By Mark Stein
The Baltimore Orioles are now beginning to prepare for a new season. The players are in Fort Lauderdale, but this year, as they take the field, many of the players are recently acquired.
The man behind these moves is new Orioles chief operating officer Andy MacPhail. He has initiated several trades this past offseason, which he thinks will help to better the Orioles. But these moves will only hurt this team more.
In mid-December, MacPhail traded Orioles star shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros in a deal that netted the Orioles five young prospects. These prospects were outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate, and third baseman Michael Costanzo.
How many of these players have you heard of? These players may be young and have a future, but Tejada is a good-hitting, solid-fielding player, who we know from experience will succeed for the Orioles.
As if that wasn’t enough, earlier this month, MacPhail had Orioles ace Erik Bedard shipped out to the Seattle Mariners. In return for their only good pitcher, the Orioles received outfielder Adam Jones, reliever George Sherrill and three minor league prospects. This was a terrible move.
So where is the team now? The Orioles have Cabrera as their ace and a hole at the shortstop position. There have been no improvements this offseason. In his first offseason with the Orioles, MacPhail has failed to bring them the personnel necessary to succeed. He traded away the Orioles’ two best players, and along with them, he traded away any shot at contending in the upcoming season.
Sorry O’s fans, but you’ll just have to wait until 2009 to see anything spectacular out of the Birds.