Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Koji Uehara, 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #139

I'm very pleased with the moves the Orioles have made in the past 24 hours.

First, they reached an agreement late last night on a new contract for Koji Uehara. I was confused when the O's declined to offer him salary arbitration, but in hindsight they saved money. If he'd accepted arbitration, he likely make at least $6 million in 2011 (his 2010 salary was $5 million). Instead, Koji signed a one-year deal for $3 million guaranteed with another $2 million in incentives and an option for 2012. It's a pretty low-risk deal for someone who was excellent when he finally got healthy.

Around lunchtime today, the Birds finally completed a trade for another talented infielder in his prime, acquiring shortstop J.J. Hardy and utility infielder Brendan Harris from the Twins for minor league relievers Brett Jacobsen and Jim Hoey. Minnesota even threw in $500,000 to offset some of the salary difference. Hardy is 28, has some pop (he hit a total 61 doubles and 50 homers in 2007 and 2008 with the Brewers), and is regarded as a strong defender. At this point in his career, he's just as good as Cesar Izturis with the glove and even if his offense remains at the lower level of his 2009-2010 numbers, he's actually a significant upgrade over Cesar with the bat. Twins fans are howling over the deal, which I'll take as a good sign.

I feel much better about the deals Andy MacPhail has made this week than I did about the retread Band-Aids he slapped on last year's team. It's starting to look like a major league club...of course the less said about the Red $ox and the Yankee$, the better.


deal said...

Those Goodwin Champs cards are a pretty good lookin set. I sort of dismissed them a yr ago, but now the more I see them the more I like them - the Demise of UD-Baseball has also factored into me looking at their cards a bit differently.

Brian said...

I thought Brett Jacobsen had a lot potential, but I still like the deal. In another topic, I'm looking forward to Luke Scott not making anymore political comments this winter.

FreeTheBirds said...

I love Luke Scott's gun-totin' right-wing insanity. I wish the O's would let him keep the beard and let him go full crazy. I hate their facial hair policy! I may have bitched about that before...

If they can get LaRoche, I'll be pretty content with the offensive upgrades. I don't think they'll land him though, not if the Nats are interested - they are always willing to overspend while the Orioles always lowball.

Kevin said...

deal - They are pretty sharp-looking. I prefer the eerie dark background with red-orange glow on this card to the ones with a cloud backdrop.

Brian - For my own peace of mind, I decided not to dedicate a blog post to Luke's ill-informed verbal diarrhea. The only advice I would give him would be this quote from Ron White: "The next time you have a thought, let it go."

Jeff - I'd be alright with LaRoche. If you compare his stats over the past few seasons to Paul Konerko, he offers similar production at a much lower price.