17 April 2018

Trade Manny Now? Historically, Not Happening.

It is not uncommon to hear the rising volume of those who wish for the Orioles to sell their pieces and build for the future.  That crowd is growing in size.  It was a small patter before the 2017 season and has grown steadily since then.  The noise, noticeable but not overwhelming, feels like it is about to become a wall of sound overtaking all other talk this year.

The articles are coming out.  The departure of several veterans after this season and the poor start of this 2018 campaign has made the Orioles an easy column to tap away.  They have pieces that others might well desire and those pieces could help replenish a system that was heavily neglected for years.  The recent, quite impressive, success of the the Duquette era feels like a mix of Andy MacPhail bricks, Duquette's mortar, and a whole lot of Orioles magic.  That mix seems to have run out.

Will Leitch filed his column on the Orioles and chewed on the possibilities.  The basic refrain was that it was early, but that the early returns for the Orioles were terrible and the club should very well get on with it.  On some level, this makes sense if you think this season will not bear fruit, but, generally, this is not the case for a club not even 20% of the way into the season.

April is not a time for major trades.  You have to wait for that.  You have to wait for team to accept (maybe their fan bases to accept) that there simply is not enough juice in the club to compete this season.  You have to wait for other clubs to conclude that their solution for a position failed and they really need a good solution to replace that idea that did not work out.  These things take time to assess and move on.

Billy Beane would say that the first two months of the season were solely about figuring out how you screwed up the offseason.  Once equipped with that information, you can then use the next two months to figure a way out of the mess you created.  Still, one hears that murmur in Baltimore that trades should happen right now.

Since 2009, there have been 37 trades from April 15th to the end of the month.  In 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, and 2017, the trades were for fringe players going one way and money or PTBNLs going in the other way.  They were all post-shine players.  Guys who once looked interested and simply wore off that shine.  They then would go somewhere else to a team that still had that hope.

However, there have been a few deals where players were immediately exchanged.

In 2011,
1) Chris Malone going from the Rockies to the Jays for Brad Emaus
2) Danny Farquhar leaving the A's for the Jays in exchange for David Purcey
In 2012,
1) Josh Bell leaving the Orioles to the DBacks for Mike Belfiore
2) Red Sox bidding adieu to Michael Bowden for the Cubs Marlon Byrd
In 2013,
Chris Snyder left the Angels to go to the Orioles for Rob Delaney
In 2014,
A post-shine Ike Davis took up with the Pirates in exchange for sending Zach Thornton to the Mets

The most anyone got for their troubles was a little fringe bullpen action.  No one gave back one WAR to the teams acquiring a player.

What this all means is that you are going to have to wait.  Teams are figuring out themselves.  They are trying to determine their true needs and what they are willing to give up to fill those needs for a playoff run.  That typically means mid-June or later.  So take a breath and enjoy Manny for a few weeks more before he may head off to another pasture.


Pip said...

It is said that Peter Angelos has disappeared, no one has seen him. Do you know whether this is true and if so do you have any idea who is running the club now, And what their expectations are for the season?

Jon Shepherd said...

Yeah, that has rumbled around quite a bit and one of the reasons I keep pointing to the team potentially transitioning ownership. I recognize that his sons are running the club, but I have also been told that there may be some ownership issues that prevent JPA from having the money to run it long term.

Lots of rumors.

Unknown said...

Manny is playing like a two way superstar right now, but he's not at his max trade return value for the year. His max value point would be playing like a superstar at the trade deadline, when teams eyeing a world series run get into a bidding war for his services. I'd bet on Manny continuing to play well; the organization would be wise to wait.