Archive for February, 2012

O’s Sign Another Reliever

February 12, 2012

The Orioles have signed RHP Luis Ayala to a one year contract worth $825,000 with a $1 million option for 2013.

I actually like this signing despite it giving the Orioles something like 35 candidates for 7 bullpen spots. Its not so much that I think Ayala is great but I like the contract and I think signings like these are how you build a good cheap bullpen, a la the Tampa Bay Rays. After starting his career with four very good seasons he had two poor seasons in a row and didn’t even pitch in 2010. The Yankees signed him to a minor league contract last season and he put up a 2.09 ERA over 56 innings with 39 strikeouts and 20 walks. I don’t think we can expect a season like that but hes a solid veteran should help stabilize the bullpen. The Kevin Gregg signing last year would’ve been much more acceptable if it was for around $1 million instead of $5 million. If Ayala goes back to pitching like he did in ’08 and ’09 we can release him without losing much money but if he keeps pitching like he did last year and the first four seasons of his career then we got great value for a good reliever. Spring training is going to be crazy competitive for spots in the rotation and the bullpen.


Guthrie Gone

February 12, 2012

The Orioles have traded RHP Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies for RHP Jason Hammel and RHP Matt Lindstrom.

I’m not sure about this trade. I was fine with dealing Guthrie but I was expecting a better return than this. Lindstrom is basically a dime a dozen reliever. Hes not bad and he has experience closing games but he’ll be making $3.6 million in 2012 and sports a 3.81 career ERA. He had a good year last season putting up a 3.00 ERA over 54 innings with 36 strikeouts and 14 walks. He’ll be an asset to the bullpen for sure but for a guy that doesn’t strike out many batters I feel like there was a better way to allocate that kind of money. The real “prize” of the trade however is Hammel, a guy that has a career 4.99 ERA. He started his career in Tampa Bay where he bounced between the rotation and the bullpen and struggled. He was then traded to Colorado where he was given a chance to start regularly and he responded well with two good years in 2009 and 2010 before struggling last season. He was 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA over 170.1 innings with 94 strikeouts and 68 walks. Its obviously tough to pitch in Colorado so he should be better once he gets out of that environment. I think his upside is that he can be the new Jeremy Guthrie over the next two years but there is a chance that he ends up in the bullpen which would make this trade even worse. We didn’t save any money and we didn’t get any high upside prospects so I’m just confused. I would’ve preferred to hold onto Guthrie until the trade deadline if this was the best offer out there.