Some people are upset over the trade of Jim Johnson. Maybe they forgot that JJ blew a league leading nine saves, led the Orioles team in losses as a closer and his 1.28 WHIP was 3rd worse and his 7.2 K/9 was 2nd worse among AL pitchers with 10 or more saves. Calling him mediocre last year might be a stretch.
This was nothing more than a salary dump and the fact that at least we got a guy with some major league experience in Jemile Weeks, who had a decent year getting on base in AAA last year seems ok with me.
The key is what moves are made after this. If we go into next season with basically the same team minus Johnson, then I'll meet you on the ledge. The Orioles now have Brian Roberts ($10 million) and JJ's contract (probably around $10 million after arbitration) off the books and they received $25 million in TV revenue from major league baseball. If they don't start adding payroll then we should have concerns. It pains me when I hear about Washington being in on top free agents but nobody talks about the Orioles. When did DC become a mid-market while we became a small market. Wasn't that what MASN was supposed to stop?
I'm going to assume that Duquette rightly evaluated that Johnson was going to be overpriced and giving Buck one of his favorites back when he didn't do the job way too often last year was not worth the gamble in bringing him back. I'll also assume he has a lot more up his sleeve this off season.
GAMBOA and PRIDIE
Both Eddie Gamboa and Jason Pridie were taken off the 40-man roster.
The issue with Gamboa is that he is not fully committed to being a knuckle pitcher but rather a mediocre minor league right-hander with a knunckleball. I think the Orioles would like to see him commit to the pitch and seeing his quotes about going back to the way he was pitching at AA may have given him better results against sub par competition, but it probably did not sit with an organization that sees him as a knuckleballer experiment. I'm sure he'll resign and get an opportunity in AAA again next year, but look for the Orioles to convince him to commit to the pitch regardless of the results.
BTW, for the life of me I never understood why Pridie was added to the 40-man roster and why he stayed on it as long as they did. He is the definition of an up down guy at best and clearly not anyone you should feel a need to protect. If the Orioles lose Oliver Drake or Marcel Prado due to Pridie being on the 40-man when it was set that will be poor roster management by the Orioles.
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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.