corners in 2010

So I was thinking today about next year, and what the O's should do when they finally rid themselves of Melvin's contract, and Aubrey Huff's. One of the reasons I wanted us to sign Tex so badly is that there really aren't many great solutions in the free agent market, and we aren't really in a position to trade prospects (duh). We will be more than set in the OF for the next 5 years, set behind the plate and at 2nd, and hopefully the pitching will all work out beautifully, but what to do at 1st, 3rd and short. Obviously this is premature, but Spring Training is boring.


1st base - there are really no good options here, or at least all-star quality options.

Rich Aurilia (38)
Russell Branyan (34)
Miguel Cairo (36)
Frank Catalanotto (36) - $5MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Tony Clark (38)
Carlos Delgado (38)
Nomar Garciaparra (36)
Ross Gload (34) - $2.6MM club option
Eric Hinske (32)
Nick Johnson (31)
Adam LaRoche (30)
Doug Mientkiewicz (36)
Kevin Millar (38)
Chad Tracy (30) - $7MM option with a $1MM buyout
Daryle Ward (35)
Dmitri Young (36)

I sort of think the best solution would be to pick up Hinske or Adam Laroche or Hanl Blalock on a short deal and put up a straight platoon with Ty Wigginton at 1st base. Laroche hits 

.277/.345/.503 lifetime against righties, Hinske hits .264/.347/.458, Blalock .292/.356/.502


In a straight platoon with Ty (.288/.364/.514 vs LHP) we could have a really inexpensive 1st base slot putting up something like....280/.350/.470 with 30 hr for only a few million.



Rich Aurilia (38)
Adrian Beltre (31)
Geoff Blum (37)
Aaron Boone (37)
Craig Counsell (39)
Joe Crede (32)
Pedro Feliz (35) - $5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Chone Figgins (32)
Nomar Garciaparra (36)
Troy Glaus (33)
Chipper Jones (38)
Mike Lamb (34)
Melvin Mora (38) - $8MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Pablo Ozuna (35)
Robb Quinlan (33)
Juan Uribe (31)

Not much here either, I sort of like Beltre, as he's one of those players who has really flown under the rader due to what is seen as a ridiculous contract, but has actually been quite reasonable. His offense will never compare to 2004, but he has a phenomenal glove, and should be able to put up a .270/.320/.460 for the next 2-3 years. In our lineup, he could slot in at 7th, ahead of Pie and Izturis.



Orlando Cabrera (35)
Alex Cora (34)
Craig Counsell (39)
Bobby Crosby (30)
Adam Everett (33)
Chris Gomez (39)
Alex Gonzalez (32) - $6MM mutual option with a $500K buyout
Khalil Greene (30)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (34)
John McDonald (35)
Marco Scutaro (34)
Miguel Tejada (36)
Omar Vizquel (43)
Jack Wilson (32) - $8.4MM club option with a $600K buyout

This is pretty ugly, our best bet may to be to hold on to Cesar and wait for 2011 to upgrade. Here I would maybe explore a deal for JJ Hardy if possible, who is tremendously undervalued due to glove work that doesn't look so special, but is praised by pretty much every defensive metric.


Given the 36 mill coming off the books, I think we could spend 5 on a solution at 1st, 8 on Beltre (2 yrs 16 mil?) and still have tons left over to explore signing a big free agent starter: Lackey, harden, Bedard (lots of innings incentives, low base), Tim Hudson).






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