The Orioles head into spring training minus two star players in Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard. These two trades have netted the birds 10 players which should be viewed as a significant haul to improve the ball club in the future.
What's left to be seen is if Andy MacPhail and company have anything else up their sleeves? starts? Should the Orioles make Brian Roberts the face of the franchise or trade him? Who will be the opening day starter? Who fills out the rotation and bullpebn. These subjects among several others need to be decided.
I'm here to give my predictions. Here's what you need to know: Brian Roberts isn't going anywhere unless Andy MacPhail finds the right deal for the team. He has shown the ability to not give in and settle for mediocre talent in the trades he has made. If the Cubs are willing to include a top prospect along with a few mid tier guys, it may be an offer worth taking, along with the possibility of the Cubs taking some higher salary guys off of the teams hands (Chad Bradford, Danys Baez (DL, etc.).
My Prediction: Roberts is dealt at the trade deadline. The Orioles may be trying to drive up the price by seeing if Roberts puts up a productive first half. If the Cubs think Roberts is the piece to get them in the playoffs, then they'll pony up.
The Orioles will enter camp with a surplus of pitching, many of which who are starters. Who will head the rotation and fill the rest of it out?
My Prediction: Jeremy Guthrie gets the opening day nod, followed by Adam Loewen, Daniel Cabrera, Troy Patton, and Hayden Penn baring any more trades or signings. The Bullpen will likely receive and addition or two before the season starts but right now I think George Sherill is your closer along with Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford being your situational and set up guys. From there its up in the air.