Thursday, June 26, 2008

High-Risk, High-Reward

Starting July 2nd, teams can begin signing international players. It's a great time to supplement the talent acquired in the draft, and good organizations use it to their advantage. The Orioles (surprise!) haven't been particularly active in the international market (they might not have known that Asian players were allowed in MLB), but it seems that may be changing with Andy MacPhail. What I would like to see the team do is use some of their payroll savings to take risks with some of the top players that will be available. Number one on the list is Dominican right-hander, Michael Iona. The guy is a 6'7" pitcher with a good low 90's fastball, curve, and change, and solid control for a 16 year-old kid. His demands are reported to be in the $4 million range - the A's are currently the front runners for his services - but that isn't unreasonable. It's mid-first-round money for a mid-first-round talent. Plus, if Oakland's doing it then it's at least worth looking into. There are many other such (well, lesser) players of course, and I would like to see the O's sign a few of them. As always, it isn't my money and so it's easy for me to say "hey, just give him an extra 10K so he'll sign". I still think it's a strategy that the Orioles (who have less money than the Yankees or Red Sox but still more than many teams) should employ. Don't spend unwisely, but leverage your advantage when you can.

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