The Orioles are beginning the search for a replacement for Andy McPhail. Earlier this week he stepped down after 5 years on the job. In that time frame McPhail failed to change the losing culture in Baltimore. McPhail's legacy might be the hiring of Buck Showalter as manager. I think a lot of Orioles fans expected more tangible progress. The team seems to be cursed when it comes to developing young pitchers. The current crop has been disappointing at best. Brian Matusz seemed to regress all season long. Chris Tillman might be a bust. Zach Britton's results were very uneven this just completed season. The good news on Britton is he pitched well in the last 6 weeks after a rough patch earlier in the summer.
McPhail did play a key role in establishing the future of the team under Showalter. He drafted Catcher Matt Wieters, traded for 3rd Baseman/1st Baseman Mark Reynolds and traded and then signed to a multi year contract Shortstop J J Hardy. These 3 players and Centerfielder Adam Jones are the beginning of a brighter future for the Orioles. The farm system is still years away from producing, top of the roster to bottom of the roster, players that will make the Birds a contender in the very tough A-L East.
The next GM will be fighting an uphill battle, that even a respected and successful baseball man like McPhail, couldn't scale. I wouldn't be surprised if Rangers Assistant GM Thad Levine is the guy that gets the nod. He has been a key player in the rise of Texas with a limited payroll. I think owner Peter Angelos might be willing to raise the payroll but don't look for the Prince Fielder's or Albert Pujols of the world to come to Baltimore. I would however like to see the Orioles get in on the bidding for Phils pitcher Cole Hamels. He is the kind of pitcher to put at the front of rotation. He would be a vast improvement over Jeremy Guthrie...that's for sure.
McPhail tried but in the end the club is no better than when he took over 5 years ago.
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