Wow, if I were a big Orioles fan, would I ever be mad right now at their off-season. First, backing up the truck to Jamie Walker's bank account to the tune of $12 million. Now, making Danny Baez the highest paid non-closer reliever in all of baseball? Absolutely ludicrous.
That's just being penny smart but dollar dumb. They've spent over $30 million on a couple of middle relievers, and they can't make a competitive offer to Derek Lee or Alfonso Soriano or Mark Mulder? They still don't have a first baseman?
Mike Flanagan was a cool player to watch pitch, but he's sure a poor GM. Unless there's some sort of Master Plan that I'm just not seeing. To hazard a guess based on what I've seen the last few years, that's just not the case. They're doing something to make it seem like they're doing something.
This is a team that needs to rebuild. Trading Tejada last summer when his value was highest would have been a start. Signing a couple of mediocre middle relievers for much more than they're worth seems to be the opposite direction. Nothing against Walker or Baez - they're both decent pitchers - but they're not worth anywhere near the money they're getting, and both of them could be replaced from the major league scrap heap without losing much quality.
It's not about payroll. It's about spending the available money wisely. The Orioles just aren't doing that at all. David DeLucci just signed with the Indians for less than Walker (who will pitch - maybe - 60 innings this year) signed with the O's. He would been a big step towards solving their corner outfield problem.
This totally reminds me of the horrid management the Tigers were hindered with for years under the "guidance" of Randy Smith, who was probably the worst GM in the history of baseball. Flanagan is giving him a run for his money, though.
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