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What should be Andy MacPhail's top 3 priorities for the rest of 2008?

We got off to a solid start to the week with a discussion on whether the Orioles should retire any more uniform numbers.

The majority of you are happy with leaving the honor for Hall of Famers and no one else. That's my call, too. Although some of you made a case for Elrod Hendricks, Cal Ripken Sr. and, in an upset, Tom Shopay.

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Never know what's going to be discussed at the bar.

(By the way, Kevin OS, you are absolutely right. Roy Halladay has to be in the discussion for the AL Cy Young award. I thought he was. I had him second and mentioned him in the column, but it must have been cut for space reasons. No lie.)

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The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reported in Tuesday's editions that the club had talks with Nick Markakis about a contract extension during the All-Star break, but those conversations ended yesterday and won't pick up until the offseason.

In a rebuilding season, I think it is imperative that the club inks Markakis well beyond 2011 – assuming his side is reasonable. Markakis is the No. 1 guy to build around. Because of his age (24) and his upside, I think he should be club president Andy MacPhail's No. 1 priority for the remainder of 2008. Signing him to an extension speaks volumes as to where this club is headed.

Where do you think extending Markakis ranks in things MacPhail must do this calendar year? Some other possibilities are the ever-popular "re-sign Brian Roberts," and "sign Mark Teixeira."

Other priorities could be signing Asian talent or trading some of the remaining chips the club has, such as Roberts and George Sherrill. Or finding a shortstop with a higher ceiling? Some may say trading Aubrey Huff, Chad Bradford, Kevin Millar and Jay Payton, but you likely won't get enough for any of them – because of prohibitive contracts or limited appeal – to qualify as a true priority for the future. But that's my opinion.

Daily Think Special: What should be Andy MacPhail's top three priorities for the rest of 2008?


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