Indications are that Roberts is not going anywhere. The team is playing well and not many teams are in need of a second baseman. That being said, I think he will be dealt at the 2009 deadline or we will receive a couple draft picks in 2010. It seems unlikely that we will extend him for the number of years he will most likely desire.
Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Orioles are listening to any and all offers for these two relievers.
The Orioles would love to move two of their veteran relievers, lefty Jamie Walker and righty Chad Bradford. Walker and Bradford are specialists whose inability to work multiple innings forces manager Dave Trembley to overuse younger pitchers such as Jim Johnson and Matt Albers.
The main deterrent is that they are on the books for 2009, but I imagine there will be a market for both of these players. Bradford will probably be a little bit easer to part with as he is having a great pedestrian season. Peripherals suggest differently, but he is doing well. Walker is not doing so hot, but is not awful. Being a southpaw, we may be able to get a high C level prospect. Bradford is probably worth a low B and a C.
Recent reports have pegged Andy MacPhail as being quite driven to find a new shortstop.
"We're on an APB right now, trying to find a shortstop as a front office," MacPhail said. "We've sent the word out to our scouts. We're going to continue to evaluate our internal options and we're going to continue to look outside the organization as well to see if we can find something. We're not really satisfied with the productivity we've gotten out of that position to this point. We've got to keep working to try to make it better."
Brandon Fahey, Luis Hernandez, and Freddie Bynum have all failed in the role. Alex Cintron's hitting streak is bound to subside and his popgun arm impresses no one. Potential SS candidates may include:
Braves - Brent Lillibridge, Diory Hernandez
Lillibridge is suffering mightily in AAA Richmond at the moment. His stock has plummeted, but the Braves are known for somehow figuring out to sell high. He seems like someone who will be kept on unless the Braves think they are getting his true value. With Tex sure to leave this offseason and the Braves within striking distance of first place, they may decide to go all in again this year. The Braves' infield is set for years up the middle, so Lillibridge could be considered excess. Diory Hernandez is in the same boat as Lillibridge, but is putting together a better season. He is a high contact guy with speed, but horrible base running skills. Diory may be more available.
Marlins - Robert Andino
Andino is enjoying his last option year. I believe at the moment he is a little used bench player for the Marlins, who may be interested in beefing up their relief. He displays good speed and base running decisions. He also has some secondary power. His main drawback is that he is a pure contact hitter who walks little and strikes out a lot. He is most likely available though he may be considered Ugula's replacement if they decide not to offer him arbitration.
Mets - Jose Coronado
Coronado's defense is ready, but not his bat. He is currently swinging and missing at AA Binghamton. In hiA, his bat was so futile, the coach instructed him to basically sacrifice bunt whenever anyone was on base with less than 2 outs. He was able to muster 30 sacrific hits that year. He probably has no place in the Mets' future, but I am not sure why we would want to collect everyone's Luis Hernandez.
Cubs - Andres Blanco
Blanco is another Coronado/Hernandez. He was signed by the Royals and actually let go as a minor league free agent last fall. The Cubs picked him up and he is fielding well in Iowa, but not really hitting in a hitters' ballpark.
Brewers - Ozzie Chavez
Ozzie Chavez is in his 8th year in the Brewers system. He has shown the ability to take a pitch somewhat well, but has no power. His defense is sound, but he has really struggled in AAA for two years. As a 24 year old, he still has a chance to turn it, but it doesn't look much better than what we currently have.
Twins - Sergio Santos
Over the past four years, Santos has shown he can hold his own offensive at AA, but not AAA. He has power and is a contact oriented hitter. Those skills have yet to advance to be competent at the AAA level. He certainly has much more upside than any of our immediate alternatives within the Orioles system. The Twins may be interested in one of our excess relievers, but we may have to foot some of the bill to get them to take Bradford or Walker.
A's - Donnie Murphey, Gregorio Petit
Donnie Murphy is another marginal middle infielder. He is playing backup second base for the Athletics, but could switch over to his natural position, SS. He has shown some secondary power, but is basically a poor contact hitter. His value is such that the A's acquired him from the Royals for cash. His worth is a bit more these days. Petit is similar to Murphy, but he is a bit more of an accomplished defensive SS and seems to have higher potential power. He is most likely worth more to them than Murphy and may be a difficult take.
Of these guys who would I want?
I think Brent Lillibridge is the best. I'd follow that by Diory Hernandez and then maybe Robert Andino. I don't think Murphy and Petit are much different from Andino. I neglected to mention other guys like Jack Wilson, Uribe, Ronny Cedeno, and others as I question what use they have to the Orioles at this moment. If these more established guys are essential for this team to be competitive in the short term, they could be acquired in the offseason.