It’s tough to look backward in a bar (there’s this huge mirror behind us, and what I see isn’t flattering. Must be the lighting).
So let’s jump forward to the 2014 Orioles’ season now that 2013 and Ravens games are behind us.
It hasn’t been a pretty offseason for the Orioles. I was asked recently to grade it so far. I told the radio host that it looked like the dog ate the Orioles’ offseason report card. Yeah, it’s been that kind of winter.
So far the biggest highlight has been the Orioles’ hiring of pitching coach Dave Wallace. The Orioles have added a bunch of players, but Jemile Weeks is the biggest name – and that’s only because his brother is a former All-Star.
It’s no longer “early,” but there are still plenty of players available to add. I think the club will bring in a late-inning reliever, a starter and a DH-type hitter. But I’m not sure any of their choices will salvage the offseason from a PR standpoint, especially after the very public Grant Balfour saga. They’ll likely be guys who will fill holes, but not make you plan early for October.
Here’s what I want to know: what’s the one move you would like the Orioles to make before pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota, Fla.? The one that will make you feel better about this club’s chances in 2014. Try to be realistic (maybe there aren’t any, period).
This is about personnel only. We’re not talking the selling of the team (although I can hear some of you typing furiously now), but it can be something that requires spending some money.
The obvious answer is buying right-handed Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka, but that’s not going to happen. The Orioles have said they aren’t going to be in on those interesting and expensive negotiations. So why waste our time on that one in the bar?
Given that, I’m still pushing for the signing of designated hitter Kendrys Morales, though the addition of a legitimate starting pitcher, such as A.J. Burnett or Bronson Arroyo, intrigues me as well. And the Orioles have interest in reliever Fernando Rodney, so that will remain a possibility until the closing carousel stops again.
If I’m a betting man, I wouldn’t wager that the Orioles land any of the most intriguing free agents still on the market. But it’s not impossible they may make a move of some newsworthiness – perhaps via trade. There’s always the possibility of a contract extension for a current player, with J.J. Hardy the most likely candidate, in my opinion.
So, play along. Give me the personnel move that you most want to see before the 2014 season starts.
Daily Think Special: What’s the personnel move you most want the Orioles to make before 2014 spring training starts?