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2009 Baltimore Orioles

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Spring training site

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

2008 record

68-93, fifth in AL East (28.5 games behind Rays)

New faces

INF-OF Ty Wigginton (free agent, Astros), LHP Mark Hendrickson (free agent, Marlins), SS Cesar Izturis (free agent, Cardinals), RHP Koji Uehara (free agent, Japan), C Gregg Zaun (free agent, Blue Jays), IF-OF Ryan Freel (free agent, Reds), LHP Rich Hill (trade, Cubs), LHP John Parrish (free agent, Blue Jays), OF Felix Pie (trade, Cubs), RHP David Pauley (trade, Red Sox), INF Chris Gomez (free agent, Pirates), C Chad Moeller (free agent, Yankees).

Biggest offseason acquisition

The Orioles were more active than most teams this offseason, but their best move down the line was a little under the radar in Uehara, 33, who is 12-0 with two saves in international competition for Japan, and has a certain spot in the team's rotation.

Gone but not forgotten

RHP Daniel Cabrera (released, to Nationals); C Ramon Hernandez (trade, to Reds); LHP Garrett Olson (trade, to Cubs); 1B Kevin Millar (free agent, to Blue Jays); OF Jay Payton (free agent, not signed); SS Juan Castro (free agent, not signed); SS Alex Cintron (free agent, to Nationals)

Spring training battles

The starting rotation will look very different in Baltimore after Jeremy Guthrie. Uehara is No. 2, and Hendrickson should get a shot at No. 3. But after that, it's between Pauley, Hill, Adam Eaton, Radhames Liz and maybe even Danys Baez, coming back after Tommy John surgery and trying to make it as a starter.

Projected lineup

  • 2B Brian Roberts
  • C Gregg Zaun
  • RF Nick Markakis
  • 1B Aubrey Huff
  • 3B Melvin Mora
  • DH Luke Scott
  • CF Adam Jones
  • SS Cesar Izturis
  • LF Felix Pie

Projected starting rotation

  • RHP Jeremy Guthrie
  • RHP Koji Uehara
  • LHP Mark Hendrickson
  • RHP David Pauley
  • LHP Rich Hill

Projected bullpen

  • LHP George Sherrill (closer)
  • RHP Chris Ray
  • LHP Jamie Walker
  • RHP Jim Johnson
  • LHP John Parrish
  • RHP Dennis Sarfate
  • RHP Hayden Penn

Biggest strength

Markakis and Roberts were locked up for the long term over the offseason, giving Orioles two young stars. That's good news for a franchise that's been wandering in the AL East wilderness for a decade now.

Glaring weakness

There's too much unknown in the starting rotation for the Orioles to make a serious run in the deepest division in baseball. (Of course, that's what everybody said about the Rays last season.)

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