11 January 2018

How Can The Orioles Win You Over?

Let's just be honest: A lot of fans aren't very happy with the Orioles right now. It isn't hard to come up with some reasons why:
  • The O's haven't handled the Manny Machado situation gracefully. 
  • Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette have expiring deals, so the team's future is even more uncertain.
  • They haven't done anything yet in free agency and only have two starting pitchers you can count on (or one if you're not a huge Kevin Gausman fan). 
  • Every reliever is apparently an option to move into the rotation.
  • The front office is unwilling to rebuild and Dan Duquette talks instead of retooling the roster, but they're seemingly content to follow the same strategies as previous offseasons. 
There's more, but you get the point.

So starting today, what can the Orioles do to win you over? It's getting there, but it's not too late. This is a hypothetical, but be reasonable. The O's are not going to sign the most expensive free agents like Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, and J.D. Martinez. Also, they're almost certainly not going to extend Machado. Sorry.

Maybe some of you would be happy if the O's signed Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn, and then another lesser starter like Jason Vargas or Andrew Cashner. That would at least give the appearance that the O's are taking next season's chances seriously by giving Dylan Bundy and Gausman some help.

If you want the O's to rebuild instead, maybe moving Machado for a package of prospects would be a good start. Perhaps that's followed by cleaning house, with Jonathan Schoop, Brad Brach, Adam Jones, and any other trade piece being moved before the season, or perhaps at the trade deadline.

Or maybe you just want something to feel good about. That might mean an extension for Schoop. Or maybe you just want some appearance of a direction or plan. Both are understandable. Let's get through this frustrating offseason together. What do you want to see happen?


Mike Bonsiero said...

The only smart move left to them is to trade Machado for the best offer, trade Brach, and field serious offers for any player they aren't absolutely sure is part of the long term plan. There's not a realistic path to contention available to them among the remaining available players.

Johnny said...

A decision on whether to rebuild or compete. If they choose to rebuild, start moving some players now, like Machado. If they choose to compete, get two free agent pitchers and a left-handed outfield bat. I am most frustrated with indecision, it would be nice to have confidence that a long term plan is in place.

Unknown said...

Simple, get busy and make moves.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

What if they're bad moves? Would you be happy then?

Mike, I'm also in the rebuild camp.

Andrew said...

Commit to a three-year rebuild immediately. Announce this. Trade everyone with any current value. Preferably to the National League. Heck, trade pieces to the Nationals in exchange for more MASN compensation, if that's possible.

Hire analysts from well-regarded sabermetrics sites to run the show, like Houston did, as they should have done 10 years ago.

Announce improvements to the broadcasting arrangement for showing more advanced stats, treating the audience like they aren't a bunch of rubes. Determine if Bordick can handle this, if not, fire him and hire Ben McDonald full-time.

Pip said...

In the US Army, all mlitary vehicles are designed to have the same cruising range, so they all need to be refilled at about the same time. It makes resupply much simpler.
I'd like the Orioles to Establish the same kind of long term plan.
For now, given that the team is going to be bad this season(what's the difference between 70 wins and 80?) sell everyone with less than two or three years of control remaining, and take a solemn oath to neither trade away draft picks nor sign big free agents.
Every draft pick represents six years of control, and I would like to adopt a "best athlete available" rather than the " does one thing well and everything else terribly" attitude. That's how we avoid players like Jason Garcia or Mike Wright.
In the future, I would like to make it a regular plan to always trade assets at peak value. Remember there is no "face of the franchise" and that no matter how good a player is, he moves on.
If this had been adopted several years ago, not only would we have traded Zach and Manny and Davis for glorious returns, but Norris would have brought in a good return, and then going on to be terrible for someone else instead of for us.
A system like this always has reasonable prospects in the pipeline to replace those we trade away, and by avoiding major free-agent signings, we also avoid major free-agent fiascoes, and because everyone has the same cruising range, the turnover will be consistent, and replacements will have already been chosen and groomed and be ready.
"The best laid plans of mice and men…" Indicate that there will always be problems, but they will be easily dealt with, and the track record will be one of consistent success instead of the mess through which we currently are suffering.

Pip said...

PS this idea is not common, and probably involved more problems than I am anticipating.
But it is significant that Dan is doing NONE of these things. He has no plan short or long term and no direction at all.

Pip said...

"Is not UNCOMMON..."


Lincoln Steele said...

I like what PTCello said about moves and methods. I also like what John Case said about indecision. Make the decision to rebuild now. Stop waiting around.

Scott said...

Step 1: Trade Away all assets.
Step 2: Allocate funds to Bobblehead Giveaways.
Step 3: Profit!

emax0279 said...

1. Get rid of Duquette with his affinity for complacency and lack of vision
2. Somehow get back into the International amateur market to help the rebuild process
3. Beef up our scouting department and cross checkers

Unknown said...

Lame duck Dan needs to go.

Dustin said...

What would make me happy as a fan would be to simply see some commitment towards a path. I am of the rebuild philosophy at this point, but if the Orioles were to go 'all-in' on 2018, I would be happy with this as well. The point at which a smart rebuild would have started has long since passed, so if they were to make a serious push at some of the better pitchers on the FA market, look at some bigger, more interesting trades (ie the stuff the Orioles never do), I would support it.

And this is the crux of the problem for the Orioles, inactivity. Machado is going to walk for nothing. Buck, DD, whatever you think of them, are simply going to leave. The Orioles don't work with a plan, they never have. They try to make marginal upgrades when they can, but this organization seems to be content with letting time march on without attempting to improve their lot in the league any more than the season ahead. It is completely maddening to root for this team, because they operate as though they don't give a shit. If your friend was going to lose his girlfriend, or job, you'd emplore them -- 'get it together, man!' -- and when they didn't do anything to improve their life/situation... You'd kind of lose respect for them, for not giving a shit. This friend is the Orioles.

So, yea, rant aside... I'd be happy if the Orioles basically made a concrete statement, or formed a concrete plan, of any kind. If they said 'we actually don't want to compete in the majors, and from here on out we're going to stockpile players with amusing last names'... It'd be dumb but goodness gracious it would be a path to go down. The Orioles would make me happy if they picked a plan and stuck to it. Have some morals. Have some foresight.

Boss61 said...

PTCello should be General Manager. His plan looks an awfully lot like what Andy MacPahil did. Lo and behold, the team was good enough to contend in 2012 and got drunk with success.

Anonymous said...

Oy, I love how the vast majority f people are "grass is greener" types. What makes anyone believe a rebuild would be three years? I can't think of any franchise the rebuilt in three years. They are all 4-5 year processes. I also believe that once you find star players - especially generational stars - that you keep them for their whole career. The Orioles were historically very good at doing that - Cal, Palmer, Brooks and many others. Of course, there were some that came and went (Reggie, Frank, Murray and others) but stability and longevity were the cornerstones of the franchise. I am and have been for retooling - you have a decent but not necessarily great farm, you bring in key FAs, and build upon a revolving core. A good franchise should never have to rebuild. Every franchise we see as successful has had a down year - I recall the Sox being last place very recently (2016?). We had 5-10 blueprints earlier this year at CD that could easily lead to relative success and, because of the slow FA season, almost all of them are still valid. The Davis contract essentially set him as the cornerstone of the franchise. Would I rather it be Machado, hell yes. Could we try to sign Machado, also hell yes. The future has not been written even though it's highly likely Machado leaves. Inserting 1-2 rookies per year who become regulars (maybe stars, maybe just solid regulars) and bringing in 1-2 solid FAs (Lynn/Cobb and Cashner/Garcia or something like that) would make this team competitive enough to be proud to root for and still stay within budget. I would also sign Jones to an end of career contract and extend Schoop. With Hays/Mullens/Mountcastle and Harvey/Hall/Sedlock/Akin in the pipeline and Mancini/Sisco in the majors, why should we have to rebuild??? DD has always been creative at solving a core problem - Cleavenger for Trumbo? Gallardo for Seth Smith? - both excellent moves and give hope for the remainder of this season. If you want to trade Machado for big time prospects, fine, but then sign Todd Frazier to play 3B and continue to compete until you can grow a 3B internally. This team has a lot going for it and does not need to be torn down. It just needs to be managed properly. Anyone who thinks a tear-down and rebuild can be done in three years or expects to have a star at every position is living in a fool's paradise.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I am still for signing Cobb, Garcia, and Tillman along with, possibly, Nunez. Even Cashner, Garcia, and Tillman would not be bad. If we trade Machado for good prospects then Nunez (or Frazier) could fill that gap.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

"With Hays/Mullens/Mountcastle and Harvey/Hall/Sedlock/Akin in the pipeline and Mancini/Sisco in the majors, why should we have to rebuild???"

There is a lot of uncertainty in that group, and the O's are about to lose talent in Machado, Britton, Jones, Brach, etc. The O's could use an influx of a couple of high-end prospects, at the very least.

Anonymous said...

Matt, I think I covered that. Like I said, if you trade Machado for prospects (or Brach) then ring in a short term solution (like Frazier/Nunez) until the prospects arrive. ANY plan has risk. But I don't believe in tanking to build the best farm team in the majors while putting a dismal product on the field for fans. It takes an awful lot of mistakes for a team to become so hopeless that a complete tear down makes sense. Not signing Machado to an extension is certainly one of them. But the O's are not a team without talent and the farm is not bereft. Almost all of the blueprints presented right here on this site are still in play. We have to wait and see what kind of rabbits Dan pulls out of the hat this year. He seems to have one good surprise for us every year.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

It depends how likely you think some of those players are going to be stars, and what you get in return for whomever the O's deal away. I'd rather deal someone like Schoop away now if there's a small chance the O's are actually interested in extending him. Whether you want to call such a thing a full rebuild or not, I think playing somewhere in the middle could still work out, but it's dangerous.

Anonymous said...

That's why guys like Duquette and Showalter get the big bucks. They are supposed to be able to make it work out barring the normal crap that happens to human beings (like injuries, player fails, etc...). Team management is supposed to move the odds in a positive direction. If they can make a playoff spot a 50/50 proposition - every year - then I think they've done their job damn well. The O's have been perennial contenders every year since 2012 - not GOAT teams but contenders. Even last year before the late collapse, the team made one last gasp at contention.