The most common complaint among Orioles fans is that they shouldn’t have let Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis and Andrew Miller sign elsewhere.
It wouldn’t have been feasible to sign all of them. Even without them, they had a $120 million payroll on Opening Day.
But, what if they had signed just one of them?
The Orioles had their biggest concerns about Markakis’ health. He signed a four-year, $44 million contract with Atlanta.
Markakis has played in 52 of the Braves’ 53 games and failed to reach base in only eight of them. He’s had seven hits in his last three games, and is hitting .307, but doesn’t have a home run. His on-base percentage is a robust .392.
Miller got four years and $36 million from the Yankees, and in 24 games, is 0-1 with a 1.08 ERA and 17 saves. He’s struck out 40 and walked 10 in 25 innings.
His only real blemish was a two-run, 10th inning home run by Ryan Zimmerman at Nationals Park on May 19.
Cruz, who led the majors with 40 home runs a year ago, has 18 in 53 games for Seattle. He signed a four-year, $57 million deal there.
A year ago when the Orioles were floundering, Cruz lifted them, and fans can’t be blamed for imagining him doing the same with the Orioles now.
Of the three, the Orioles came the closest to re-signing Cruz, but they wouldn’t consider four years.
Travis Snider, the biggest offseason acquisition has just one home run with 10 RBIs, and just one since Apr. 23. His only home run came on Apr. 12, and his unforgivable gaffe on the bases Tuesday night caused Buck Showalter to call it “unacceptable.”
Steve Pearce, who had an unforgettable 2014, was counted on for a bigger role in 2015. He’s hitting just .183.
After last Friday’s game, the Orioles had improved to a game under .500 and looked as if they were ready to roll. Instead, they’ve fallen apart.
Fans can be forgiven for wishing the Orioles had re-signed Cruz. A year or two from now, they may think it was a wise move. Right now, they’re just sorry he’s gone.