A follow-up to the previous post about the O’s restructuring plans. A week or so ago in a story in the Baltimore Sun, Team President (and GM?) Andy MacPhail indicated that Erik Bedard would likely still be an Oriole on Opening Day 2008. The new year started and now we have a significant change from that position, as for the first time since signs of a major rebuild came to light, the Orioles site has stated the opposite about Bedard (and Brian Roberts). Whereas in their other stories about the restructuring process there was always a reference to the possibility of keeping and extending the two, there is none of that here. Instead, now the Orioles are sending a firm message that we should not be counting on both Bedard and Roberts to be part of the O’s much longer. From the story:
Andy MacPhail, the team's president of baseball operations, is committed to a full rebuild of his roster, which first necessitates a dismantling of the parts on-hand. So far, that process has just begun.
The Orioles are hoping for a similarly talented package (referencing the Tejada trade) for former cornerstones Erik Bedard and Brian Roberts, two of the hottest commodities in the trading market.
Bedard is under contractual control for two more seasons, but there's a feeling within the organization that his value is at its peak right now and that he can best help the team by bringing back a diverse group of talented players. Roberts, meanwhile, is coming off his second All-Star season and may not want to re-sign with the Orioles after 2009
Baltimore is proceeding with a full facelift, tacitly admitting that this team as presently constructed is a long way away from contention.
Grading on a curve: The Orioles have sought out offers for quite a few of their prime movable pieces, but so far Tejada is the only veteran who has actually changed teams. Baltimore is likely to move Roberts and Bedard before Opening Day, and those two players are expected to bring back a haul of young prospects who will change the face of the franchise.
I’m taking the Orioles site version over the story in the Sun – that was the proverbial posturing (Can someone explain why teams even bother with this? If we know the O’s are posturing, the trading partners will know it as well, and what leverage do the O’s achieve? It is pointless, in my view). It’s a good thing that they are not sugarcoating things anymore. Sad as it is, this is the route the O’s need to take, and it is in their best interest to make it clear to all their fans and get them on board early in the rebuilding process.