Monday, January 25, 2010

What to expect from the Orioles in 2010

2010 should be the final year of the "Andy MacPhail Rebuilding Project". We can only hope.

As we draw closer to the 2010 season, I think Orioles fans should consider the following things to make the season a little more enjoyable.

For one, I think it's asking too much for the Orioles to contend for the division or wild card at this point, and I think it was too much for some fans to expect Andy MacPhail to spend big this offseason to add marquee players such as John Lackey, Matt Holiday and Jason Bay. The Orioles lost 98 games last season and spending money this offseason would be like buying a roof for a house you don't own yet.

That said, the Orioles have spent approximately $25 million this offseason, plugging various holes that exist now, but could be filled with internal options in the near-future. It's why you've seen MacPhail sign or trade for players who will be under control for 1-year (Garrett Atkins, Miguel Tejada and Kevin Millwood). So the Orioles aren't exactly saving their money for a rainy day either.

For fans, hopefully 2010 will be about putting the finishing touches on the roster for 2011. Yes, Tejada, Atkins and Millwood will be gone, but Josh Bell, Brandon Snyder and Jake Arrieta will all potentially be on the MLB roster by season's end. And the likes of Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, Adam Jones, Felix Pie, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman are already here -- and they are going to be at the center of any improvement in 2010.

I expect the Orioles to win 75 games this season, with 85 games being the ceiling. Of course, if a couple things go wrong, we could be looking at another 65 win season. But I do think that outside of a major injury to Matt Wieters or Brian Matusz, the Orioles will show drastic improvement from 2009.

And regardless of the win-loss record (unless it's catastrophic), I do believe 2010 is the last year the Orioles will operate the way they are currently. I do believe that MacPhail is at some point going to be more aggressive in his signing of free agents. Or if we do end up with a surplus of pitching this season, you'll see him make a blockbuster deal to acquire a power hitter.

While Andy MacPhail may not have satisfied the hunger of every Oriole fan, he has usually done what he's said he's going to do. So if his mantra is "grow the arms, by the bats", then I do believe that some point he is actually going to do that. And I mean buy more bats than just Garrett Atkins and Miguel Tejada.

So I am excited for 2010 more than I have been excited for an O's team in a long time. I said after the Kevin Millwood trade that I believe the 2010 season could look eerily familiar to the 1992 season.

And in case you missed it, the Orioles won 89 games that season.

1 comment:

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