Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Not As Bad As It Used To Be

I like Andy MacPhail and think he's done a pretty good job with the club thus far, but it's frustrating to me that the Orioles are still behind the curve as far as front-office decision making process goes.

* The Mariners have gone from having one of the worst front-offices in baseball to one of the best under new GM Jeff Zduriencik. They're using stats and video analysis and even hired Tom Tango (of The Book fame) as a consultant.

* The Rays - who were already known to have top-flight leadership - signed Pat Burrell to a 2 year, $16 M contract. Very solid deal instantly improves their offense from the DH spot without overpaying (like the Phillies did with Raul Ibanez - seriously, what where they thinking?).

* The A's traded not much they really needed for Matt Holliday and inked Jason Giambi for only $4.5 M (with a 2010 option for $5 M with a $1 M buyout) to improve a dreadful offense and put them into contention with the Angels (and Rangers and Mariners, really).

* The Pirates are thinking outside the box, signing a couple of hard-throwers from India and seeing if they can turn them into pitchers.

* Heck, even Brian Sabean hasn't done anything stupid yet. Signing Randy Johnson to a one-year deal for $8.5 M (or whatever it was) was fantastic for them. San Fransisco's rotation may be enough to make them contenders in the NL West next year.

Now, it's certainly possible that MacPhail has a handle on defensive metrics and aging curves and all that but doesn't talk about it. Maybe the team has invested heavily in scouting and player development without making it widely known. Since I don't know, the only way to make a judgment on that is by the product on the field and the actions of the GM. With so many contracts coming off the books after 2009, MacPhail will have to chance to take the team in any number of directions. I'm not pessimistic yet, but that may change depending on how the rest of the off-season goes. The only big mistake he's made was saying he doesn't sign players before their third year and waiting on Nick Markakis. That probably cost him (the team) at least $20 M. Hopefully he learns from it and locks Adam Jones up early. (I'd say Matt Wieters too, but agent Scott Boras has shown little willingness to accept those kinds of contracts in the past.)

1 comment:

T Witt said...

I personally think that the only way to get the team back on track is to start from scratch. Andy McPhail doesnt seem to be making us much better, but how can we get worse? i think we need to keep a few core players such as markakis, Roberts and maybe a few others. we are not getting better where we are and i think some players on our team just wont cut it.

i believe that we will be as bad as we used to be.