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An early Happy New Year to everyone. Please be safe tonight.

My sources tell me that Terrell Owens has been invited to Times Square to catch the ball at midnight. That way, it's sure to drop.

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Do I think Jay Gibbons becomes more expendable now that the Orioles have reached agreement with Aubrey Huff?

Not considering that there isn't much of a market for him right now, and the Orioles aren't going to give him away. At this point, he'd be more of a thrown-in in a deal involving another player.

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There is room for Huff and Gibbons. Huff can play left field or first base while Gibibons serves as the designated hitter. And I still think there's room for Craig Wilson, too.

Without Wilson, the bench could look something like this: Payton/Millar/Gibbons (depending on the lineup), Chris Gomez, Paul Bako and Freddie Bynum. Or Adam Stern. Or Brandon Fahey. Or Jason Dubois. Or Jon Knott.

Pretty intimidating, huh?

I think Wilson, if he isn't expecting to play 162 games, still makes sense. And again, it's not my money.

The Bubba Trammell signing, which came shortly before Christmas, slipped under the radar, but that's usually true with the Orioles, who tend to keep their minor league transactions a secret this time of year. I'm sure at some point, we'll get a release with all the spring training invitees.

If the Orioles don't make another move all winter, how would you grade their off-season after the  nine free-agent signings (Huff, Gomez, Millar, Payton, Bako, Jaime Walker, Danys Baez, Chad Bradford and Scott Williamson) and the Bynum and Jaret Wright trades?

If nothing else, they were active. And improved on paper, at least.

Sounds like the Marcus Thames trade talks have quieted, and it's no longer a stretch to think Rodrigo Lopez could be on the Opening Day roster, though he's still the most likely Oriole to be dealt. I'd like him in the bullpen as a long man, with Hayden Penn starting out in Triple-A Norfolk's rotation, but only if it's a happy and contented Rodrigo Lopez. And in that role...not likely. But he'd be an asset.

If the Orioles resign Todd Williams, still a distinct possibility, and he makes the club, it becomes more probable that the club goes with only one left-hander in the bullpen. That is, if Williamson stays healthy and gets people out in spring training.

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