After a paradoxical 2009, the Orioles enter this offseason in a curious position.
They equaled their worst win-loss record in 20 years and trailed only the infamous 1988 season and the inaugural 1954 campaign as most futile in the club's modern history.
Yet, there is a sense that the future has promise because of the emergence of young starting pitchers Brian Matusz (right), Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen, catcher Matt Wieters and outfielders Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie.
It can be argued that the Orioles have fewer holes to fill for 2010 than they have had entering an offseason in recent memory. What can't be disputed is that those holes are monstrous, and any chance the Orioles have of not repeating as the residents of the American League East basement hinges on what personnel moves are made this winter.
Further complicating things is that this free-agent class is uninspiring, top free agents routinely avoid the struggling Orioles, and Andy MacPhail, club president of baseball operations, is still in the building, not buying, phase of roster construction. Still, it could be an interesting hot-stove season for the Orioles.
Baltimore Sun reporter Dan Connolly lists some
smoldering questions that face the team, PG 3