In the last week the Orioles have made a couple of good moves.
The first move was signing Centerfielder Adam Jones to a 6 year $85.5 million dollar deal. The contract works out to about 14 and a half million per year. The 26 year old Jones is about to hit his prime as a player and is developing into a real threat at the plate. He has 16 homers which is tied for 2nd in the American League...5th in RBI's with 34 and tied for 7th in hitting with a .317 average. If he continues to be this productive over the length of the contract the Orioles will be getting a bargain. In addition the signing shows the fans the club is committed to the future. The Orioles have the building blocks of a very good team with Jones, Catcher Matt Wieters, Rightfielder Nick Markakis and Shortstop J-J Hardy.
The other smart move was not to get involved in a bidding war for the services of Starter Roy Oswalt. The team kicked the tires and talked with his agent but in the end decided not to pony up and spend money getting an aging balky pitcher. Remember last year Oswalt was part of the Philles rotation but spent several stints on the disabled list with back troubles. Oswalt signed a minor league deal--for $5 million--with the Rangers yesterday. However it could be a month before he makes it into the rotation in Texas. The Rangers are a team built to win in the post-season. The Orioles are a team that needs to be prudent with its money and go after a player at the trading deadline IF they are still in the pennant race.
One other note. Keep your eye on the progress of 19 year old Dylan Bundy. The Orioles 2011 first round draft pick has eaten alive low minor league hitters. No less than Jim Palmer thinks the teen has big league stuff NOW. Palmer, when talking about Bundy, says the Orioles should stretch him out a bit in the minors and bring him up to the big league club later this summer. Many question the prudence of doing this, with such a young player, but Palmer says he was in the big leagues at 19. Palmer was about 19 and a half when he was called up to play for the Orioles in April of 1965. He went 5-4 with 6 starts and 21 relief appearances for the Birds in the first season of his Hall of Fame career. I'll defer to Cakes on whether or not the Birds should bring Bundy up this season.