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O's Get Wigginton


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Man... this has turned into quite the active off-season for the O's after a long silence, huh?

 

Wigginton is an interesting pick-up. He's a notoriously streaky hitter... and if I am remembering correctly, he's notoriously hot early in the season. Plays a solid 3B, which will be nice. It gives us a decent bat and defender to play when Melvin is feeling shaky. He can also play the other three infield spots and OF. Again, nice if we ever want to give Huff a day off in the field.

 

 

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Round-up:

 

Three trades that all look good to me (Freel+2 for Hernandez, Olson for Pie, PTBNL for Hill)

Extend Markakis

Sign a few veteran pitchers, if only as a holdover this year (Hendrickson, Uehara, perhaps Looper to follow)

Fill some defensive voids (Izturis, Wigginton, Zaun)

Drop some dead weight (Payton, Cabrera, Millar, Cintron)

 

And do it all without jeopardizing our development at all... Wieters should still be around soon, followed closely by some pitching friends.

 

Now... let's ditch Baez (who apparently wants to start) and a few others and sign Ben Sheets and I'll be happy to give us an A+ for an off-season where, a month ago, not signing Teixeira almost ended our organization.

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Interesting thoughts on the roster situation. It might be tough to keep both Wigginton and Freel, since neither can play shortstop.

 

Freel, who was acquired from the Reds in the Ramon Hernandez deal, does many of the same things as Wigginton. Both players can be counted on as reserves at second base, third base and left field, and both are being expected to support Baltimore against southpaw pitchers. Now, it's a question of whether the Orioles have room to carry both.

 

Baltimore's ability to keep both players will likely hinge on the decision to carry 12 or 13 pitchers. If the Orioles elect to keep 13 arms, that would mean that they only have room for three bench players. One of those would have to be a backup catcher, and one would likely have to be an infield reserve capable of playing shortstop.

 

Neither Freel nor Wigginton has that skill on his resume, making the last reserve choice even tougher. Baltimore inked Gomez, Jolbert Cabrera and Donnie Murphy to Minor League contracts to compete for a utility slot, but given the fact that both Freel and Wigginton have guaranteed contracts, there may be another move in the offing.

http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/news/arti...sp&c_id=bal

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Freel may not have played SS, but I bet he can. Wigginton not so much.

 

I also don't know that we'll keep 13 pitchers.

 

We're going to have 5 starters obviously, but probably a couple of long relievers with a history as starters...

 

Guthrie

Hendrickson

Uehara

Hill

 

Then we still have Albers, Sarfate, Penn, Burres, Waters...

 

And still the possibility of Looper.

 

So say we get Looper on board... we've got our starting five...

 

And then you've got Albers, Waters, Burres all fighting for the long-reliever spots. All with strong ability to spot start as necessary.

 

If we take 2 there, that makes seven, which still leaves us with 5 spots for MR, Set up and Closer...

 

MR - Sarfate

Set up - Ray / Johnson

Closer - Sherrill

 

And if we only take one for long relief (Albers), we open up another MR/SU spot for Jamie Walker... but word is he may not make it out of camp anyway.

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Two-years, $6 million for a guy who posted an .876 OPS last year in 110 games and is a career .790 OPS hitter that can play both corner infield and outfield spots and second base? Sign me up! He is only 31 years-old as well, so he should be a good replacement for Melvin next season granted Snyder or anyone else doesn't take over. He could also end up being a good short term BRob replacement should he get traded. Good job Andy!

 

EDIT: Here is an interview with Ty:

 

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/sch..._his_own_w.html

 

What position do you like playing the most?

 

“I would say second base. I played second base all throughout the minor leagues. My first start (in the big-leagues) came as a second baseman. I really enjoy second base. But it really doesn’t matter where I play on the field. Basically, it is just getting in the lineup and getting to compete.”

 

Interesting...

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Speaking of third base, here is a blog on Brandon Snyder. It sounds like he is really doing well and is primed to continue his hot streak.

 

O's fans will see a lighter Snyder this season. He played at about 220 last season and now is down between 200 and 205 and hoping to be about 210 by opening day.

 

"My workouts have been going awesome. I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in. I've been working to get stronger and faster. Been working on my footwork at first and third base.

 

"I feel really, really good right now. My hands are quicker and I feel more athletic. Hope all this work helps me hold up better during the long season."

 

Later this week I'll have more from Brandon about where he hopes to play on defense this year and the advice he recently gave to a first-year O's minor leaguer.

 

http://masnsports.com/2009/02/snyder-excit...-joining-t.html

 

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Ty's defense sucks. Ken Rosenthal was reporting that there's no way we want him playing 3b, more as a 1b and DH kind of guy. But I think that's a load.

 

We definitely want him for his ability to play third.

 

And he better never play 2b for us with Freel as a good alternative when Brian is feeling down.

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