ESPN senior writer Buster Olney joined the Norris and Davis show to discuss the Orioles off season and the recent departure of Jim Johnson
Buster joined Ed and Steve to give his thoughts on who might replace Jim Johnson.
Steve: What was your take on the Jim Johnson trade?
Buster: It really wasn’t a surprise just based on how many other teams I talked to were saying the the Orioles were aggressively shopping Jim Johnson. Based on the reaction from other teams it would appear that this trade was a give away, the Orioles didn’t want to pay the man, so they dumped the contract.
Steve: Are the O’s still shopping Weiters even after Johnson, or did the free up enough money?
Buster: I don’t know, I haven’t heard anything about Weiters since Johnson but I know that if a team comes to the O’s with a big time trade the O’s would be inclined listen and possibly to trade him if the right opportunity arises.
Ed: Do the Orioles really need to control the budget so tightly with the influx of money from owning their own sports broadcasting station in MASN? It would appear they have a gold mine in MASN especially for a smaller market team.
Buster: I cant give a great answer for that because I don’t have the numbers behind the payroll of each team but what I can say is that The Orioles haven’t really been a big spender for whatever reason.
Steve: Should we be concerned that the Orioles wont put money in to get better now?
Buster: Well the biggest concern that I have is the farm system. Beyond a few prospects in their farm system, it’s pretty thin. The other teams that spend about as much as the Orioles, their farm teams are loaded with players and that’s why they can stay relevant with a lower payroll.
Ed: so who is the Orioles closer going to be now?
Buster: Well if Johnson was truly a dumped salary then it says their probably not going to spend big money on a closer. I think there are a few older pitchers that they might want to take a look at. I don’t know if Tommy Hunter is the right answer, he seems to have trouble pitching consistently in back to back games