Over the past few weeks the Braves and Orioles have had trade talks that would include either Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado plus prospects for Jones. Another trade discussion that came up was that the Orioles want Tommy Hanson plus prospects for Jones. As a fan hearing that Jurrjens is involved scares me because he lost 2 MPH on his fast ball and he has only pitcher more than 200 innings once in his career. The Orioles understandably want more than Jurrjens and that is why they have been asking for two of Minor, Delgado, Vizcaino, and Teheran.
A team that could be laying in the weeds is the Washington Nationals who have expressed interest in Jones just last month. The interest in Jones could have died down since the Nats acquired Gio Gonzalez and have traded away sever top pitching prospects who the Orioles would have been interested in.
Fans have said that the Orioles are over valuing Jones, but realistically they have to since they have so many holes to fill on the pitching staff and offensive side of the ball. They have to get a quality first base prospect and multiple pitching prospects in return for Jones, because they cannot continually sign these old washed up first baseman like Derrek Lee.
Ideally I would want the Orioles to find a way to steal Peter Bourjous out of the Angels who would take over the lead off spot and would provide above average Center Field defense. I love the defense he offers and with an outfield of Bourjous, Reimold, and Markakis I would imagine there would be several seasons of Gold Glove winners coming out of Baltimore.
So basically in conclusion, avoid Jurrjens and look elsewhere for pitching to improve the staff.
The Orioles have been bottom feeders in the American League for the last decade plus. They have the prime chip that most teams that have players can give them up for Jones. Teams like the Angels, Rangers, and even the Giants could all show interest in Jones if he hits free agency.
If the Orioles happen to deal Jones at some point this season, then the players they will want back would be top prospects and Major League ready. Since Jones was born in San Diego, he has expressed he wants to play on the West Coast. It would be in the best interest for the Orioles to trade Jones since they could restock a very bad minor league system and help fill holes in the line up. It is not like the Orioles have not received calls about Jones, Markakis, and Reynolds.
Let’s say that the Padres want to put a package together for Jones, it would have to start with 3rd baseman Jedd Gyorko, and then possibly Robbie Erlin and Cory Spangenberg. It is just my opinion but the Padres seem to be the best match-up for the Orioles since they have the prospects that could fill the holes the Orioles have. I can’t imagine that the Orioles challenge for even the Wild Card this year so it makes sense to at least listen to offers for Jones and Markakis as well.
If teams think Jones may cost them too much in terms of prospects, then Markakis would be an easier player to get since the Orioles would have to eat some cash if they wished to deal him. The White Sox and the O’s have had talks during the Winter Meetings for possibly Carlos Quentin and Gavin Floyd, and the Sox wanted younger players in return. It would definitely be a long shot, but the White Sox could want Markakis in return for Floyd if the Orioles eat the cash on the contract.
Once the Trade deadline hits I would imagine that either Jones and or Markakis will be on different teams. It makes to much sense to trade them since I doubt that Jones is going to try to work out a contract extension with the team. The Orioles need to find ways to get younger all around the field and that begins by trading Markakis and Jones.
Even though the O’s had yet another losing season, some players were bright spots in the organization.
1. RHP, Dylan Bundy. If Bundy excels in his minor league starts next season, he could be on a fast pace to reach the majors. He has all of the intangibles to be a lights out pitcher in the league.
2. SS, Manny Machado. Machado did not disappoint last season, overpowering Single A and battled injuries in High A. If he can stay healthy for a full season he could finish the year out in Triple A.
3. SS/3B, Jonathan Schoop. He had some what of a break out season batting .316 in low A and .271 in High A. The reason he is not seeing a lot of time at short is because Machado is playing there at the time. I expect Schoop will be a utility player since his bat really does not fit for a regular third baseman.
4. OF, Xavier Avery, He put together an OK season, but if he wants to be a long term major league player he has to cut back on his strike outs. There should be no doubt he reaches Triple A this season and possibly at the end of the season a September Call up. Unless the Orioles trade Adam Jones, Avery will battle Reimold for Left Field.
5. RHP, Parker Bridwell. Even though he struggled this season, the talent is in Bridwell to be a dominate reliever in the future. He has topped 100 mph multiple times last season. The one thing that helps Bridwell is that he still has not even turned 20 yet, so he still has a lot of time to develop.
6. 2B/OF, L.J. Hoes. Hoes put together a very good season at Double A posting a .305 average and 54 RBI’s. He has been moved around to multiple positions in the outfield even though he was at second base for most of his minor league career. Expect Hoes to make it to the majors this season most likely in September.
7. 3B. Nick Delmonico. With all of the troubles the Orioles have had developing quality position players, they will have a hard time messing up this kid. He should arrive in the majors by 2013 if he can show all of his tools in the minors. The one thing he does not have is speed, but the overall is very impressive.
8. RHP. Dan Klein. The ever injured Klein put up very impressive numbers posting an ERA under 2 at Double A last season. He should make his major league debut if not this year he will get a spot in after Spring Training. Hopefully, Klein recovers fully from his surgery he had last season and did not lose to much velocity on his pitches.
9. RHP. Bobby Bundy. The older of the Bundy Brothers put together a quality season at High A and then struggled at Double A to finish the season. He had somewhat of a breakout season and he put his name on the watch list in the organization and could be on the fast pace to the majors. The struggles he had at Double A would most likely attribute to a tired arm and pitching the most innings he has ever pitched in his minor league career.
10. 1B. Joe Mahoney. The Big Irish is comparable to Casey Kotchman with the fact that neither hit for much power but they always find a way to get on base. If the Orioles don’t acquire a long term first baseman, look for the Orioles to plug Tyler Townsend or Mahoney at first.
When the O’s started the Gm search they wanted it to be fast so they could get into an off-season quicker. Well, we are now past the World Series and they still do not have a Gm so they have failed miserably at trying to get it done faster. This type of stuff drives the fan base insane, because the couple of Assistants they wanted to interview were not in the playoffs, so we are now going on a month and a couple of days and it still has not been decided who the Gm will be.
Most fans wanted Lacava, because he has been such an instrumental part in International Scouting and making trades. My guess now is that John Stockstill is going to get the job mainly because he has stunk at the rest of the jobs he has been given in the organization. There is still the possiblity that Texas Rangers Assistant Thad Levine comes to Baltimore for interviews. He grew up a massive Orioles fan along side Josh Byrnes, and he as well would fit perfectly in Baltimore.
There is still a long list of people the O’s could interview, but who knows how many would want to take the job. Peter Angelos will go down as one of the worst owners in sports history. They need to make a decision who will lead the franchise for a long period of time and I am not talking about 1-3 years. The Gm job on this team could be a death wish for any assistant that wants to get his general manager career started.
The Atlanta Braves sent Derek Lowe to the Cleveland Indians for minor league left handed pitcher Chris Jones. Without the Braves saying it, this move would be a salary dump on astronomical levels. Expect to see the Braves as huge players in the Winter Meetings and the rest of the off-season.
Now the question going into the off-season and Spring Training will be who takes Lowe’s spot in the rotation. Randall Delgado or Julio Teheran should be expected to take his spot. There is no question that the Braves will be able to fill his spot with any problems.
The Braves will be depending on the younger players now more than ever with this move. They have some of the better coaching which will help many of the rookies relax a little bit. Mike Minor will be looked at to step up to his ace potential this coming season.
You can now follow me at @Birdlandsouth
Several times during drafts you question what your team will get or how stupid could they be when you hear about guys that shoot up draft boards and never hear their name again. With the draft sometimes you end up getting some 40 something round pitcher who ends up being a solid major league reliever.
David Price was the first overall pick and has not disappointed. He was called up during the Rays postseason run and eventually established himself as a number 1 starter for the Rays. He struggled a bit his first season starting for the Rays posting a 4.42 ERA. The next season he settled in posting a very impressive 2.96 ERA and winning 19 games.
Jason Heyward was also in this draft and he too shot through the minors making his debut just last season. In his first at bat of major league ball he hit a 3 run home run off Carlos Zambrano. To be expected he is struggling this season hitting .219 and has 12 home runs on the year. He is just 21 so we can hold off the bust for right now, even if they send him to the minors he is guaranteed to come back up in a short time frame.
James Simmons is one of the busts on this group. He started his pro career out at Double A Midland and posted a respectable 3.94 ERA. Next season wasn’t so great however, he posted a 5.72 ERA in Triple A and he got sent back to High A and posted a 6.60 ERA, so the future doesn’t look to bright for him.
One of the more debated pick was the Pirates taking Danny Moskos over switch hitting catcher Matt Wieters. Wieters ran up to the majors by hitting at all levels and he even was projected to win ROY and the MVP his first season. Moskos put up just OK numbers as a reliever, but the Pirates need him to perform better than OK if they want to win games. He put up a 3.73 ERA this season at Triple A. Wieters has become one of the best defensive catchers throwing out runners about 40% of the time. The offense still hasn’t come on to what everyone expected, but he is at least contributing in some way.
Phillippe Aumont is currently in the Philadelphia Phillies system, but he was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners and was sent to the Phils in the Cliff deal. In terms of ERA he is at 2.76, but if he want’s to be successful he has to get his hits per 9 innings down. He could benefit by throwing some balls, because on the season he only has 9 walks and 27 k’s.
This draft also produced Anthony Rizzo and FSU Taiwain Esterling. Of course Esterling didn’t sign, but he was drafted again this year.
This team is in dire need of positional help and pitching help so several minor leagues could get called up once the rosters expand. With Guthrie feeling shoulder stiffness and Alfredo Simon struggling mightily the Orioles are forced to bring some players up they might not have.
One of the more hyped players in the minors or the Orioles this season is Greg Miclat of the Bowie Baysox. On a Orioles game a couple of days ago they mentioned how Miclat has 49 steals and even Buck Showalter is keeping an eye on him mainly because of his stolen bases. This team is lacking a player like him, so I see him being called up. He could possibly push Felix Pie out on the streets if he has a strong showing in September.
Big Irish Joe Mahoney could be another player called up with the injury to Chris Davis. Mahoney brings something to the table most players on the Orioles don’t have a OBP, he right now is at .353 on the season. He has only struck out 67 times on the season and walked 23 times. With first base having no one occupying it the Orioles should give this kid a chance.
Matt Angle is a sure call up since left field is begging for someone to take it. He is a plus defender in the outfield, plus he would take Felix Pie’s job in the outfield if he hits for a decent average and steals bases.
Some Double A pitchers will get the call, but that one will be harder to predict. If top reliever Dan Klein was healthy he most definitely would have gotten the call, but he was sent to Dr. Yocum to fix a slap tear in his labrum. I doubt any of these prospects that get called up this season will even have a chance to play everyday
With the Diamondbacks trailing the Astros for most the game Goldschmidt came to the plate with a runner on first he was able to tie the game with a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 9th. This Diamondback team has made a huge turn around over what they did last season. It definitely helps when your coaches can relate to some of the players who might be struggling at one point in the season.
Chris Young eventually walked it off with a three run home run in the bottom of the 10th off Astor’s reliever Jeff Fulchino. Right now the Diamondbacks are in first place and 1 game ahead of the San Fransisco Giants. You could look at their roster and say they are over achieving, but maybe they aren’t. Kirk Gibson deserves at least some talk for Coach of the Year.
Goldschmidt was playing in the Futures Game not to long ago and now he is hitting homers in the bigs. After the season is over or after the trade deadline is over he could move into the starting first baseman role.
They could call up top pitching prospect Jarrod Parker and put him in the bull pen. The Dbacks have a lot of quality pieces in the minors so they are built going into the future. Kevin Towers also deserves some love for the GM of the year, the team he took over was pretty bad just last season.
When the Angels drafted C.J. Cron with the 17 pick in the 2011 draft I was unsure of what they were going to get. If this kid can hit for power throughout the minors he could become their future DH. Right now he has 13 homers in 34 games this season in the Pioneer League.
If Cron can stay healthy which right now he is injured due to a dislocated knee cap, he could eventually become a top prospect in baseball. In a game against Ogden Raptors he got his first 3 homer game on the season. Like I said before the key to him having a successful career is if he can stay healthy, because the bat is going to hit at all levels. If he does reach the major league level the Angels have somewhat of a logjam at first with Mark Trumbo and the injured Kendry Morales occupying it already.
Cron reminds me a lot of Nolan Reimold who was often injured when he was in the Orioles minors, but he always put up solid numbers. It may take him longer to get in the majors since he is injury prone. My only fear for him is what if he doesn’t overcome the injury bug he has been labeled with?