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If there’s a managerial equivalent to Mark Buerhle right now (someone everyone wants but no one can seem to get), it would have to be Joe Girardi. The former Marlins skipper was courted by the Baltimore Orioles last week and has been rumored to be the heir apparent for Joe Torre in the Bronx. However, if the Washington Post is correct, the Orioles might get a second shot at landing the much coveted manager. According to the post, "If the Orioles still haven’t decided on a manager by the end of the season, it’s a possibility they could restart talks with Girardi then, a team source said yesterday." Apparently Girardi’s decision to turn down the Orioles’ offer last week was mostly due to the timing (taking over a team mid-season) factor.
Even if timing was the key factor, it’s tough for me to see the brown birds getting another bite at the apple. If the Yankee position opens up I’d expect to see their former catcher to accept in a heart beat. However, I think I’d rather see Girardi managing another young team similar to the situation in Florida. He’s young for a manager and might have a hard time dealing with the high priced veterans on the Yankee squad.
The Baltimore Orioles’ overhaul of their bullpen is apparently continuing. When you consider the fact that the Orioles’ pen had the second worst ERA in all of baseball last year, it’s easy to see their motivation. After signing the left handed Jamie Walker last week, the Orioles have reportedly reached terms with former closer Danys Baez.
Baez was an All Star closer in 2005 with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays piling up 41 saves with a 2.86 ERA. However, the reliever struggled a bit last year splitting time between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. Baez’s season came to an abrupt halt when he had an emergency appendectomy, leaving him with a combined record of 5-6 and an ERA of 4.53. Despite Baez’s previous success as a closer, reports out of Baltimore say that the newly acquired reliever will step into a setup role for current O’s closer, Chris Ray.
As I predicted, a bidding war has broken out for the services of Carlos Lee. The Houston Astros had been rumored to have the lead in the Lee sweepstakes since the power-hitting outfielder owns a ranch outside of Houston, however, Baltimore has money to spend after being spurned by Soriano in favor of the Cubs. The original prediction of a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 years for a total of $75 million seems to have been blown out of the water by the length of Soriano’s deal. Any team seeking to sign Lee is left with two options, pay more per year, or extend the contract out longer. The Orioles are desperately seeking a power bat to pair with Miguel Tejada and might decide to make a "statement signing" much the same way Chicago did with Soriano, however, Lee would not be returning to the NL (which he seems to prefer) and would also be even further from home than when he was playing in Texas or Milwaukee. And of course, a completely different team could sneak in and sign Lee relatively under the radar so this little hot stove heater is far from over.
By all accounts, the Baltimore Orioles are set to acquire JaretWright from the Yankees. In return for the right-handed starter, ESPN
is reporting that the Yankees will receive Chris Britton and $4 million
(the amount it would have cost the Yankees to buy out Wright’s
contract). Wright went 11-7 last year with a 4.49 ERA while Britton had
a 3.35 ERA in 53 innings of relief. The reported trade would reunite
Wright with pitching coach Leo Mazzone, whom he flourished under in
Atlanta, going 15-8 with a 3.28 ERA.
On a side note, in the span of two days, the Yankees traded a
veteran All Star for prospects, and traded a mediocre pitcher for a
reliever and cash. If next week the Kansas City Royals decide to give
Alfonso Soriano a 7 year $125 million contract, I will officially
retire this blog. Of course that won’t likely matter as the end of the
world will certainly have come by then.
If reports out of Baltimore are accurate, the Orioles are interested in signing 42 year old, free agent slugger, Barry Bonds. No word yet on whether they plan on signing his pharmacist and trainer as well or if they’ll simply keep Rafael Palmeiro on staff to administer B-12 injections.
(used by permission from toonrefugee.com)