forums here.

 

To get A.J. Burnett, the Orioles must be more than just “competitive.”

With the news that Bronson Arroyo decided not to sign with the Orioles due in part to the Balfour saga, and the risk of what would happen to Arroyo if he failed the physical, one key part is being missed:

Here’s part of the article by The Sun’s Dan Connolly:

According to multiple sources, the Orioles’ final offer to Arroyo was exceptionally competitive with Arizona’s, with the guaranteed money similar but slightly lower. But there was a chance for Arroyo to make more money with the Orioles than with the Diamondbacks if a third-year option had kicked in.

The bolded is what is important in that sentence.  After the Grant Balfour saga, you can’t just be “competitive” and expect to land a player, especially a pitcher.  The Orioles needed to have the best offer on the table by far, and although he could have made more money with the Orioles, it wasn’t guaranteed, so of course he chose the Diamondbacks’ offer.

A.J. Burnett is supposedly Plan A for the Orioles when it comes to acquiring a starting pitcher, and if that’s the case, “NL preference” or not, they need to have the best offer out there and not have it be just “competitive.”

“Competitive” is the word that Dan Duquette has thrown around quite a bit this offseason, but competitive doesn’t necessarily mean winning.  The Orioles need to win.  They need to win this season, and they need to win the services of A.J. Burnett if they want to win this season.

They can kick the tires on Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Capuano, but none of them will offer what Burnett can, and compared with Santana and Jimenez  who will come at a higher price, both dollar wise and draft pick wise, Burnett is the better value.

Adam Jones has offered to recruit Burnett, and Nick Markakis may have been joking at FanFest when he said he’d drive him to work as the two live in the same town, but if the Orioles truly want A.J, Burnett, they need to show it in terms of money and in terms of the effort they put forth to reach out to him.   Therefore, why not have Jones and Markakis do some recruiting?  The Yankees have always made players feel wanted by using their players and their owner at times to make the sales pitch.

And speaking of that, there’s another person that might help that also lives in Monkton and that is none other than Peter Angelos.

Most may cringe when you think of Peter Angelos getting involved, but let’s face it, he’s always been the one to push in the final hours and get deals done – he did it with signing Wieters as a 1st round pick in 2007 and then again with Vlad Guerrero before 2011, authorizing MacPhail to spend more money.

The Orioles need their owner to step up and do it again.

If A.J. Burnett truly is Plan A and has been for this entire offseason, you can’t let him get away and need to use all your resources at your disposal to finally win his services.

“Competitive” isn’t going to cut it in the chase for Burnett this offseason, nor will it cut it during the regular season.

The Orioles must win.

What do you think? Leave a comment or discuss in the forums thread here.