Tap-In Question: Besides a World Series, what's your top 2017 wish for the O's? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Connolly's Tap Room

Tap-In Question: Besides a World Series, what’s your top 2017 wish for the O’s?

Shut the door softly on your way in. And read in whispers. I know some of you still have a pounding headache from New Year’s Eve partying and watching Mariah Carey’s career plummet like the Times Square ball.

Our minor-league reporter, Dean Jones Jr., had the best Mariah line of New Year’s Eve night, tweeting that he was hoping someone would save the pop diva from such embarrassment, but Zach Britton was still in the bullpen.

Too soon?

Anyway, we’ve made it to 2017, and am glad you are still with us, as I wrote here.

So, the 2016 baseball season — languishing Britton and all — is in the rear-view mirror. It’s time to look forward to the upcoming year.

Heading into this offseason, my sense was that the Orioles wouldn’t do a whole lot. They’d get a catcher, would attempt to re-sign Mark Trumbo and try to find a right fielder who can get on base. I figured they’d also make some minor moves for organizational depth that would be met with shrugs.

It’s January, pitchers and catchers will report in six weeks; the Orioles have added a catcher (Welington Castillo), are still interested in Trumbo and a bevy of outfielders and have signed some organizational depth (Logan Verrett, Tomo Ohka, Logan Ondrusek, Adam Walker).

So, there’s obviously work to do. As I’ve written before, there’s no reason to panic. The Orioles and executive vice president Dan Duquette take their time filling holes, but, ultimately, will have a solid roster ready to go by April.

But since it is the beginning of 2017, and the air in the Tap Room is still a little hazy, I wanted to give you the opportunity to be a psychic and offer up your top primary wish/hope/dream for the Orioles in 2017.


I want you to be specific, going beyond the obvious dream that the Orioles win the World Series.

Give me one thing you want the team to accomplish in 2017, one that might get them there this year and beyond.

Is it bringing back Trumbo?

Is it signing an all-around hole-filler like Angel Pagan?

Is it extending Chris Tillman’s contract before he becomes a free agent at year’s end?

Is it signing Manny Machado to a long-term deal this year before he can walk after 2018?

Or signing Britton to a long-term deal for the same reason?

Or is it trading Britton or Machado this year to build for the future?

Or trading a bullpen piece for a veteran outfielder?

You are the customer at the Tap Room. You know what’s what. And I want to know what you think the Orioles’ No. 1 accomplishment should be in 2017.

Tap-In Question: Aside from winning the World Series, what’s the primary objective you want to see the Orioles accomplish in 2017?



  1. amikek

    January 3, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I’d like for there to be organizational clarity on how the O’s will balance 2017 objectives (WS!) with future year objectives (post season participation). I get that we can’t and won’t be Bos/NY/LA/Chi/DC. But, I’d like to think we’re above just waiting for scraps too.

    If this clarity could be shared with the fan base, I’d really like and appreciate that.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 3, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Amike: I think the whole table scraps thing is a touch overblown. And I’ll admit I’ve fed into it. No question Duq throws a lot against the wall. And I’m not shy to point that out. But the waiting game in the offseason, I think, gets mischaracterized. Nelson Cruz, Pedro Alvarez, and Jimenez and Gallardo, for instance, aren’t table scraps. They are legit major leaguers who had some warts, which caused their free-agent stock to drop and O’s swooped in. I think that’s different than table scraps. Jimenez, for instance, was coming off a tremendous second half, but his inconsistency and qualifying offer crushed his market. And, in retrospect, that contract wasn’t good. But, to me, he wasn’t a table scrap. That make sense?

  2. loganmillermusic12

    January 3, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I would love nothing more than to keep Manny. There seems to be a lot of negative skepticism from a lot of fans, but Manny has expressed interest in staying here. He’s only going to get better and more expensive so I cannot for the life of me figure out why Duquette isn’t working overtime to get a deal done… especially since Manny’s agent made the Orioles a contract offer last pre-season. If I’m not mistaken, Manny fired Boras which could end up being the only thing that lets us keep him. If he ends up on a team like the Mariners, Pirates, etc., I’ll be disappointed. But if he ends up in a Yankees, Red Sox or Blue Jays uniform, I’ll be gutted….

    • Dan Connolly

      January 3, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Logan: it’s all a matter of economics not an unwillingness to work hard. Machado is gonna cost nearly as much as any player in history given his youth and his success so far — and the burgeoning economics of the game. Bottom line: will he be worth it? And what is it? A decision like this is gonna take time on both sides. And let me fuel your concerns. If Manny leaves, he is going to a huge market with deep pockets. And there are only a few of them out there.

  3. Bancells Moustache

    January 3, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I’m a simple man. The World Series is the only thing I want from this team, but I’ll play by the rules of the house. Since I’ve already made this prediction on this very site, I’ll double down so I don’t end up looking foolish: Kevin Gausman becomes the 5th pitcher in Oriole history to win the American League Cy Young Award.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 3, 2017 at 10:40 am

      At least you aren’t shooting low. We like high bars at this dive.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      January 3, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      I’m thinking Bundy may beat him to that distinction. Here’s to either of us being right!

  4. DauerPower

    January 3, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I think our starting pitching for 2017 is getting overlooked so my wish is that Tillman, Gausman & Bundy all win 15+ and place in top 10 of CY Young voting with one winning the trophy.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 3, 2017 at 10:41 am

      If that happens, this is a playoff team again

  5. tomfink31

    January 3, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Assuming that a Machado extension will be too rich for the Orioles’ blood, my 2017 wish list would be for the team to lock up young talent that they actually have a chance of affording.

    Case and point…Jonathan Schoop. He’s 25 years old and would still be relatively cheap. He finished 2016 poorly, making this an ideal time for the team to open negotiations. He’s Manny’s buddy, so it makes #13 happier. And he will be cheaper than other 2B w/ better OBPs. Would love to sign him for 5 or 6 years at $35-$40Mil so he can hold down the keystone for the rest of his prime

    • Dan Connolly

      January 3, 2017 at 10:45 am

      Tom: I totally agree. Extending Schoop is a cheaper alternative with big upside. Plus it might give Machado another check in the O’s margin if he wants to stay. I can’t stress how close they are. Playing for more years with his best friend won’t be the deciding factor — it will be money — but it can’t hurt. And, regardless, Schoop isn’t at his peak yet.

  6. OsFanStuckInNY

    January 3, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Manny signed to a career contract.

    This should be the #1 priority. A rare talent like this is the face of the franchise, and not free swinging K artists whose strike out totals threaten to eclipse their batting averages and that hit two homers a week (maybe.) Build the team around Manny.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Makes sense. But the amount of money will be record-breaking. Can’t lose sight of that.

    • OsFanStuckInNY

      January 3, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Better to do it before Bryce Harper sets the bar, right? The longer they wait, the more it will cost, barring injury or an inexplicable regression.
      This should have been done last winter, even if it meant Davis signing elsewhere (though I doubt it.)

  7. Steve Cockey

    January 3, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Strictly looking at 2017, my primary goal (and I’ve said it many times before) would still be improving the OBP.

    Castillo isn’t much of an upgrade in that department (.310 OBP last two years vs. .309 for Wieters). But RF and DH provide opportunities for improvement. Will they go strictly the power route again — say Trumbo and Alvarez — or gamble on more balanced options (perhaps Pagan and someone like Adam Lind)? Should be interesting.

  8. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Dan, this is the plan …

    I’d start by re-upping Wieters. Then I’d sign Trumbo long term before trading Miley to the Dodgers for Kershaw AND Urias. Afer that, I’d replace Mike Bordick as the MASN color-person by stealing Heidi Watney from the MLB network.

    Who’s with me?

    If all that fails, I guess I’d settle for signing Manny to a long term deal

    • Dan Connolly

      January 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      I don’t think the Orioles can afford Heidi. Otherwise, solid ideas. 🙂

  9. 5brooks5

    January 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    A vision and plan for the present, as well as future team, i.e. 40 man roster, minor leagues, draft, and maybe even look at international talent!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 3, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      International talent? I’m gonna have to cut you off. That’s crazy talk. 🙂

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 4, 2017 at 7:06 am

        No international scouting presence? Let’s give the Birds a little credit here.

        Hyun Soo “the Hitting Machine” Kim. Dariel Alvarez. Sidney Ponson(?). Koji Uehara. Were these guys not plucked from international waters? Heck…maybe you could even include Logan Andrusek? What a gold mine it’s been!

  10. cards97

    January 4, 2017 at 9:50 am

    My wish is the same every year since he left, bring back Nick Markakis. He checks some boxes as a lefty bat, strong defensive player in right and good OBP guy. Should have never let him go….

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      January 4, 2017 at 11:33 am

      Ditto that.

  11. Amazing

    January 5, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    My dream is that the O’s cast their lot with the future, They should do as uou so astutely suggested, and move Davis to RF, use Mancini as a DH / 1st Baseman and, find another LH bat with a high OBP to rotate in with him.

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