Thursday, August 16, 2007

Turning Point?

Maybe it's too early to label yesterday a turning point in the Orioles' direction. In fact, it is too early. But that doesn't mean that five years from now the day we signed Matt Wieters as a big day in the club's history.

It's not just about Wieters. He's no sure thing, even if he was the best, or second best, or fifth best player in the draft. But it was huge because the club took the best available player in the draft, started down super agent Scott Boras, and in the end did what it took to sign Wieters giving him a $6M bonus, second highest in history behind Justin Upton.

Joe Jordan has received lots of praise for the rejuvenated farm system and improved drafting efforts since he took over. Adding a willingness to draft and pay for top amateur talent without regard to "signability" might be what it takes to propel the Orioles player development system firmly into the top half of the majors.

The team also paid big for fifth round pick Jake Arrieta signing him to a record bonus for the fifth round. Even without having a 2nd or 3rd round pick, the Orioles might have managed to bring a large infusion of talent into the system.

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