Back-to-back winning seasons is something that hadn't happened since the 1996, 97 seasons, but with that comes expectations from fans and thus far this offseason, the Baltimore Orioles have done very little to appease the fan base.
It is very easily arguable that the Orioles have made one real move that has actually improved the team, which was the signing of RHP Ryan Webb, but every other move Baltimore has made has either worsened the team or at the most kept them where they are. It is not even questionable that the Orioles are a worse team right now than they were at the end of the season with the departures of Jim Johnson, Nate McLouth and Scott Feldman already and other free agents yet to sign.
The Winter Meetings provide every team with up close and personal negotiations, whether it be with other GM's for trades or player agents to try and make a free agent splash. Orioles' fans are desperately hoping that Executive VP/GM Dan Duquette and the Orioles are in among these negotiations as the fan base is desperate to see something from Baltimore that shows they are actually trying to improve this team and win.
Baltimore has been among the most rumored teams in the league thus far this offseason and the only real rumor to come to fruition was the trade of Johnson, which was simply a salary dump that enraged fans. The Orioles enter the Winter Meetings with tons of rumors swirling around them, but only time will tell if any of them actually come to fruition.
The Orioles have been linked to some big name free agents such as Matt Garza, Fernando Rodney, Shin-Soo Choo, and others, but all the rumors do is continue to enrage fans of the Birds because the team has yet to sign one of these guys.
Trades? Yeah the Orioles are in those rumors as well, especially with their guys like Matt Wieters, who has two years of team control left and seems to be unwilling to sign a contract extension prior to hitting the free agent market in two years. Baltimore desperately needs to add a high quality arm to their rotation and a left fielder that could preferably add some pop to the lineup, not to mention the need for a left handed DH.
So will Duquette and the Orioles make a splash? Only if they jump into a puddle on the sidewalk. Sorry Orioles fans, we do not foresee Baltimore spending the money necessary to bring a big time player to Charm City. Do not get us wrong, we do believe that the Birds will make a couple moves that will make the team better, but it will not be the splash that everyone seems to be hoping for.
They say winning solves everything, but in Baltimore, winning creates un-met expectations.
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