The NFL season officially starts this week. So let's celebrate at the bar.
We'll even bring back Prediction Friday for you old-timers.
Purple shots on me.
But you know how we roll here. We're a baseball-first joint.
So let's throw an Orioles question at you to start.
In Friday's paper I wrote a piece about pending free agent Matt Wieters, who has practically grown up before your eyes. He'll be 30 in May and could be in a different uniform by then.
You can see that piece I wrote here.
Baltimore Orioles Insider
Wieters is one of six pending free agents on the Orioles' current roster. The others are Chris Davis, Wei-Yin Chen, Darren O'Day, Gerardo Parra and Steve Pearce.
An argument can be made to bring back each one.
Davis is having his second impressive power year in three seasons. Chen is the club's only legitimate lefty starter. Wieters is a large part of the glue of this team, which already lost a chunk of accountability and professionalism when Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz left last year. O'Day is another tremendous clubhouse guy who is an All-Star reliever. Parra is something they don't have, a guy that can get on base, work a count and play all three outfield positions well. Pearce is versatile, professional and shouldn't cost too much.
Truthfully, I'm not sure the Orioles retain any of them. Davis, Chen, Parra and O'Day may get contracts well beyond what the Orioles are willing to pay (see Cruz, Markakis, etc). Wieters is an interesting case. The Orioles may decide catcher is not as much of a priority. And they could figure they could probably get a Pearce-type more cheaply.
Not everything is equal here. Davis is considered the premium talent, but he also costs the most. So the question can't be who do you want to see come back as much as who do you think will?
Daily Think Special: Which Orioles pending free agent do you think is most likely to return and why? None of the above is also an acceptable answer.
Bonus Think Special: Predict the Ravens-Broncos score. I say 31-27 Broncos.