Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ah, The Orioles Plan

Boswell writes something bright and chipper today about the success of "The PLAN!" (incidentally, I'm sick of attempts to evaluate "The PLAN!" after 50 games; it's not about this season, but about where the team is in 2010, but that's a diatribe for another day).

At any rate, a graf at the end caught my attention.
By next season, the Nats probably will add one or two free agents in the $5 million to $7 million range. And trades, even significant ones, now are possible with more depth of talent. At the very least, the whole Nats clubhouse expects a 30-homer bat under its Christmas tree. But the Hall of Fame-level, $15 million-a-year player -- the last piece of the puzzle, such as when Greg Maddox [SIC] went to Atlanta in 1993 -- isn't going to arrive until the Plan is much closer to fruition. You can bank on that.

That's the Orioles plan. Why spend good money on a valuable player when you can buy three mediocrities for the same amount?

Here's a complete list of players who got 5-7 million per year in last year's offseason.
  • Rich Aurilia
  • Danys Baez
  • Octavio Dotel
  • Ray Durham
  • Pedro Feliz
  • Keith Foulke
  • Eric Gagne
  • Jose Guillen
  • El Duque
  • Shea Hillenbrand
  • Aubrey Huff
  • Kenny Lofton
  • Jason Marquis
  • Bengie Molina
  • Mark Mulder
  • Jay Payton
  • Dave Roberts
  • Justin Speier
  • Woody Williams

    Would you have signed any of those deals? Maybe Durham or El Duque? Maybe Marquis -- though only with the benefit of hindsight?

    5-7 buys you an injury rehab case, aged mediocrities or league average players that even a lame farm system or a traipse through the minor league free agents and non-roster invitees could reproduce for a league minimum salary.

    This is the exact approach the Orioles have always taken with Free Agency, and they're well represented with three selections here. Only Payton is living up to expectations, if 1 HR and a sub-.400 slugging percentage is where your expectations were.

    So why go this approach? They shouldn't.

    The Nats should either go big, with an impact bat, or they should go home, and try to find next year's Dmitri Young.

    I suspect that they understand this better than Tom Boswell. And I pray to God that they understand it better than their comrades in the hellhole up north.

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