God knows the Orioles, at best, split their pickups at free agent last year. Bradford & Walker WERE the bullpen in 2007. Meanwhile, nothing says "Orioles Magic" like the names Danys Baez, Jay Payton, Paul Shuey and Scott Williamson. So who's out there going into the offseason that's worth picking up? Lemme toss these thoughts around:
Scott Hatteberg: 1B
-He has some pop and he gets on base (OBP of .394 in 2007). He'd make a good 1B platoon with Millar next year. The only concern is the age; he'll be 39 when 2008 ends. But to reunite him with Chad Bradford rejoins two of the best stories from "Moneyball".
-It's probably never going to happen, but why not make a run and try to move Miggy for some talent while he can still swing a bat? Hell, this would be the first splash move the F.O. has made since they got Miguel.
Mike Lowell: 3B
-He's going to be way overpriced, and will either stay with Boston or move back to New York. But, again, he's a good on-base guy who's had consistently strong numbers for the past several years. Then again, if he comes here, he probably turns into Glenn Davis.
Milton Bradley: LF/CF
-I'd love to see my favorite crazy person revisit the Joey Belle years here in Baltimore. At least I'd see some fire out of someone on the roster other than Jamie Walker.
Barry Bonds: LF/DH
-Who else is going to DH in 2008? I'd forgive Miguel's defensive shortcomings if he had someone hitting .280/25/80 behind him in the 4-slot. Then again, I have 2008 in the Barry Bonds "neck-collapses-under-weight-of-gigantic-head" pool.
Jason Jennings/Jeff Weaver: SP
-Both of these guys had years that shit the bed on them, although Weaver was decent in the 2nd half of '07. But Jennings and Weaver have always been innings eaters, both have stayed healthy (Jennings' '07 nonwithstanding) and they probably won't have huge price tags attached. I did feel the same way about Kris Benson, though, and he turned out just great, didn't he?
Kerry Wood: RP
-Hell, I'd take a flier on him. He played last year for the Cubs for a cool million, and gave them 20+ innings of decent relief. I'd make him Mazzone's last reclamation job: either he brings Kerry back from dead, or Leo hits the bricks.
Phew, that's the most I'd had to say ever. I wanted to link to the entries on MLB.com, but I know dick about HTML tags. Additions, subtractions and corrections: post below.