I propose what Andy MacPhail should have done is let Roberts play out 2009 and then let him walk. The offers from the Cubs wound up with prospects that never amounted to much (e.g. Roger Cedeno). The only benefit in dealing for those players would have been to avoid the final year of his initial contract. I think the better move would have been simply to let him walk and reload the minors with two more picks in the 2010 draft. I think it would have been likely for the Orioles to have secured the 24th selection in the first round. That off season the Giants had some money to throw around and needed a second baseman. I could have also seen the Washington Nationals making a play, which would have netted the first selection in the second round. I think Roberts would have preferred the Giants though. Using the Elias Rankings projection, Brian Roberts would have resulted in a sandwich pick between Billy Wagner and Chone Figgins . . . the 40th selection.
Next, I will look at who the Orioles might have drafted . . . who I would have drafted . . . and just who might have been playing second base these past two years.
Who the Orioles would have selected?
The Orioles tend to go after two types of players in the first couple rounds: safe college pitching and raw tools high schoolers. I am using that foundation as to who they would target at 1:24 and 1:40 in last year's draft. After taking Manny Machado, I would think they would focus on a safe college starter for 1:24.
1:24 Asher Wojciechowski, RHSP, The Citadel
This would have been a solid pick who would have signed around slot. He has a large frame at 6'4 and 230lbs. He also owns a mid-90s fastballs and a fringe plus slider. At this point he was mainly a two pitch pitcher with an ineffectual change up. I do not know if he has progressed beyond this point yet. He wound up being selected by the Blue Jays in the supplementary round with the 41st selection.
|Jarrett Parker could have been nice.|
Parker's ability to play in the Majors is placed almost completely in how he is able to develop his raw power. Joe Jordan has not drafted this kind of player this high before, but I could see them wanting a slot signing that could improve the presence of raw power in the minors. At 6'4 and over 200lbs, his running speed is unexpectably average to above average. If he can somehow develop a decent contact rate, he could be an excellent prospect. He wound up going to the Giants with the 74th selection (2:24).
Who would have I picked?
1:24 Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL)
He wound up going to the Tigers in the supplementary round for 3.45MM. Obviously, I am not making money a sticking point here. I think an investment needs to be in the minors and I had Castellanos in my top ten players. Good power, instincts should translate over to third base . . . so he should be a solid 3B prospect. If cost is an issue, I would go with Bryce Brentz out of Middle Tennessee State. However, not having Roberts around should open up more money to be spent. He has strong power and defensive tools. He is a solid prospect as a rightfielder.
1:40 Asher Wojciechowski, RHSP, The Citadel
I would have wanted someone who has a safe profile and could at least be used as a closer in the future. He is also a slot guy.
Who plays 2B for the Orioles in 2010 and 2011?
|Could be worse without Hudson.|
In 2010, there would not have been much difference between Roberts and Hudson. Roberts was the better player, but with him being injured that lowered the performance coming out of second base for the Orioles. In 2011, if Roberts is unable to play, then Cesar Izturis may be manning second base and he is nearly incapable of hitting anything. In both money, flexibility, minor league talent, and performance . . . it appears the Orioles would have been better off letting Roberts walk. So, yeah, this post's point is redundant with what I wrote over two years ago.
Edit: Oops, I was going to refine this article a bit more. I thought I scheduled it to be printed on Monday. Oh well.