A Little More on Francisco Peguero

per MLB Trade Rumors:

Peguero, 25, was non-tendered by the Giants earlier in the week. He's batted .200/.217/.289 in a pair of brief Major League stints (46 plate appearances) but has fared better in the minor leagues. Peguero is a career .288/.318/.399 hitter in 764 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, though those numbers are likely dampened a bit by a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery.

Prior to the 2013 season, Baseball America ranked Peguero eighth among Giants prospects, noting that he had perhaps the best combination of power and speed in the Giants' system. BA called Peguero a "hyper-aggressive" hitter, likening his approach to that of his now-former teammate, Pablo Sandoval. BA also noted that he has the tools to profile as a regular in the Majors if he can improve his recognition of the strike zone.”

Peguero's power numbers were way down in 2012 and still down last year so I like hearing that knee surgery might have been the culprit.  Apparently this past Spring Training, he was making a push to break camp and pointed out he was nearly beating out/sometimes beating out routine ground balls with his speed/hustle.  Sounds Nolan-esque in that regard.

You can live with the no walks if he can translate the power and speed to the majors.  I like that he has speed – I wasn’t aware of that – because if you are going to be a hacker it helps to have that tool.

Pablo Sandavol is an obvious comparison and again, I could live with a guy who is not walking at all if he is hitting .300 with a little pop.  He has a career .150 ISO (which has been dragged down the past two seasons).  You could do worse than a .300/.320/.450 hitter.

It's still a little questionable, at least on the day he is given a major league contract, but time will let the entire story play out. 

Paul Cooke contributed to this post.

The Cascading Effects of the Jim Johnson Trade

If the Jim Johnson trade is going to be a good one, the follow up will be far more important than the actual return from Oakland (Jemile Weeks and a PTBNL).  

The Orioles now have approximately $80 m tied up after arbitration raises.  Many have been operating under the assumption that the organization will enter the 2014 season with roughly a $100 m payroll.  With Johnson that would have meant $10 m to spend on acquisitions.  Now the Orioles presumably have a little more cash - perhaps $20 m - to spend this offseason.  That's significant.

For example, the Orioles could theoretically sign a starter for $10 m, resign Nate McLouth for $5 to $6 million, and have money left over for either a closer or a LH designated hitter option.  It is hard to argue against that being a better use to the team's budget.  Of course, it is now up to the Orioles to use their savings in a constructive manner.

If nothing else, the acquisition of Weeks also means that the team is done looking at 2B options this winter.  Ryan Flaherty, Weeks, and Cord Phelps provide the O's with enough options at that position (with Jonathan Schoop possibly being ready for a mid-season call up).  So to that end, the team has one less open roster spot to fill now bringing them down to LF, LH DH, and starting pitching.

If the Orioles wisely use the money saved by trading Johnson to address more pressing areas, this trade will be a win.  We probably won't know that for some time however.

More Rule V Notables: Darin Gorski (LHP)

Darin Gorski - a 6'4 left-handed starting pitching currently in the Mets organization - profiles as a potential Rule V selection for the Baltimore Orioles.  The 26 year old has demonstrated solid strikeout and walk rates during his five year major league career and there is enough to suggest he could be a strong bullpen arm for the Birds in 2014 or perhaps even a spot starter.

Rule V Draft Selection Possibilities

The Orioles have selected players in the Major League portion of each of the past two Rule V drafts and retained their services by keeping them on the 25-man roster the entire season.  With four spots currently open on the 40-man roster, the Birds will likely have the chance to select a player in this year's draft if they so choose to.  I take an early look at four possible Rule V selections for the O's.

The Injured Starting Pitcher Market

If the Orioles choose to go this route, there are several intriguing buy-low options in the free agent market comprised of starting pitchers attempting to bounce back from injury-riddled seasons.  I take a look at some of the candidates below and examine who might be the best fit for the Orioles.

Off-Season Wishlist: Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman pitched well for the Orioles after coming over from the Cubs in a July deal.  Early rumors suggest that both the Orioles and Feldman are interesting in continuing their relationship for 2014 and perhaps beyond.  Feldman would provide stability to the back end of an Orioles' rotation that has arguably been the team's biggest weak spot the past two seasons.

Off-Season Wishlist: Shin-Soo Choo

Sin-Soo Choo is the proud owner of a career .389 on-base percentage and can man left field, which at first glance seemingly makes him perfect fit for the on-base deficient Orioles.  Age, drastic platoon splits, and high contract demands, however, make Choo a less than an ideal acquisition.  Those concerns are likely to keep him out of Baltimore next season.