13 October 2017

2017/18 Baltimore Orioles Blueprint Series

Just like every other offseason, the Depot will kick things off with our long running annual blueprint series.  A subset of our writers will tackle the club and try to do what they think is best for the Orioles while staying under the budget.  Additionally, we are asking you, our dear readers, to feel free to submit your own plans using our rules to CamdenDepot@gmail.com for me to consider.  Once everyone has posted or emailed their ideas, I will act as Lord Supreme GM and make my final determination.

Some rules:

1) No trades. Trades are hard to predict and these exercises seem to be a bit optimistic about returns.  We have recently had someone state that Mark Trumbo and Zach Britton could be dealt for Julio Teheran and Matt Kemp.  I am unsure how exactly that works for the Braves in any way.  That said, whoever would have imagined that the Orioles would have been able to deal Yovanni Gallardo for Seth Smith.  Now that did not exactly work, but it was at least a better fit for the club than Gallardo was.

2) 155 MM payroll.  Payrolls are hard to figure out.  Sources I have vary from 152 to 185.  The reason why those numbers fluctuate so much is due to bonus clauses, buyouts, deferred money, partial payments in trades, and roster bonuses from veteran MiL signings.  From my terribly incomplete count, I found about 5 MM in potential roster bonuses from MiL signings last year, which is somewhat astounding.  So, we decided to go on the lean side of the payroll tallies and choose an aesthetically clean 155 MM.

3) Contracted Money (53.33 MM)

  • Chris Davis 17 MM (ignoring 6 MM deferred)
  • Adam Jones 17.33 MM (ignoring performance bonuses)
  • Mark Trumbo 11 MM (ignoring 1.5 MM deferred)
  • Darren O'Day 8 MM (ignoring 1 MM deferred)

4) Choose Your Options (2.5 MM to 26 MM)

  • J.J. Hardy 2 MM buyout (or 14 MM club option; ignoring performance bonuses)
  • Wade Miley 0.5 MM buyout (or 12 MM club option)
  • Welington Castillo PLAYER OPTION (7 MM 2018 salary, assume he declines)

5) Arbitration Tender or Not (0 MM to 55.1 MM)

  • Manny Machado (17.3 MM)
  • Zach Britton (12.2 MM)
  • Jonathan Schoop (9.1 MM)
  • Kevin Gausman (6.8 MM)
  • Brad Brach (5.2 MM)
  • Tim Beckham (3.1 MM)
  • Caleb Joseph (1.4 MM)

6) Peculiarities (1.5 MM)

  • Dylan Bundy (est. 1.5 MM, non-arbitration inflated salary)
  • Chris Johnson's 1 MM buyout is from an old contract, not current one.

7) Assume all other non-arbitration players at 0.55 MM.

8) Fill up only the 25 man roster.

9) Use BORAS contract projections for pitchers and position players even though some look unrealistic in our eyes.  If a player is not listed, comment on this post and I will run the numbers.

10) Contract money cannot be deferred and must be evenly distributed by years.

Let me know if you all who wish to contribute have any questions.


Anonymous said...

Note: this is "Roger". I have no idea why Yahoo is putting up that long string of nonsense for my name.

Jon, I love this portion of the offseason. This exercise generates the best posts from you guys and the best discussion on the site. I'm looking forward to participating. Can you take a look at the suggestions from last year both from the staff and the fans and see which ones were both the closest to reality and ones which might have made the team better than it was. Comparing reality to our team-building fantasies might prove interesting and fun.

BTW, WRT the Britton/Trumbo vs Teheran/Kemp trade (which is my idea), I am not convinced it's such a bad deal for the Braves. The obvious benefit is getting rid of Kemp's salary and getting a lock-down stabilizing force in their bullpen (improving their bullpen is their stated priority). I am not sure that Teheran is not too much to give up, that's true, but he did not have as good a year especially in SunTrust and he has been on the block before. One more down year and he won't have much value left. And the Braves have to open up their outfield. How else would they get rid of Kemp? Further, Trumbo is less injury prone and has some bounceback possibility, especially at SunTrust, and would be a better platoon with Markakis. Trying to trade either Trumbo or Markakis will be easier than trading Kemp. Maybe the O's could throw in a prospect that has a decent profile (like, say, Mountcastle). If they don't make a trade like this, the O's better be ready to jump on one of the better more affordable SPs (I'm thinking Cobb or Lynn) and not wait for dregs like Gallardo and Jimenez (or pick up Miley's option).

Pip said...

I love this exercise as well, but a team like the Orioles should spend a huge amount of time exploring other team discards. The non-tender date will almost certainly offer more and better choices than overpriced or damaged free agents; not necessarily in superior performance, but in sharply reduced cost.
Dan has shown he CAN work fast when it matters to him(he signed Castillo within 48 hours at the most) so were I doing such a compilation I'd look for value in potential non-tenders.
And we have to leave a spot open for the annual Rule 5 pick. Good or bad, we're going to make one.

Pip said...

Roger, I don't think the Orioles will even attempt to sign any big name pitchers. That's just not something Dan has ever done. Ubaldo/Gallardo were available because no one wanted them.
Others don't want to play in the AL East or Baltimore in particular, and the team has no apparent plan( long or short-term) and allegedly has infighting in the upper leadership and is going nowhere.
All the more reason to hunt for value among the desperate.
And to stop giving up/trading away draft picks.

Unknown said...

If you were a pitcher, would you want to play in that bandbox?

Jon Shepherd said...

While home runs are plentiful in Camden Yards, doubles and triples are severely depressed. This makes the park, run-wise, play as league average. Only focusing on the long ball ignores other more frequent aspects of baseball that work for a pitcher.

Jon Shepherd said...

We will try to run an overview from last seasons blueprints.

Issue Braves would have. The money is there to pay these guys. The saved money will not efficiently go into amatuer acquisition because of draft and IFA restrictions. The free agent market does not really provide them much for the amount they would save. Finally, Teheren would bring back a couple interesting prospects normally whose value would probably be about 25 MM. Combine that with the Braves talent largely being in the minors and you have a curious situation for getting rid of a desirable arm simply to open up about 20 MM to do not all that much in free agency.

Unknown said...

I don't see the argument that Britton's trade value has severely diminished. Do you watch postseason baseball? Every single team left in the postseason would LOVE to have a quality lefty arm like Britton in their bullpen arsenal, even if he is performing closer to his 2017 level than previous years.

The only evidence that would suggest Britton's trade value is next to nothing would be assuming he is injured for next season and its dumb to make that assumption. The arm talent certainly hasn't diminished. And if it has, you pay a one year salary to find out. If Britton is healthy next year, you likely possess a high quality lefty reliever and there will be a decent market for him.

Yu Darvish for 4 years/$15 million per seems like a low end projectionconsidering market competition, which BOARS doesn't account much for. Also, Darvish had far more injury concerns in recent years than Britton and his production level has decreased the previous two seasons when healthy, which could be a trend. Cobb makes more sense if you can somehow pull him for 3 years for 10 million per. That's a good deal.

No matter who the Orioles choose to sign, there is no reason to pass up on one more year of Britton. He is more likely to be an asset than dead weight, though you can't know for certain at this point. Britton shouldn't pose an opportunity cost for bringing in free agents; its one years salary for crying out loud. Give up a player who might get you 40 plus saves over $12-14 million?

Jon Shepherd said...

Britton's market was smaller than what one would expect for an elite arm back in July. Part of that was due to the uncertainty surrounding his health and performance. In the organizations that did put forward offers, I know there was intense discussion about whether or not Britton's salary was really worth acquiring him even when ignoring the value of the prospects. In the end, not much was offered to the Orioles from any suitor.

As the season progressed, Britton did not re-establish his performance. The stuff was still there, but he had some bad luck and poor sequencing issues. You can, scouting wise, see the elite arm there, but it gives evaluators pause that he was unable to succeed despite his problems (which he always had). Some are concerned that a focus on uppercutting the ball has dampened his ability somewhat.

I would not get rid of Britton, but there is loads of information out there saying he will not be worth what he is making next year. I would be surprised if any major exec does not see handing Britton a 1/13 deal a premium for a questionable player with a high ceiling.

Unknown said...

I replied to the wrong post but glad to see you agree with bringing back Britton, unlike Nate.

btwrestler119 said...

Could you run the numbers on Eric Sogard, Tommy Hunter, and Juan Nicasio? Thanks!

Jon Shepherd said...

Sogard? 2/17. BORAS really likes what he has done.
Hunter and Nicasio...I have never been happy with the BORAS reliever projections, so I have never released those. Find a comp and use that.

btwrestler119 said...

Thanks, I’ll email you my entry tonight.