So many reasons why they need to sign Nick and hopefully the O's will not try to go cheap. He's a must because he's the only player on the team that is a real hitter instead of a slugger. He's really a perfect #2 hitter even though he was a really great #1 hitter. Let's sign him quickly so the brain trust can go after a real proven #1 pitcher. I'd also like to see them pick up one or two guys that can hit for average.
In short I'd like the O's to sign Nick, go after a #1 or at least a #2 pitcher, take care of Weiter, find a 2nd baseman that hits for average. I'm betting Cruz is gone. He wants a 4 year deal and someone will give it to him. I'd rather the O's go after pitching right now. If we can get Cruz with a 3 year contract great.
In this case, I don't think Angelos goes cheap because he likes Markakis and he knows what he means to Baltimore and to the team as a leader. Markakis is likely looking at a four year, $40-44 million contract.
Getting a #1 pitcher really isn't in the cards. When you look at it, we currently have under contract for next year: Tillman, Chen, Gonzalez, Norris, Gausman and Jimenez. So that's six starters, and with the rumors they are looking to unload Jimenez, I don't see them moving any cost controlled pitching or splurging for someone as a free agent.
I see them keeping with Schoop at second, and instead of Flaherty, finding a utility infielder who can hit better than him.