28 December 2017

What Are The Orioles Doing?

The Orioles always march to the beat of their own drum. During the offseason, that means plenty of interest but not much action, a lot of waiting, and, of course, Rule 5 draft picks. But with Buck Showalter, Dan Duquette, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Zach Britton, Brad Brach, and others heading into what could be their final seasons in Baltimore, there's more urgency than usual.

That's why, at least in theory, it made sense that the Orioles were rejecting any notions of rebuilding and would instead gear up for one final run. So let's see what they've done so far to reload:
  • Acquired OF Jaycob Brugman from the A's for RHP Jake Bray
  • Selected 3 pitchers in the Rule 5 draft
  • Signed RHP Michael Kelly to a major league deal
The O's have also signed a bunch of players to minor league deals, but that's it. Meanwhile, they missed out on starting pitchers like Tyler Chatwood, Doug Fister, Miles Mikolas, and Mike Fiers; have essentially deemed upgrades like Alex Cobb and maybe Lance Lynn as "too costly" while Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta are certainly out of their price range; wavered on not fielding offers for Machado and Britton but have failed to complete any deals; recently lost Britton for a chunk of the season to a ruptured Achilles tendon; and have to figure out whether Machado plays shortstop or third base if they keep him.

Maybe the only positive developments for the O's this offseason are Kevin Gausman changing his number to honor Roy Halladay and them telling off intolerant people on Twitter.

Should the Orioles push all their chips in and go for it? Should they rebuild? You probably have strong opinions on whether the O's should do one of those things, and you could defend those stances. What you can't defend is the team simply refusing to do either one and continuing to punt on nearly every major decision while only improving the team in the tiniest ways. Under Duquette, the O's have always worked the fringes to improve the team's depth. But depth doesn't matter as much when you have gaping holes in the starting rotation.

Maybe the O's are just laying in the weeds and getting ready to strike. Maybe that means not conveniently using how poorly the Ubaldo Jimenez signing went and adding one of Cobb or Lynn and then another starter or two. Maybe they'd even consider a strong upgrade in the outfield like Lorenzo Cain! It's not like the O's don't have some freed-up money to spend. And that's not even including when MLB owners receive $50-plus million in 2018 from the sale of BAMTech.

But no, that's almost certainly not going to happen. The Orioles are going to do something because they have to, but it's not going to be anything meaningful. If they do go for it, that'll just mean relying on the talent they already have while hoping for bounce-back seasons from Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, and others. If that sounds depressing, it kind of is. At least the Orioles have some players who are fun to watch.


Anonymous said...

I agree with everything here. But would further add that any significant FA signing would not necessarily be all that expensive. If you sign a Cobb/Darvish/Cain or any of the lesser FA's like Dyson and the season did not go well you could turn around and trade any of them that have value and not incur the whole contract cost. Obviously, you'd have not hand out "No trade" clauses which might put you out of the biggest FA market but there is a lot of flexibility to be had with some very good players. What's worse is that it would not take all that many to be able to make a run - our earlier blueprints showed that. From all of those blueprints, really, only Chatwood is significantly not on the board. Everyone else is still out there. They could still get something like Cobb or Lynn and Garcia or Santiago or Vargas and Tillman along with a Dyson or Jay and come out of it with a competitive team. They might also be able to trade Trumbo for something significant (e.g a Util and LH RP?) and open up a spot for Hays.

Unknown said...

As long as you have D.D and the other goon running this team,The Orioles will be cellar dwellers,they promise the fans every winter,how they are going to sign all these free agents,but only wind up signing rule 5 players.Every team in our division has gotten better,but this team is yet to improve.year after year after year,we hear the same excuses. Wake up fans get ready for another long season.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

The other goon? What are you talking about?

Unknown said...

With Britton, Brach and possibly Adam Jones and Machado coming off the books after the season...Why not go after Cain? The money shouldn't be an issue here. Not to mention Trumbo is only owed 12m more after this season.

Am I missing something? Seems like a no brainer.

Unknown said...

And to piggyback off my comment...Cain would totally solve the lead-off hitter problem once and for all, add an on-base guy with speed, and drastically increase outfield defense.

Cain could single-handedly change the Orioles 2018 prospects more than any of the measly free agent starter offerings (yes, that includes injury prone Cobb). If the Orioles make this move, I will forgive all the organizational missteps since mid-July. I still won't forgive resigning Trumbo and the Davis deal.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

It's been mentioned on this site in other posts. I don't think anyone would/should have an issue if the O's pursued Cain. It's just not likely to happen.

Jon Shepherd said...

Buck is a goon?


Unknown said...

Garcia or Santiago, Feldman, Vargas, 2 of those plus Bruce as LH bat, simple!

Sammy Mac said...

Trade Machado yesterday. We obviously won't pay 10 years & $350M for him. The Britton injury should make this trade more of a necessity. Manny has had major knee surgeries on both knees. Trade him before he gets hurt & we get nothing like we will for Britton. Duquette sucks. He makes a great signing of Nelson Cruz, then lets him leave. He makes a great acquisition of Andrew Miller, but won't give him a 4-year deal. Yankees give him 4 years $36M, hardly a monster contract. And Rodriguez, the guy we traded, has been in Red Sux starting rotation ever since. Good riddance to Duquette, although even a genius like Pat Gillick couldn't work for such a meddling owner.

Unknown said...

Yea DD has no idea what he's doing and especially not the owner. All he's worried about and always has been worried about is selling tickets that's it he's doesn't and never has cared if the o's win a championship. He signed players that are passed their prime and no body else wants. What kind of owner goes through 14 loosing seasons none. Wake up people

Unknown said...

I also don't understand the Manny thing. Who the heck let's a generational talent like Manny go? It's not the same as heyward Manny is far more talented.

Unknown said...

"A absolutely nothin' say it again!"

Pip said...

How is this off-season different from other offseasons?
It is not an insult to point out that Dan never works quickly, he never works early, he is never proactive, and he never does anything meaningful before January, except for minor league moves, which can hardly be called meaningful.
This time he tried to sign Mike Minor, for which I give him honest credit, but Mike did not want to come here, but crickets are par for the course.
This year is no different.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

The first paragraph is what makes things different. This is not just about Duquette.