Saturday, November 27, 2010

Who's on First?

The Orioles need a first baseman. No doubt about that. I don't think any fan will be happy with another year of Ty Wigginton at the 3-spot. There are not a lot of top-flight first base candidates out there, especially if you are looking for that whole "future" type player but there are some viable options in free agency that need to be pursued.

Paul Konerko

The Orioles courted Konerko in 2006 but he elected to stay in Chicago after winning the World Series there in 2005 but his contract is up and he is once again a free agent. Konerko will turn 35 in 2011 and while he had a great year last year, posting a .977 OPS, it was a rebound year after a couple years of steady decline since the 06 contract. Granted, even his bad year in 2008 (injury year) his .783 OPS would have been a significant improvement from the 2010 Orioles.

The problem with Konerko is his age/ contract. You will most likely have to give Konerko a four year deal so that raises the question: What will he look like in the last two year of that deal? Granted, 38/39 is not 40/41 and Konerko has not shown any real signs of slowing down it is still going to be a concern.

Also there is the money it would take to lure him away from Chicago. Konerko has spent his entire career, as a starter, in Chicago; he all ready turned down more money from the Orioles in 2006 to stay in Chicago and Konerko doesn't strike me as the type of player to chase the money. Getting him out of Chicago is going to take a pretty solid offer - but one the Orioles should make.

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