Tag:Adam Jones
Posted on: February 8, 2008 5:02 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2008 9:14 am

Orioles getting younger, smarter

In dealing Erik Bedard to Seattle on Friday and Miguel Tejada to Houston in December, Baltimore president Andy MacPhail acquired 10 different players, and even if the Orioles now may have to summon Charlie Brown to be their opening day starter, this is exactly the kind of thinking this decrepit organization needs.

Amassing young players -- not sending Snoopy's master to the hill.

The Orioles, rotting to the core in the Peter Angelos years, stink. They're long overdue for an overhaul, and the fact that MacPhail now has been able to pull off two major deals in the past two months signals that things are as promised when he accepted the job, that he's got the freedom to re-make the team without Angelos' mitts interfering.

The crown jewel of the haul is Adam Jones, a 22-year-old phenom from Seattle who likely will be Baltimore's opening day center fielder and one day could be an All-Star. The rest of the prospects acquired from the Mariners and Astros range from hard-throwing pitching prospects to unpolished position players.

Maybe not all of them will turn out. Maybe many of them won't click.

Odds are, however, that Jones and at least a couple others will -- lefty Troy Patton and righty Matt Albers, perhaps? -- and that still leaves the Orioles far ahead of where they are now.

Without Bedard, one of the best young pitchers in the game, the Orioles right now probably can't even hazard a guess on their opening day starter.

And that makes things even worse for Baltimore than they were last year, or two or three years ago, when the Orioles knew who would start on opening day?

Au contraire.

Enough of swinging for the fences in Baltimore. Boog Powell is gone, Brady Anderson's one year of power was a mirage and so, too, have been the Orioles. The standings over the past decade have shown as much and the fans have spoken by a mass exodus from Camden Yards.

Baltimore's current run of 10 consecutive sub-.500 seasons is the worst in club history. Tejada, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Brian Roberts, B.J. Ryan, Bedard ... new hopes have come, new hopes have gone, and all it's proven is that you can slap a new coat of paint on the house, but if the wood is bad, it ain't going to last.

The Orioles need depth, not sheen, and they finally have an executive who understands this.

It was a heavy price to pay for Seattle, five players for a lefty pitcher who can be a free agent following the 2009 season, but the Mariners are buoyed by the hope of last season's second-place finish (six games behind the Angels in the AL West) following a three-season freefall.

Man-for-man, they don't yet measure up with the Angels, AL West winners in three of the past four seasons. But Bedard and Felix Hernandez present an imposing one-two punch atop the Seattle rotation, and free agent Carlos Silva joins Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista to lengthen a rotation that should keep the Mariners in contention for much of the summer at worst, and, with a few breaks, maybe even sneak past the Angels at best.

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