The Orioles played a crucial part in the biggest night in baseball last season. September 28th, crawling towards midnight, Jonathan Papelbon blows what would be his last save opportunity in a Red Sox uniform. One strike away from securing the wild card and the unlikely combination of a Nolan Reimold game tying double and Robert Andino walk off single secured a season ending dagger for the Sox.
Since then they've done almost nothing besides piss South Korea off by signing their top pitching prospect Seong-Min Kim out of protocol. There isn't much Baltimore can do though besides be very patient and rebuild. Unfortunately for Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette it looks like management will have to symbolically turn over a few more times before the talent and farm system produce talent that can be even remotely competitive. Signing Ayala, Betemit and Larish are this years Derrek Lee are Vlad Guerrero contracts, pithy bandages and desperate looking trade chips for a team that can't possibly compete.
Adam Jones and Nick Markakis are legitimate trade candidates, and I think both good grab a good haul. Guthrie just got traded to the Rockies for next to nothing. The process is going to be slow and frustrating, especially when fans have to see these guys chase the unabating juggernaut Yankee and Red Sox. Expect the Orioles to finish dead last. Next year too.