Now that the 2010 season is a distant memory and the postseason hardware is being handed out, I want to highlight the Orioles's Free Agents I want to give my take on their 201o season and how I feel about their prospects of returning next season.
Kevin Millwood. I was initially excited when the Oriole traded reliever Chris Ray for him last offseason and he came out of the gate really strong. Though he pitched very well, the anemic Orioles offense gave him virtually no run support and he didn't win his first game as an Oriole until mid June. He had a total gas can act in July and August but closed out the season on a good note.
I wouldn't be sad if Millwood left, but I think that he could actually be an asset to the Orioles if he resigned. Rumor has it that the Orioles are looking for a veteran starter to "mentor" the young bird arms, I don't think the odds are good he returns. I think his 2010 season was marred by bad luck and maybe just an aberration.
Koji Uehara. Baltimore's delicate flower. When he is healthy, he is a great pitcher. When he is injured he is a huge waste of money. When used properly like Buck Showalter did late in the season he looked absolutely brilliant. Heck, he didn't even walk a batter the last 2 and a half months of the season!
I think Koji needs to be resigned for the closer role. He is a shut down reliever that the Yankees and Red Sox are very interested in signing. Baltimore should not let him go!
Ty Wigginton. Ty filled in for Brian Roberts while he was injured for most of the season. His versatility was the reason that the Orioles weren't worse than they were as he carried the team for the first 2 months of the season. He made the All-Star team as the Orioles lone representative.
I think resigning Ty should be a #1 priority. He's tough, and won't terribly embarrass himself defensively. His bat is useful whether he's playing the field or DH'ing. He is rumored to be looking for a full time job, but I don't think he is going to find what he wants and will ultimately re-up with the O's.
Cesar Izturis. You know the story: all glove, no bat. He had a normal Cesar season not outdoing himself offensively or defensively.
The Orioles clearly need an upgrade at SS because Manny Machado is at least 2 or three years away. Unless the Orioles make a splash and sign Japanese SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka or trade for Stephen Drew or Jason Bartlett, Cesar ends up back in Baltimore for at least 1 more season.
Corey Patterson. His first go around in Baltimore was lackluster to say the least. This time around, I think he really understood his role. He was a sparkplug for the Orioles for a good part of the season after being recalled from the minor leagues in May.
I personally wouldn't mind seeing Corey stick around as a 4th outfielder next year. Good speed of the bench and he could play all 3 outfield spots to give the regulars the day off.
Mark Hendrickson and Julio Lugo. Both sucked this season. Hendrickson pitched lousy out of the pen and Lugo complained about being traded here late in Spring Training.
Hendrickson won't be retained and Lugo shouldn't.
I hope you've enjoyed my recaps and outlooks on these players!