Phillies put Papelbon, Lee, and Hamels on the block. O’s need to make a move.


The O’s are in need of a closer and a starting the pitcher. The Phillies are willing to sell some of their top talent in the rotation and pen. The O’s need to take a serious look at some possibile moves. Papelbon, who is 33, is the first target. His 13 million a year contract is not what the Orioles are looking for, but his numbers as a closer are. His past two year in Philly have been pretty good, posting a 2.44 ERA in ’12  and 2.92 in ’13. He recorded 31 and 38 saves, also missing some time with injuries in both years. The Phillies want to move him so a deal could easily be made. We know the Phillies will be looking for pitching, and they are not going to sell him cheap, so expect one of the top O’s pitching prospects to be involved. Gausman, Rodriguez,  Bundy(probably not) are what the Phils are looking for. If the O’s want to spend, they could try and do a package deal and pick up Cole Hamels/Cliff Lee at the same time. Hamles is 29 while Lee is 35, and they are both dominate lefties. The Phillies would rather move Lee, so we’ll start with that. Cliff Lee and Papelbon are going to cost the O’s a lot. Moving JJ Hardy along with a Gausman/Rodriguez/Bundy and another top prospect would probably be the only way the Phillies move both these guys. I just don’t see the O’s moving all three prospects and likely another 1 or 2 like Schoop. The O’s will also take a huge hit on their salary, absorbing 13 mil from Papelbon and and  21.5 from Lee. JJ Hardy’s 7 million a year contract would help a little.

The O’s are set up to win this season. Both New York and Boston are missing key players from the team last year. The Rays should be without David Price. The O’s desperately need pitching, and a deal like this would give them a solid #1 pitcher, which is what they have been searching for, and a shut down closer. Looking at the division, now is the time to move prospect for proven veterans. Instead of Lee, the O’s could go for Hamels but would likely have to move Bundy, Hardy, and possibly Rodriguez.

The O’s have all the pieces to make this trade. There are not many teams with talented prospects like the O’s, and I’m sure Philly called the Orioles immediately when they decided to put this talent on the block. I like Bundy, Gausman, and Rodriguez  as the possible 1,2,3 of the future, but with the way the division looks now, this could be one of the only years the O’s have a chance to make a run for the Series. It’s do or die right now for Buck and the boys. The AL East is at its weakest its been in years(still very strong), and the O’s need to strike. Pull the trigger and bring in some veteran pitching. The Phillies are more than willing to move these players if the right deal is put on the table.

Possible Trades:

Philies have a strong minor league system and can provide a solid prospect for the O’s.

1.) Papelbon + minor leaguer for JJ Hardy + a top prospect (Rodriguez/Gausman)

2.) Papelbon + Lee/Hamels + minor leaguer for JJ Hardy 3 top prospects and 1-2 good prospects

Phillies could also be looking at Matusz, Tommy Hunter, and O’Day as possible players to land. They will need someone to close for them if they move Papelbon.


Jim Johnson traded to A’s for prospect

The Athletics have acquired right-hander Jim Johnson from the Orioles for second basemanJemile Weeks, Jon Heyman of has confirmed. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sportsfirst reported the deal.

Baltimore was reportedly shopping their closer for salary relief in recent weeks. Johnson, 30, is projected to earn more than $10 million in 2014 according to Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors, so the Orioles are saving a nice chunk of change with the trade.

In 74 games this past season, Johnson managed to lead MLB in both saves (50) and blown saves (nine). He had a 2.94 ERA (143 ERA+) and a 3.11 K/BB in 70 1/3 innings. Johnson also led MLB with 51 saves in 2012 and saves are an easy way to earn a huge salary through arbitration. The sinkerballer is due to become a free agent next winter.

Weeks, 26, hit .303/.340/.421 (110 OPS+) in 97 games as a rookie in 2011 but he has been unable to build on that success. He put up a .221/.305/.304 (73 OPS+) line in 2012 before spending most of 2013 in Triple-A. Rickie’s little brother did manage a .271/.376/.369 line in 130 minor league games this past season.

This move means the Orioles are looking to sign a 10 mil pitcher. This is a great move. Jim Johnson was decent but led the league in blown saves. Paying 10 mil for the league leader in blown saves makes no sense. People are complaining that the Orioles are not getting enough in return. I disagree. Jemile Weeks hit a sophomore slump in 2012 and played in the minors in ’13 after hitting .303 his rookie year in ’11. This is a young, talented prospect who needed a change of scenery. This trade also gives the Orioles a second basemen who is very capable of batting .300, stealing 30 bases, and scoring 100 runs as a #1 / #2 hitter.

Going forward, it looks like the O’s will promote a current player to the closer role. Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day looked impressive at the end of the year and could fill in.

The O’s now have money to spend on a starting pitcher and a left fielder. Bartolo Colon must be asking for a ton if the A’s signed Kazmir the other day, so I would cancel him off the list. I would imagine Kuroda, Santana, Burnett, Garza and Ubaldo are hoping to cash in too. Looking at the recently signed contracts of Kazmir(2y 22mil), Hudson(2y 23mil), Haren(1y 10mil), and Nolasco(4y 49mil), the top tier pitchers will likely be looking for 13mil + because of the Nolasco deal. The O’s will likely not sign the top 5-6 guys available. This leaves the Orioles with options like Bronson Arroyo, Roy Halladay, Paul Maholm, Scott Feldman(resign), Joe Saunders, and a few other veterans. I don’t think any of these guys are worth 10 mil, and I doubt the O’s will move any valuable prospects for a veteran, so they will likely overpay for a Roy Halladay or Joe Saunders unless they are willing to cough up cash and years to Ubaldo or Garza.

There is plenty of talent in the outfield, but once again, the O’s will be looking for a lower contract. David DeJesus(2y 10.5) and Marlon Byrd(2y 16 mil) are mid tier outfielders that the O’s will be looking to match contracts off of. Kelly Johnson, Andres Torres, and Rajai Davis look like great targets for 5-6 million dollar outfielders. If the O’s do spend on a SP, Reed Johnson could be a 3 million dollar target. Plenty of options. Also would look at Raul Ibanez for DH. He’s 42, but was very good last year in Seattle.

According to ESPN

The Orioles also announced Monday night they tendered contracts to six of their arbitration eligible players: Matt WietersChris DavisTommy HunterBud NorrisBrian Matusz and Troy Patton.

They also re-signed Steve Pearce and Nolan Reimold

Not too sure what this means. Bud Norris being tendered means hes in the starting rotation. Hammel should walk, leaving Gonzalez, Tillman, Chen and him as starters. The O’s now have the options to sign an a top tier OF and promote Gausman/Britton /Bundy(when ready) or sign a 8-10 mil pitcher and sign a 4-5 mil outfielder to start in LF. The O’s are contenders and it would be nice if they could sign Choo, Beltran, or Nelson Cruz with a decent starter like Arroyo.

Now that the O’s have money, things should get interesting in the next few weeks with teams signing players to help the O’s mold contracts around their targets tier’s.