Orioles might be close to cutting bait on Garrett Atkins

Leave a comment

MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli speculates that the Orioles could designate Garrett Atkins for assignment Saturday when they need a roster spot to call up scheduled starter Brad Bergesen.
This offseason Atkins signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with an $8.5 million team option or $500,000 buyout for 2011, which struck me as a bad investment for the Orioles given his rapidly declining numbers and particularly questionable production away from hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Sure enough Atkins has hit just .219 with one homer and a .574 OPS in 43 games, with his yearly OPS since a career-year in 2006 now looking like this: .965, .853, .780, .650, .574. Atkins also hit just .233 with a .302 on-base percentage and .394 slugging percentage away from Coors Field combined during the previous three seasons, so the move was doomed from the start.
Acquired from the A’s yesterday, Jake Fox is one-tenth as expensive with vastly more defensive versatility and likely more offensive upside at this point. Atkins was a bad signing and now he’s just a sunk cost.

Report: Twins interested in Wade Miley

Getty Images
3 Comments

Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.

The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.

Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”