Baltimore finished the season laying on the floor of the AL East. The 2018 season was close to as bad as it gets; less than 50 wins.
But the bright side about all of this bad, is there is no where to go but up! Top betting websites such as 5Dimes don’t expect the Os to even be near contention for playing in the Fall Classic. But, with some trades and big moves they can pick themselves up from the bottom of the dredges and wipe the mud off.
What We Already Know … Or Do We?
Manny Machado. People are already wondering if the Orioles will go after Manny again this winter. The long and short of it is no. It’s almost annoying at this point. All you see is Harper, Machado, Harper Machado.
The Baltimore Orioles acquired tons of arms when they first unloaded Machado, but it didn’t do them any good in the short term. The O’s were dead last in 2018 in Earned Runs Against, allowing 5.09 runs per game. On offense, they put up 3.81 runs per game, good for way, way back at No. 27. Maybe it’s time to unload the remaining ‘talent’ and just start over. For all of that money being spent on Davis and Trumbo, neither was even good enough to be in the top 100 in the league in hits. Trumbo, the DH I might add, had 86 hits—granted his season was shortened by injury. Meanwhile, Chris Davis batted .168 … 79 hits in 470 at-bats.
Davis is a real brick at this point. He’s due 92 million through 2022. At this point, he is a weight against the budget that the Orioles don’t need. But in order to trade him away, who would be willing to risk that kind of dent into their salary cap for a guy who bats well below .200? Mark Trumbo is due 13.5 million dollars so we can only hope that he breaks out and starts hitting the ball consistently. Then there is Trey Mancini to consider. If there is one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that he absolutely does not belong in the outfield. He will never hit his potential playing occasionally. He needs to be put in as a fulltime DH or first baseman. The DH first base situation with Davis, Trumbo, and Mancini is a tough one.
Major free agents include Adam Jones and Caleb Joseph. Jones is one of the few guys who actually hit well. He put up 163 hits in 580 at-bats with a .313 OPS. But with the state of things in Camden Yards, do the Orioles just let him go and focus on trying to get a pitching staff that can limit runs as much as possible during their ‘not going to rebuild but compete’ process? Right now, they desperately need help in the starting pitching rotation. We could see them go after Jaime Garcia or Jeremy Hellickson … or both.
The Orioles just let shortstop Tim Beckham go as a non-tender (he was signed by Seattle) and catcher Caleb Joseph is up on the free agent block as well. Could the O’s try to bring him back, as they just assigned Andrew Susac to the Norfolk Tides and given the fact that Joseph finished the season strong, batting .286 over his last 15 games?
Is There a Fix?
We are not sure what the Orioles can do to stop the bleeding at this point. It might do them some good to just dump all their talent and focus on building a solid starting pitcher corps. We’ll see what kind of approach Mike Elias and Brandon Hyde take this offseason.
Anything would be better than a 47-win season.