We’re just a week away from Christmas and baseball chatter has died down considerably. The Orioles have signed just one ‘big’ name, so far, this offseason, replacing Matt Wieters with Welington Castillo.
The team still has some glaring needs though, and it’ll take few more moves to make the Orioles competitive in a tough AL East Division.
I read Joe Serpico’s O’s Fan’s Holiday Wish List last week and was inspired to put together my own. So listen up Santa: we’ve been good this year and here’s what we’d like to be under the Baltimore Christmas tree.
GulfBird Photo/Craig Landefeld
The latest news is that the offer is off the table for Mark Trumbo and Dan Duquette is willing to move on to other names in free agency. We’ve all seen this game before and it looks like the Orioles are trying to gain some leverage with MLB’s 2016 home run king.
Trumbo is demanding a big deal, which isn’t unreasonable, but teams haven’t budged and have turned their attention elsewhere. The good news is that Trumbo seems to love Baltimore and has mentioned that it’s the best clubhouse he’s been in. It also helps that hitter-friendly OPACY is where the power hitter enjoyed his best season.
So what will the compromise be? It seems as if there is a consensus to meet in the middle and many have mentioned the outlines of a 4-year, $60M deal. That seems fair to both parties and the Baltimore front office shouldn’t move from that stance.
Sign Davis or Pagan
Remember that time the Orioles had speed? Me neither. It’s time to bring in a speedy outfielder that can get on base and move. Rajai Davis or Angel Pagan would be quality additions, as the front office hunts for another outfielder.
Pagan would likely be cheaper, after Davis’ solid season in Cleveland, and could be the Opening Day leadoff-hitter. He had a .277/12/55 line last year and also ended up with 15 steals. A deal just like Castillo’s would be the right parameter for signing the former Giant.
Davis had a resurgence in Cleveland, with a career-high 12 home runs, and swiped 43 bags. His market hasn’t surfaced yet, but I can’t imagine him being very expensive, especially with his age and sub-par fielding.
It’s not a bad idea to bring in one of these veterans to start and would allow Joey Rickard and Aneury Taverez to remain in backup roles.
GulfBird Photo/Craig Landefeld
This one might be just on my Christmas list. My logic though is that Brach has had his best season of his career and he is expendable with a healthy Darren O’Day this year. Brach is valued by a lot of teams and the Orioles already have enough late-inning arms on the team. Mychal Givens could take over the seventh inning role and Dan Duquette could move Brach for prospects. On top of that, the Orioles pitching development staff, despite all the hand-wringing over what they do with starters, has shown time and again the ability to crank out very good relievers.
Brach could be a hot commodity for teams that didn’t cash in on the big-name arms this offseason, including the Mets, Marlins and Nationals. The Dodgers could even get in the mix, wanting a setup man for Kenley Jansen.
Baltimore could entertain some offers and the Dodgers would have the strongest prospects to offer. It’d be interesting to see if they’d be willing to move second baseman Willie Calhoun, who hit 27 home runs last season and is projected to move to the outfield. It would be the perfect deal for Baltimore and they’d have hard time saying no if that was offered.
Will a deal happen? The front office would have to be blown away, but things could change dramatically around the July deadline if Brach isn’t moved this offseason.
It’s not a big list and there’s nothing sexy about it. However, these three moves could keep the team competitive and prepare for the future. Have a great holiday, Birdland! Hopefully we get one of these gifts or two under the tree – or perhaps they’ll arrive early in 2017.