Happy Halloween, Baltimore. In case you didn't pick up the weekend issue of b, my co-worker and drinking buddy Jordan Bartel put together a list of quick Halloween costumes, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter was a suggestion (the proof is on page 14). I'm not sure who Showalter will dress as when he goes Trick-or-Treating, but with his Showalter scowl, Buck could probably just go as himself and he would still be able to scare the bejesus out of all the neighborhood children.
This offseason, Showalter and the Orioles will go Trick-or-Treating for Buck's 25 nuggets, hopefully putting the Orioles in position for their first winning season since the Clinton Administration. This is all speculation of course, with the World Series still going on, but here is my early projection of your 2011 Orioles (though you can probably count on my projection being more trick than treat):
The untouchables (these guys are nuggets for the long haul): C Matt Wieters, SP Brian Matusz, CF Adam Jones, RF Nick Markakis, SP Jake Arrieta
We want to keep these guys, but we'd listen...: 2B Brian Roberts, SP Chris Tillman, SP Jeremy Guthrie, RP Jim Johnson, RP Jason Berken, LF Felix Pie, DH/1B/OF Luke Scott
The new nuggets (if Peter Angelos lets Andy MacPhail make a splash): 3B Adrian Beltre (the Orioles aren't landing a top-tier guy like Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford, but Beltre would be a welcome addition), SP Jon Garland (an innings-eater who would actually do it in a winning effort), 1B Carlos Pena (in an ideal world, the Orioles would pony up the cash for Adam Dunn, but Pena is a more affordable fallback), SS Jason Barlett (with the Rays looking to cut salary, they might be willing to let Barlett walk; if not, it's slim pickings for the Orioles in free agency, which means they might be forced to bring light-hitting Cesar Izturis back for another season)
Bring them back (Orioles' soon-to-be free agents): RP Koji Uehara (even if just for the sideburns), RP Mark Hendrickson (a cheap, versatile lefty who actually wants to be here)
Note: Ty Wigginton's omission is based on my belief that he will be able to parlay his All-Star season into a starting gig elsewhere. I'm not sure he'll get one here.
The leftovers (some might be future nuggets, while others are clearly not): C Craig Tatum, OF Nolan Reimold, 2B/SS Robert Andino, RP David Hernandez, RP Michael Gonzalez, RP Alfredo Simon, 1B/3B Brandon Snyder (assuming the Orioles ink Beltre, Snyder gets the nod over Josh Bell, who looked out of place in the majors least season and needs more seasoning in Norfolk)
What's your take on my 25 nuggets, especially when it comes to the new guys?