Organizational Rankings: #16

Today, we keep looking at some teams that have legitimate hope, so it gets harder from here on out. And, for those of you who haven’t seen the previous parts (which are linked below), keep in mind that this is a forward looking exercise – we are evaluating clubs on their overall ability to contend for a World Series title in the future. We are not evaluating how they have performed historically. This is about the health of each organization going forward.

Rankings So Far

#30: Washington Nationals
#29: Florida Marlins
#28: Houston Astros
#27: Kansas City Royals
#26: Pittsburgh Pirates
#25: San Diego Padres
#24: Cincinnati Reds
#23: Colorado Rockies
#22: Detroit Tigers
#21: St. Louis Cardinals
#20: Toronto Blue Jays
#19: San Francisco Giants
#18: Minnesota Twins
#17: Chicago White Sox

#16: Baltimore Orioles

Ownership: C

Peter Angelos has a well earned reputation of being a meddlesome owner. He’s made no secret over the years that he expects to have a say in how the team is run, and has held veto power over transactions during his time in control of the organization. However, since the arrival of Andy MacPhail, Angelos has taken a much more hands off approach – my guess would be that this was a condition of MacPhail taking the job. If this continues, then the Orioles may have the best of both worlds – an owner who wants to win and is willing to spend money to do so but has marching orders from his GM to keep arms length from the baseball operations department. However, we can’t ignore that Angelos has meddled before, and will likely have the desire to do so again. It will be interesting to see how involved he wants to be the next time the Orioles are in contention and are looking to make a trade.

Front Office: B

After years of lousy decisions, no direction, and a total lack of leadership in the front office, MacPhail has been a breath of fresh air for Baltimore fans. Since taking over, he’s put the team on a path towards building for the future, has made several astute trades to acquire quality young talent, drafted well, and locked up the team’s two best players to long term contracts. Turning around the Orioles franchise was a monumental task, but MacPhail and his team have done yeomen’s work in that regard, and the Orioles are certainly on the upswing.

Major League Talent: B-

I don’t know if people realize it or not, but this team actually isn’t bad. Not just for the future, but right now. Their outfield defense will be among the best in the game, they have a couple of solid fielders up the middle on the infield, and their offense should be one of the best in the league. Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, and Adam Jones are all-star talents (obviously, Markakis and Roberts are already there), while Aubrey Huff, Luke Scott, Felix Pie, and Melvin Mora should be solid role players and give the line-up some depth. The rotation is thin after Jeremy Guthrie, but there’s some potential for usefulness with Rich Hill, Koji Uehara, and Mark Hendrickson. Honestly, the Orioles could probably contend in the AL West this year – their division will hold them back, but the talent base is in place for a good run.

Minor League Talent: A-

Since Matt Wieters hasn’t made his major league debut yet, I’m sticking him here, even if he is probably a top ten major league catcher right now. He’s the best prospect we’ve seen in years, and as close to a sure thing as you’ll ever get from a guy who hasn’t stepped foot in the big leagues. But the system doesn’t end with Wieters – Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz are two of the best young arms in the minors, while Jake Arrieta, Brandon Erbe, and David Hernandez are an excellent group of second tier pitching prospects. The Orioles are about to get a significant infusion of young talent, and several of these players will join the core of the next good Orioles team.

Overall: B-

After being the laughingstock of the American League for most of this decade, the O’s are on the verge of being respectable again. It’s hard to imagine a better trio of position players to build around than Wieters-Jones-Markakis, and with some good young arms on the way and an owner willing to spend money to compete, Baltimore could be very good as soon as 2010. Yes, the AL East is a killer, but tough competition can only hold back talent to a degree. Good teams win baseball games, and the Orioles are going to be a good team in the not too distant future.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


71 Responses to “Organizational Rankings: #16”

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  1. Tito Landrum says:

    Coming from an O’s fan – and one who can still remember the good ‘ole days (and, no, I’m not talking about 96 and 97) – I have to say, “That’s what I’m talking about!”

    I like this outlook very much and even though I know it’s silly I appreciate it that much more to hear it from someone whose job – at least at Fangraphs – is to cover all of MLB. I’m just glad that others are taking notice of what is going on in Baltimore.

    Now, that being said, I expect you are going to have some explaining to do, Mr. Cameron, as to why the Mariners have not showed up on this list yet.

    ; ^ )

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    • Omar says:

      Yeah, in what world are the Mariners in better shape going forward than the Orioles? The only argument I can see is that the AL West sucks and they have to do less to get into the playoffs, whereas the Orioles somehow need to jump the Yankees, Boston, and the Rays.

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      • Tito Landrum says:

        “A man must have a code”

        I bet the M’s are coming up soon. I think the M’s and the O’s are pretty similar in that both organizations were very poorly run for a long time – especially the O’s, but now both appear to on the right track. The problem is that few are taking notice because of how bad the organizations were prior to their new management.

        O’s and M’s fans are BOTH guilty of not paying attention to the positives that have been going on in Baltimore and Seattle.

        To be honest, my last sentence was more of a joke figuring that there would be some backlash at Dave Cameron. Honestly, I’m so happy about what he had to say that I could really care less about the number ranking.

        “Indeed”

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      • Tito Landrum says:

        when I said “my last sentence” I was talking about the last sentence in my FIRST post. just to be clear. unless I just made it more confusing…

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  2. ThundaPC says:

    I could say the Orioles are ranked way too high, claim that they should be lower based on my preconceived notions that the Orioles are a hopeless organization that are in a very tough division and that their is no light at the end of the tunnel for them.

    But nah, I’d rather admit that my initial impressions were incorrect and admit that they a looking far better than they used to look.

    This outlook on top of PECOTA/THT Projected standings has Baltimore scoring and giving up runs in Texas-sized proportions. Man, get some pitching in there and that team can become dangerously good real quick.

    AL East is getting scarier by the year.

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  3. Brian Recca says:

    Major League talent a B-, This team has one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball and still gets a B-. How?

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    • math_geek says:

      Take a look at the last team to get a B-, the Minnesota Twins. Certainly the twins have much better pitching, but their position players aren’t even close to what Baltimore has.

      Orioles Twins
      Markakis +6.1 wins Mauer +5.9
      Roberts +4.5 wins Morneau +3.5
      Huff +4.1 wins Span +2.5
      Mora +2.5 wins Punto +2.4
      Jones +2.2 wins Gomez +2.2
      Scott +2.0 wins Casilla +1.2

      The Orioles added Ty Wigginton, Gregg Zaun, Ryan Freel, Felix Pie, and Cesar Izturis to round out their major league position players. The Twins added. The Twins haven’t added a position player I don’t believe.

      In addition, most people Adam Jones is going to be a star, giving the Orioles more credit with their position players.

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  4. Baltfan says:

    I have to say, I can’t see how the Mariners rank ahead of the Orioles in a single category. Both of these teams are rebuilding, but Baltimore has a better core at the major league level, a much stronger minor league system, and a GM who we know a lot more about.

    Both ownerships are somewhat meddlesome but have been willing to commit outsized resources.

    I don’t see it.

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    • Wally says:

      Get ready to be called a “Mariner basher” and to listen to 3-5 posts about how their FO staff is one of the best in baseball even though they have only been on the job for ~3 months.

      I will say Baltimore’s owners are more meddlesome, but yes both do meddle. I’d rate the O’s owners below the M’s, but the M’s farm is way behind the O’s, the O’s already have some good young pieces at the big league level, and at this point I can only put the M’s FO at about a tie. So yeah, O’s ahead of M’s for me.

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      • Logger says:

        Why must the comments always evolve into a “the Mariners should not be ranked above Team X” discussion?

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      • Russell says:

        Because “the Red Sox should not be ranked above Team X” would be silly?

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      • NadavT says:

        Has anyone actually called you a “Mariner basher” yet?

        If not, please allow me to be the first.

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      • Wally says:

        Well I know I’ve accused of Mariner bashing….I’m not sure if there is a significant difference between the two….

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      • ThundaPC says:

        Not me. I’ve been accused of Kool-Aid drinking.

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      • Wally says:

        …well when you say the M’s FO is arguably one of the best in baseball….

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      • ThundaPC says:

        Perhaps you need to do some research?

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      • Wally says:

        haha… perhaps I did, and perhaps I think believing calling a guy that has been a GM for ~3 months one of the best in baseball to be a bit silly, at best.

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      • ThundaPC says:

        I’m not calling “a guy” as arguably one of the best in baseball.

        I’m calling the “Front Office” as arguably one of the best in baseball (although I’m still a bit jealous of how slick the Rays are). It’s more than just Jack Zduriencik. It’s the organization he’s assembled to help run the Mariners. That’s what “Front Office” means.

        I would’ve agreed with you in November 2008 when he was first hired. There were a ton of questions as to how much he would actually be able to do. He has, since, answered many of those questions and exceeded expectations by assembling a very good front office.

        There are plenty of arguments that are going to be made about the ranking. Doesn’t bother me none. It’s the suggestion that “we don’t know much about this Front Office” that’s demonstratively wrong. That’s my issue.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        But what *have* the Mariners done this offseason? Signing Griffey may have been a good move, but that’s from a PR sense, not a baseball sense. Letting Willie Bloomquist go? More Dayton Moore being an idiot than anything. What savvy signings or triumphant trades have the Ms made under this front office that would lead us to anoint it one of the best in baseball?

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      • Benne says:

        @Kevin S.

        Has everybody already forgotten the massive haul the M’s got for J.J. Putz? That deal alone (along with flipping Heilman to the Cubs) gets this offseason a big thumbs-up from me.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        I actually did forget about the Putz trade, but I wouldn’t call it a massive haul unless you’re just tabulating bodies. Endy Chavez is a fourth outfielder. Franklin Gutierrez is OK, but he probably doesn’t start on a good team. Jason Vargas is 26 years old, didn’t pitch at all last year, and hasn’t really shown anything when he has pitched. Cleto’s got some upside, but really, this was a quantity over quality deal. Not saying they shouldn’t have made it, as Putz is a luxury a bad team doesn’t need, but are we giving the FO credit for simply realizing that he had no place on this team?

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      • Omar says:

        I’m surprised that the White Sox and Twins aren’t ahead of the Mariners either, I mean Terry Ryan is a pretty mediocre to bad GM…but still, I like their team right now quite a bit more than I like the Mariners. Same for the Giants too.

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      • Jeff Nye says:

        How do you manage to follow this site enough to comment here, and still very clearly have no understanding of the value of defense?

        The Putz trade was an excellent trade.

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      • Tito Landrum says:

        To Kevin,

        Like the O’s the M’s are going to be an above average defensive team. Chavez and Gutierrez are plus defenders and the M’s are good at, really every position. With a little luck this team really could win the AL West THIS year.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        I do understand the value of defense. I also understand that that .308 career OBP only plays if he’s in center field AND that 59-game sample is truly indicative of how good his D in center will be, and that’s still kind of dicey.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        I’m sorry, 29-game sample, not 59. Still, Gutierrez’s entire value comes from his glove. He was +2.3 wins last year. That’s what, league-average? IF his defense translates just as well to center, it’s a different story, but we don’t know that it will year.

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      • Wally says:

        A .308 OBP doesn’t really play anywhere. Chavez is somewhere between average and replacement level. Gutierrez is roughly average and this is probably about as good as he’s going to get. I don’t see how these players help a team in rebuild mode?

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    • Wally says:

      Thunda, sure we all like some of the hires and Zduriencik seems to “get it.” But there is not much a track record, despite your evidence less, and straw man claim that the suggestion that “we don’t know much about this Front Office” is demonstratively wrong. There are certainly things we know about this FO, but we have yet to see many other things. Zduriencik has what FA signing history? He’s made some good picks in the draft, but how’s he going to handle that now as a GM? Trade history? The Putz trade was ok, but it didn’t really bring back a big prospect. It mostly brought in filler, lots of it, but how valuable is that really?

      And you want to grade this FO (or this guy) out as one of the best in baseball? I’d go with something like “above average,” but I can’t put them somewhere around top 5 (which I assume you mean by “one of the best”) and I don’t think any argument to put them there holds any water.

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  5. Russell says:

    If “the rotation is thin after Jeremy Guthrie” then a team is going to struggle to compete, in any division. Wieters and Markakis should be a solid one-two punch for years to come, and yes the team has other offensive and defensive pieces, but until this they produce major league pitching talent I think its premature to rank them ahead of teams who are already in post season contention. The list of top pitching prospects who flamed out is extensive (Isringhausen/Pulsipher/Wilson anyone?) and while I agree that the young arms look impressive, I think its too soon to be sold.

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    • Tito Landrum says:

      Russell,

      I think this is a very fair rebuttal on your part. It appears that the O’s are putting all of thier eggs in the Matusz/Tillman/Arrieta basket and history tells us that there is a good chance that 2 of these three will not pan out. However, even after these three the Orioles have very solid minor league pitching depth. It is also possible that at least one from that second group of pitchers could surprise and perform better than expected at the ML level – history often bears this out as well.

      As far as this year’s rotation goes, well, a lot could hinge on whether or not Rich Hill is able to regain his 07 form. McPhail has placed a great deal of “pitch to contact” pitchers with what should be a very good defensive team. The defense along could help make this year’s pitching staff much better then people think.

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      • JH says:

        The Orioles aren’t putting all of their eggs in their three best pitching prospects. They just happen to have three very good pitching prospects, to go along with several arms in the minors with upside. That’s NEVER a bad thing. Other options might not have upsides at the level of the trio of prospects they currently have, but there are always other options when your GM is competent and flexible.

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  6. Benne says:

    Adam Jones…….*sniff*

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  7. Kampfer says:

    Seattle Mariners has a good ownership in nintendo and I guess that is how Mariners beat out Orioles.With a huge payroll,all you need is a quality front office to rebuild to contention, but I am not sure if we have one — ok, I am a Mariners fan.

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    • Evan says:

      The far, far weaker division might help, too.

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      • harmony says:

        The AL East was the league’s strongest division in 2008, but in the 11 seasons since the Baltimore Orioles’ last winning record the AL West has by far the best cumulative divisional record in baseball:

        http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090127&content_id=3775922&vkey=news_ana&fext=.jsp&c_id=ana

        We are entering the final year of a decade that saw the Seattle Mariners average 98 wins season for the first four years of the decade. The Mariners have won at least 88 games in five of the nine years this decade, but their tough division has resulted in only two trips to the postseason

        The AL East has enjoyed some success in the postseason this decade, but the AL West has often ruled the regular season.

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    • Steven says:

      The Mariners have a significant advantage over the O’s: they’re not required to compete in the same division as the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. The criteria for these rankings is on their overall ability to win a World Series. Baltimore’s has a serious fight ahead of them to even make the playoffs, let alone win the World Series.

      You’ll also note that it’s not just the Mariners who haven’t shown up yet. The entire AL West is absent right now.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      You mean the good ownership that does things like force the GM to sign the incumbent (and terrible) catcher to an indefensible three-year extension, blocking the path of the organizations’ top prospect, simply because ownership wanted said catcher taken care of because he’s Japanese? Sorry, that one doesn’t get swept out with the rest of the Bavasi mess.

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  8. big says:

    The link to the KC Royals is broken.

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  9. Terry says:

    Os fans rejoice-someone said something nice about their team!

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  10. KG says:

    I know this does not count in the current rankings/grades, but the O’s have the 5th overall selection in a pitcher (top)heavy draft. Which means they will probably be adding a fourth member to the “Matusz/Tillman/Arrieta” group of high upside potential starters.

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    • Tito Landrum says:

      Yep. As of right now – and ALOT can change between now and the draft obviously – the only player that might keep them from drafting another pitcher would be if Grant Green fell to them.

      we’ll see.

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  11. Walter Jones says:

    I just wanted to add how thrilled I am to see the Mariners get tons of attention in every post. For a team that was garbage the past few years and that plays past most East Coasters’ bedtimes, they sure are on a lot of minds.

    O’s content: It’s interesting to see Markakis ranked as such a plus when Baltimore’s scouting department was skewered for moving him from the pitcher’s mound in 2003. Looks like they made a good move.

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  12. Kevin S. says:

    They’re getting all this attention because they easily should have already been on the list and Dave came from USSMariner. It’s accusing the author of homerism more than it is that people care that much about the Mariners.

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    • Greg in Baltimore says:

      Angelos, since MacPhail, has become invisible. He has completely turned around his attitude and reputation in Baltimore as a meddlesome owner. Any trades or failure to make trades in the past 2 years all smell of Andy MacPhail, and Angelos deserves some recognition for being able to distance himself from that old way of handling his business (I guess losing money every year became not so much fun).

      However, Angelos IS directly responsible for the front office that singlehandly wrecked the Orioles since he bought the team in 1993. I am talking about the two headed GM of Flanagan and Duquette that neglected to make necessary trades to keep the roster young and talented, that made ridiculous free agent acquisitions (Sammy Sosa) to patch the leaking ship, and neglected to consistently develop successful picks through the draft to replenish the Orioles.

      While MacPhail has done wonders (his only blunders so far IMO were the minor Chad Bradford trade, and failure to sign Markakis at the end of the 2007 season), I think a lot of the credit for the Orioles recent success should go to Joe Jordan, director of scouting. Under him, the Orioles have had several successful drafts teeming with well scouted post-first round talent, and the minors look healthier than they have in a long time (I think they are ranked 9th, or near there). Without his talent for scouting and development, the Orioles would be much further down this list.

      This year also marks the first year that the Orioles have signed a Japanese player (Uehara), with John Stockstill going to great lengths to increase the presence of Baltimore in the far east (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan), as well as setting up a facility in the DR last summer hoping to attract more Carribbean talent to Baltimore.

      It is true that the Orioles are still four starters away from being relevant but I think it’s necessary to point out that the Rays are exactly the reason why it’s not only plausible, but it’s also entirely likely that the Orioles have the chance to contend in the next five years even in the AL East. As mentioned before, it’s not just that the Orioles have Arrieta, Matusz and Tillman, they have solid second and third tiers of pitchers waiting in the wings, as well as future draft picks who quickly fill in holes as time moves forward.

      Also keep in mind that even before Matusz, Tillman and Arrieta get here, the Orioles will be auditioning players like Brad Bergesen (who was Eastern League Pitcher of the Year in 2008) and David Hernandez (who lead the EL in Ks with 166 and 10.6 K/9).

      Because the pitching is such a huge question mark for 2009, it’s hard to have any realistic hope of going beyond 75 wins, but I can tell you that it’s still really exciting to be a Baltimore Oriole fan this year and going forward.

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  13. Jeff Nye says:

    (disclaimer: apparently I’m on Dave’s payroll even though he has been very lax about sending me my checks!)

    Nobody at USSM is a blind Mariners homer; if anything, we’ve been heavily criticized in the past for being TOO down on the team. But the new GM is one of who can put the scouting AND sabermetric sides of talent evaluation together to find market advantages, and there just are very, very few of those guys out there.

    If you ask baseball people if they think Jack Zduriencik is a good GM, they don’t care about his limited track record with that title attached to his name, because he (and his team; guys like Carmen Fusco and Tony Blengino are well known within the game) has been around for a long time and is well-respected as being an excellent talent evaluator.

    If you want to take a wait and see attitude, that’s fair; but there’s just no reason to actively downgrade him because this is his first few months as a GM. He’s not at all an unknown quantity to those who have been paying attention.

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  14. Kevin S. says:

    Nobody’s actively downgrading him, but if you change an ‘A’ to an ‘Incomplete,’ that’s going to put a ding in your rating.

    For the record, I wasn’t accusing Dave of homerism (I’ll reserve that right for until I read the Ms writeup), but speculating that was why people have been wondering for the last couple teams why the Mariners aren’t up here yet.

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  15. Jeff Nye says:

    Well, okay, but there really isn’t any valid reason to give him an incomplete other than sheer obstinance.

    The guy’s been working in baseball for 25 years, he’s the only non-GM ever to be named Executive of the Year by Baseball America, and has spent the last 9 years being the primary point man for the complete overhaul of the Brewers organization.

    And so far, he’s performed exactly as you would expect from someone of his talent; he’s moved an overvalued asset (Putz) to acquire several key pieces (I don’t know in what world you don’t think that Gutierrez “doesn’t start for a good team”) to help keep the team in reasonable contention without any bad contractual commitments, AND picked up a couple of potentially interesting pieces to boot.

    The rest of his moves have been quantity over quality, mostly stockpiling interesting arms to build a bullpen on the cheap, but not every move can be a blockbuster and it’s exactly the sort of strategy that ALL teams should be using when they try to build their bullpen.

    And as ThundaPC says in an earlier comment, it’s not just Jack; the entire team that he has built around him is awesome, and helps him fill in areas where his own knowledge falls short.

    We have enough information, right now, to evaluate the Mariners’ front office as one of the best in baseball. It’ll be their major and minor league talent that brings their rating down, not some farcical “incomplete” grade for the FO that pretends that it consists of a bunch of questionmarks.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      One post earlier you say it’s fair to take a wait-and-see approach, now it’s obstinacy to give him an incomplete?

      Gutierrez has a career .308 OBP. In his best season, his defense was good enough to make him a league-average player. If he could post that +20 UZR as a center fielder, that might be enough for a good team to start him, but that would for lack of a better option (see New York Yankees, Brett Gardner).

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      • Jeff Nye says:

        I was trying to be nice; I see now that that was a mistake.

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      • JH says:

        Actually, in Gutierrez’s best season, he was a significantly better than league average player, but only played for half a season. With his slightly above average bat (.339 wOBA) and phenomenal defense, he played like a 3.5 WAR player for half the year.

        If you’re only counting full seasons, you need to replace “In his best season” with “in his only season.”

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  16. Dave Cameron says:

    The Mariners now have their own thread. Feel free to take your claims of bias over there.

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  17. Bearskin Rugburn says:

    To anyone who thinks the Mariners should rank behind the Os:

    Ahem.

    We don’t play the AL freakin EAST!

    Thank you, that is all.

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  18. DodgeTown2 says:

    Ummm it’s organizational rankings not “how this team stacks up in their division” rankings. The Orioles should not be behind the Mariners no matter how you slice it. Not even close.

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  19. Jim says:

    “Ummm it’s organizational rankings not “how this team stacks up in their division” rankings. The Orioles should not be behind the Mariners no matter how you slice it. Not even close.”

    I think someone would do well to write a script or macro which automatically generates the same arguments in every thread–users could click on it and post them to make it easier without having to type them up!

    These arguments would include:

    1)Questioning the methodology and why some teams are higher than others when (some of) their individual category grades were lower.

    2)Bring up an argument that says something to the effect of: “But the original post said these rankings are evaluating teams on their ability to contend for a World Series in the future, and (x team) is in (y division) meaning they have it that much (easier/harder) to contend for a World Series!”

    3)Blatantly accusing Dave of homerism and wondering why the Mariners aren’t ranked yet(too late–they are!).

    Hmmm…maybe I’ll do that if I have some spare time. On second thought, I’ve got to go finish my brackets.

    Oh, and also…isn’t Mike Flanagan still hanging around the Orioles’ front office? And isn’t he pretty much powerless as the in-name-only GM, with MacPhail the president in charge of baseball operations running the show? I could swear that’s the case–not that it matters much. ;)

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    • DodgeTown2 says:

      Mike Flanagan last I heard would be on the local TV analyzing Orioles baseball and he has nothing to do with the moves the teams makes.

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  20. Rob in CT says:

    Regarding having a meddlesome owner who has been “hands off” lately: as a Yankees fan, I refer you to the example of George Steinbrenner. He was “hands off” for a while (first due to his being banned, then b/c the team was winning WS after WS). But ultimately he just couldn’t stay out of it. Of late, he’s gotten senile and his sons took over, and it’s as yet unclear how much they will meddle (Hank talks a lot, but it’s not clear that he’s actually DONE anything stupid yet).

    Angelos will probably meddle again. It’s in his nature.

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  21. DodgeTown2 says:

    Seattle ownership has meddled more than Peter Angelos LATELY. So color me still confused. The last rumored Angelos meddling was him preventing Brian Roberts and Hayden Penn from being traded for Marcus Giles and Adam LaRoche. O’s fans should thank him everyday for that.

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  22. Matt J. says:

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this about the Mariners supposed good front office, but that Erik Bedard trade is looking like quite a strike against it. Imagine how much better the Mariners would be ranked if they had kept Chris Tillman, Adam Jones, and George Sherrill, all of whom are providing tremendous value to the Baltimore Orioles right now, while Bedard can’t seem to stay healthy. Just throwing it out there.

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    • ThundaPC says:

      The Eric Bedard trade was completed by the Mariners old front office which was promptly fired months later.

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  23. sam w-r says:

    being a die-hard O’s fan, it pains me to say that I’m not sure if people realize how bad our starting pitching is going to be this year. Scary bad…we will be duking it out w/ the rangers for worst staff for sure.

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  24. Brandon says:

    I know it’s stylish to bash Flanagan and Duquette but they were just the last of a line of general managers who had little control of the club. That said the trades Andy MacPhail made were not as productive as the Tejada trade Flanagan and Duquette had in place that was squashed by Angelos. The idea of “rebuilding” was out of the question under the Angelos regime. The fact MacPhail has been given total control -as he states it- is the amazing feat to be applauded. But the players named in pointing out the team isn’t that bad ie Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff, Jeremy Guthre, Melvin Mora, Brandon Erbe, David Hernandez, Matt Wieters and Jake Arrieta are there because of Flanagan and Duquette as well as Joe Jordon who was brought in by Beattie and Flanagan. The Markakis transition from pitcher to hitter was implemented by Flanagan and Tony DeMacio. So hate if you will but I guess not all decisions were lousy and they may just have been headed in the right direction after all. Just like the Twins World Series ring Andy MacPhail wears he didn’t earn it, he walked into a situation that played out in his favor basically taking credit for work done years before he showed up on the scene. Just like Andy NOT getting his wish and getting Joe Girardi as his manager, the manager he has was picked by Flanagan and Duquette while they were handed Sam Perlazzo by Peter Angelos. There’s a lot more to the story than putting total blame on those who were under the thumb of a meddlesome owner. On the other hand in Chicago after twelve years Andy didn’t develop even one pitcher of star quality. managed to compile a losing record and lose over 90 games five times. I wonder how the Orioles fans would like those numbers? The most impressive thing Andy MacPhail has done is “be allowed” to state he is actually in charge. Who knows what others may have been able to do if they too were given the same powers. Andy on the other hand has been given those powers and I might point out that he has been able with those powers to take all three teams he’s been involved with into last place finishes.

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  25. Nacho says:

    Interesting point Brandon

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  26. Thanks for your insight for the excellent posting. I’m glad I’ve taken the time to see this.

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