Originally Posted by Mitri
Well for the record I've never been fine with crap like Keppinger or Hairston at SS. The team's SS ethos since the Larkin era have been to slot any guy who qualifies as an infielder with a decent arm into the position and forget about it. And that has been a huge liability with the squads for six years going. Defense up the middle in general, save for Phillips these last three years, has been atrocious. The pitching has suffered.
But Roberts isn't the solution. I'd be all for Phillips to SS if it could realistically happen. I think there's a reason it hasn't happened. We would've seen it last year had it been possible. I think he'd be as good as Hairston at SS, sure, but would it help to the team to move a gold-glove caliber 2B to SS just so we had a slightly better SS? Doubtful.
On top of that, Roberts will be expensive to trade for. The O's will ask for more young talent than I am willing to give up at this point. And in a few years, when this team will really be primed for the postseason, Roberts will be simply unaffordable. I'd just assume our FO to stay away from Roberts, however talented he may be, and look for a long-term solution at the middle infield situation.
I think the reason Phillips to SS hasn't happened is that they didn't want to risk messing with his offense, as they've been treating him as a middle-of-the-order type run producer. Which he isn't. In my mind, moving him to short maximizes his value as he's the best defensive infielder the team has, and gives them a pretty good bat at a defense-oriented position. Presumably, the new left fielder would take over the cleanup spot, allowing Phillips to move down and have less pressure to perform offensively. This is all regardless of whether they trade for someone like Roberts or just bring back Hairston and stick him there, which seems much more likely anyway. I'd be all for getting a good young SS with upside, but I just don't see it happening.