O, how I love thee, let me count the ways. By love, I mean hate, and by thee I mean the 2018 Baltimore Orioles. This year has been so lacking in enjoyable baseball that I have been unable to muster the courage to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) these last couple of months.
Alas I have returned to offer you some thoughts as we near the halfway point of 2018.
Manny and Co.
Someone explain to me why NO ONE has been traded yet? I want to hear no more about “it’s too early” or “the orioles are fielding several offers yet but haven’t had their asking price met.”
My favorite is, “you must not understand how trades work.”
I am not talking about Manny Machado, Zach Britton or even Adam Jones. The importance of successfully navigating those deals is obvious, and I understand (agree) with taking the time to make sure the deals are done right. However, there are numerous minor trade pieces that the Orioles should have long moved, such as Brad Brach, Mark Trumbo and Danny Valencia.
It’s particularly unfortunate that the O’s waited to move Valencia, as his slash line has dipped to .252/.314/.431, but he is still hitting LHP exceptionally well (.284/.363/.534), and would be valuable as a platoon option for any playoff team.
The Orioles should move him, and it’s inexplicable they haven’t’ done so already.
How is Chris Davis still in the big leagues? Seriously, I’m asking.
Davis’ BA is up to a gentleman’s .159, well-complemented by a .233 OBP and nine HR. Through 74 games he has 107 strikeouts, and if he continues to play regularly will most likely obliterate the single season K record set by Mark Reynolds in 2009.
Oh, and his defensive decline puts him into a potentially below-average first baseman category. Cut this man and eat the salary OR find an “injury” that leads to an extended rehab assignment. If the O’s refuse to break ties with him due to the financial investment that makes Enron look like Apple, then they must get him down in the minors and invest in fixing him.
GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld
I wrote a piece the day the Orioles signed Colby Rasmus, that examined the head-scratching decision to bring him in, so this is not a “hindsight is 20/20 situation.” Instead of Rasmus, the Orioles should/could have signed Jon Jay, who fit more of the team need (remember when the O’s were trying to win this year?) and has a line .287/.356/.361. His .356 OBP would put him second on the Orioles behind Manny, and possibly move Trey Mancini or (insert random out of position player name here) out of RF.
Would replacing Rasmus with Jay have changed the Orioles 2018 fate? Absolutely not, however it would have provided a cheap (savvy) move to acquire some additional prospects just as the Royals did when they flipped him to the Diamondbacks.
More and more information continues to leak out about the goings on inside the Warehouse, and none of it seems to answer the question of “who is in charge?”
Is it Dan Duquette, Buck Showalter, Angelos and Sons, or Hand of the King Brady Anderson? I surely don’t know, and despite the hard-hitting investigative efforts by the beat crew that covers this team, it doesn’t seem like we will be getting an in-depth look anytime soon.
One thing is clear, however: with the continued blurred lines of power that seemingly exist for the front office (that I can only assume includes The Oriole Bird and Richie Bancells in some bizarre capacity), this “rebuild” is going to be quite the process, and I fear I may see my two-year-old driving before the Orioles return to the playoffs.