Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Needing More, Who's at First?

I'll say this -- we all should be happy what the Orioles have done in terms of their acquistions so far, but the team does need more. While Andy MacPhail in late 2009 gave the roster a little face lift with the additions of Garrett Atkins, Mike Gonzalez and Kevin Millwood, the amount of activity from the Orioles has come to a halt.

It's not to say that the organization isn't trying, but after seeing Matt Holliday sign for beacoup bucks with St. Louis, Adrian Beltre join the Red Sox, Jason Bay shacking up with the Mets, I'm sure a lot of fans are eagely awaiting the next move.

At this point, most of the marquee names are off the market, therefore, who's even left to look at?

While the pitching has been upgraded - somewhat - there's still something that may need to be done with first base. Obviously, most fans know that the Orioles still need a big bopper at first base in the lineup (Atkins has potential, but right now, who knows what will come of him). There's really not a free agent out there who doesn't come with some minuses in comparison to their positives, but the team could find someone for a decent price who could pay some huge dividends.

Here are your first-baseman types available: Rich Aurilia, Russell Branyan, Hank Blalock, Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra, Ryan Garko, Jason Giambi, Aubrey Huff, Adam LaRoche, Kevin Millar, Fernando Tatis, Jim Thome, Chad Tracy and Dmitri Young.

Looking the list above, the ones I have heard mentioned the most concerning the Orioles in media reports are Hank Blalock, Carlos Delgado, Ryan Garko and Adam LaRoche. From what I see, none of the guys are perennial All-Stars, and Delgado is past his prime; however, all could serve as an integral part of the lineup in Birdland.

LaRoche would excite me the most as he's got a good mix of power and hits for average, although he is a slow starter, prone to striking out, and is average in the field. His stroke would be perfect for the right field wall at Camden Yards; however, it looks like he also wants a ton of money as he turned down a deal with the San Francisco Giants. He's still young enough at 30 to make an impact, but again, I don't think the Orioles need a player who seems to get lot later on.

Another favorite of mine is Carlos Delgado. He's proven and has done a lot of damage into the later years of his career; however, he is coming off surgery on his hip and only played a scant amount of games last year. Carlos is also 38, but if he's healthy, capable of swinging a bat, and can prove it in the Caribbean Winter League, he'd be a steal and could be signed to a short term contract.

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