Knubles and Bits posted this blurb from Jeff Zrebiec in today's Bird Droppings, but I think it merits additional attention:
The Orioles are also talking to the representatives of several other free agent relievers and have at least one offer out, and have talked contract parameters with several others. The list of free agent relievers includes Grant Balfour, Matt Guerrier, Jesse Crain, Scott Downs, Brian Fuentes and Kerry Wood.
Of the relievers listed in the quote, Grant Balfour and Scott Downs are type A free agents who were offered arbitration by their former teams, which means that if they are given a contract by the Orioles, it will be the second consecutive year that the Orioles lose their second round draft pick for a pitcher. A relief pitcher. It would be Mike Gonzalez all over again.
It's been discussed both here and elsewhere that relievers are volatile and usually the same value can be found elsewhere for much cheaper. For every Mike Gonzalez there is a Will Ohman who can be signed for a fraction of the price and without losing a draft pick.
I'd really hoped that the Orioles would have learned from the Mike Gonzalez mistake, but based on the reports we're hearing that doesn't appear to be the case. It's just so frustrating.
And as Andrew_G asked in Bird Droppings, why exactly is the bullpen such a focus anyway? The Orioles already have in their inventory Jason Berken, David Hernandez, Jim Johnson, Mike Gonzalez, Troy Patton, Kam Mickolio, Rick VandenHurk, and more. And meanwhile, they don't have a first baseman, shortstop, or third baseman. They're misguidedly offering Victor Martinez $48M and insulting offering Adam Dunn $40M, all the while contacting the agents of type A relievers?
Won't someone think of the children?