Sometimes, it’s better to be the Orioles. While the Nationals have further raised expectations with their two-year, $28 million signing of Rafael Soriano, the Orioles stand pat.
In this case, it’s better. The Orioles have a fine closer in Jim Johnson, who’s eligible for arbitration, but will still get a fraction of what Soriano got.
The Nationals seemingly have a big name at every position as their confident manager Davey Johnson, boasts: “World Series or Bust,”
The Orioles have six excellent players in Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis plus Johnson to close.
Every day, there’s another proposed trade. With the Detroit Tigers apparently eager to deal pitcher Rick Porcello, and convinced the Orioles won’t part with Hardy, now Fox’s Jon Paul Morosi is floating a proposed Porcello for Johnson rumor.
Why would the Orioles want to do that?
Porcello is a 24-year-old pitcher with a 48-42 record and a 4.55 ERA. He led the American League in hits allowed, and played in front of a most potent lineup.
Johnson was one of the best relievers in baseball, and while he may not duplicate his great 2012, the Orioles don’t have a ready replacement.
Pedro Strop? He struggled at the end of last year. Darren O’Day? Probably not closer stuff.
Johnson is also one of manager Buck Showalter’s favorites, and I can’t imagine he’d look fondly on moving his closer.
So, Orioles fans get over your Nationals envy.