The offseason is the most interesting time in sports at least for me. So many different angles can play out. Once the playoffs arive, you know who the players are and who you have to match up against. But the offseason gives so many possibilities.
I look at the Rangers and with them potentially letting two of their big time players go in Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton and say to myself they wont just sit on what they have. They are gonna add something to try and replace that. Do they go hard after a pitcher like Zack Greinke and help hurt a division rival like the Angels? Do they go after Tori Hunter themselves to replace Hamilton at least defensively? They had interest in David Ortiz but he apparently re signed with Boston.
Hunter has made no qualms about not only wanting to stay in LA but he wants that ring. His career is winding down and I dont think money is the thing with him as much as going to a place where he feels he can finally get that ring. For the strides the Orioles made I dont think players vision the O's as the place to win one. So unless it really turns south for Hunter and the offers I expect him to stay on the west coast with either LA or Texas.
The way I look at Napoli is as I mentioned where he could be used in a similar role that Texas used him in. Catching some, playing first base or Dhing the other. Baltimore is one of the few teams that could offer him that. If his contract demands where reasonable the only thing the O's would really have to balance is, is his offense better than Mark Reynolds and is it better and more consistant to the degree that we forget about the defense that Reynolds played at 1b? That seems to be the 11 million dollar question from where I sit.
But what I keep coming back to is that you can work on defense, especially in the offseason leading up to the season and I dont think the O's should be content with sh8 canning the idea of Chris Davis playing 1b. Work with him and see if he cant build himself up over there. Even if they inked Napoli, hes gonna need a day off or someone is gonna have to fill the void when he goes behind the plate to give Wieters a day off. Wilson Betemit is serviceable to be nice defensively at least at 1b. But I'd rather see if Davis couldn't turn that corner. And its the same way I feel about Ryan Flaherty. They now have the option to send him to Norfolk, but the limited time he was there last year he absolutely tore the cover off of the ball. Whether it was rehab assignments or not, its hard to keep someone whos hitting like that down in the minors.
Lots of ifs as is always the case in the offseason. But if what I've suggested holds true and they do pursue Napoli and give Davis a look at 1b to the point where he would become the back up 1b, the door could swing open to signing a player like Delmon Young. Putting a Yankee killer on this team, I would think would be very enticing for the Orioles. He doesn't bring much with the glove. But having the option of him being the DH, seems like an upgrade over anything else they could realistically do. And I dont like the idea of an everyday DH at all but if that would be the case, I would rather it be with a guy that still has a prime to look forward to and not a player who is closer to the retirement home.
Ooops make that 80 games not chances so his fielding is higher than that, but 80 games in 12 years is not really a big enough sample to say he is anything. of course it also isn't enough to say he is not, but we already have at least two guys that are filling that spot and if you got Napoli that would be another. Personally if we can't find anyone else to DH or be a specialist batter and we have room then OK, but I never want to see him even thinking about a mitt. He has a very reasonable price tag, but I think this team is rapidly getting past guys being attractive because they are cheap. They are either part of taking the next step, or they are not. Betemit clearly is not.