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As I patiently wait for the Orioles to get a decision from reliever Kevin Gregg and to try to finalize negotiations with free agent first basemen Derrek Lee or Adam LaRoche, I figured I'd pass along an interesting take on the club from Sports Illustrated's Joe Sheehan. Sheehan made his predictions for the club for an article on SI.com and his No. 2 prediction concerned your Baltimore Orioles.

Sheehan wrote: "The Orioles will be next year's Padres. San Diego's storybook run ended just shy of success, the team falling to the Giants on the final day of the season to miss the NL West title and the postseason by one game. The Orioles will meet the same playoff-less fate in the loaded AL East, but not before getting the attention of the industry with their impressive set of young pitchers. Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta are already in the majors, and top prospect Zach Britton could join them by midseason. The offense isn't yet ready for prime time, though it does include the underrated Nick Markakis and forgotten Matt Wieters. Look for the Orioles to finish above .500 for the first time since 1997."

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