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e16bball

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e16bball last won the day on March 23 2017

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  1. e16bball

    Renato Nunez Claimed from Texas

    Came across this when I was looking back at older IFA signings to get a sense of the correlation between ranking/bonus size and success. Was somewhat surprised to see that Renato Nunez got the 4th largest IFA bonus back in 2010 ($2.2M) per Baseball America, and he was MinorLeagueBall‘s #5 prospect in that international signing class. There are probably a number of important takeaways from this information — but as to Nunez specifically, I was somewhat pleased to see that recent observations of bat speed and power potential are not just a flash in the plan but have been part of his pedigree and scouting report since the age of 16. To some degree, knowing that he was once considered a truly blue-chip talent makes me feel a little better about hoping that this guy might be “legit” and that something resembling his early performance in an Orioles uniform could be sustainable long-term.
  2. I also think they should keep Buck. I saw it written on this site the other day that Buck is not a manager for a rebuild, which is hilariously wrong. He’s not just a manager for a rebuild, he might in fact be THE manager for a rebuild. It’s basically the big knock on him — great builder, can’t get over the hump. Joined four teams at the bottom of the league, had them all contending for the playoffs in short order. Buck has his shortcomings. Too loyal to the veterans who have served him well. Good quality in a person, not as great in a manager. And that dovetails closely with the biggest issue with Buck, which is that he just can’t be allowed to have significant input on personnel decisions. That’s not really just a “Buck” thing, it’s pretty much all coaches across the board in all sports. The person responsible for winning the next game and maxmizing this season’s win total cannot be the same person who is expected to be mindful of the long-term health of the franchise. And that issue is exacerbated with a manager as loyal as Buck. He needs to be removed from the personnel decision making process — and if that’s a deal-breaker for him, then so be it. Obviously, we can’t just ignore this season. But we’d be foolish to just ignore the rest of his track record. So remove his “incumbent” status (essentially treating it as if you’d fired him) and look at him as just another available manager with interest in the job. Is there really some other candidate you’d prefer to have leading a rebuild than Buck Showalter, who is 4-for-4 in presiding over moribund (or nascent) franchises’ return to prominence? He hasn’t just lost the ability to teach the game and coach fundamentals and develop relationships with young players finding their way together. I sincerely doubt we’ll find anyone who is Buck's equal in these areas. And while I do agree that the clubhouse probably tuned him out to some extent this season, it will be an entirely different clubhouse next season and beyond. It will be a new young group he can develop into a winner, as he’s done every single time before.
  3. There’s a big difference between considering the general idea of being traded to a contender in a vague sense (which he clearly did) and weighing the details and specifics of particular options. ”Am I willing to be traded to be a contender at the deadline?” is a very different question than “am I willing to be moved to a corner (or potentially even platoon) OF spot in a league where I’m not particularly familiar with the opposing pitchers on a really young team that is probably 3rd best in its own division and only a 50/50 bet to even make the playoffs?” That’s where I think the Orioles sorta fell down on the job with this one — not feeling Adam out on where he stood on the various aspects of potential trade partners. How important to him is staying in CF? How realistic a contender would he be looking for, only teams with legitimate WS hopes or any team still in the playoff hunt? Does he require an extension, or at least a team that would have serious interest in re-signing him? Would he only accept teams that are close to home, or tbat play in the AL, or that have players/coaches he knows, or that play in desirable climates? All that groundwork could have been done well ahead of time. It would have given AJ a chance to really think meaningfully about the issue and feel like a part of the process, and it would have given the Orioles a much clearer idea of what trade options they should be pursuing (and which they shouldn’t even waste time on). Instead, it sounds like they just kinda just plopped the Philly deal down in front of him and said “okay, here’s what we want to do, so just give us your yay or nay. Need to know by tomorrow. Thanks.” Putting aside the issue of whether that’s a respectful way of handling the situation, it just wasn’t an effective way to get what they wanted (a “yes” from him), in pretty much every sense.
  4. e16bball

    Take a Flyer on this guy?

    Not sure that should really disqualify him. Kyle Gibson hadn’t been useful since 2015, but now he’s a 3-4 win SP this year. Derek Holland, not quite as good as Gibson this season but still a 2ish win starter, and he’s been basically worthless since 2013. Trevor Cahill hasn’t been a decent starter since 2013, but he’s been a big part of the Oakland surge as a member of their rotation. Marco Gonzales had literally never been useful, but he’s a top 20 SP per fWAR this season. Pitchers are a lot like prospects — you never really know who it’s going to “click” for, or when it will happen for them. Just collect as many of them with talent as you can and give them a chance to sink or swim. And Hutchison definitely has talent. He’s always been able to miss bats pretty well, and his numbers over the last couple seasons look like he’s been changing his approach to get more groundballs. If he could continue to become more effective working down in the zone, I would think he could be something similar to Cashner. Obviously, the odds are very good that he won’t figure it out and will continue to be ineffective. But what’s the harm? He’s very likely got more natural talent than the likes of Hess and Yacabonis, so I don’t think we need to be too concerned with him blocking real prospects. And he’s only 28, so there’s still upside there. If he does figure it out, he could become a valuable trade chip that we could cash in.
  5. e16bball

    Grade the Schoop Deal

    I keep seeing folks describing this as “Orioles choose to trade Schoop rather than sign him long term” — but what’s stopping them from pursuing Schoop in FA after the 2019 season? You could sign him now (or just keep him without signing him), and you get his production the rest of the season and next season. But what is that worth? We’re terrible this year and will surely be terrible next year. Would be a total waste, for him and for us. And it would open us up to the risk of a bad contract if Schoop ends up being more the 2018 version than the 2017 in the long term. Instead, we got a couple very talented youngsters and a 27-year-old MI who was nearly an All-Star two seasons ago. If Villar bounces back to that level, he could bring back a significant package himself. And the two kids both have the upside to be big contributors. So that’s a lot in return for giving up that 2018 and 2019 production we really don’t have much use for. And then he’s an FA, and we’ll have a shot to sign him then just like everyone else. A mid-market Milwaukee team with Hiura and Shaw at 2B and 3B doesn’t seem a very likely candidate to offer him a big extension to keep him from FA. Not to be a 29 year old, 230 pound SS. And the O’s should have plenty of payroll flexibility at that point, so they could certainly be real players for a guy like Jonathan — he won’t be like Manny, where the price is just assuredly going to be too rich for our blood. So if it does turn out that he’d be a perfect fit for the Orioles as they move toward contending again — why can’t he still be? Just with a couple valuable prospects (or more) in the system in addition to him...
  6. e16bball

    Grade the Gausman Deal

    I think Evan Phillips is an underrated piece of this deal, kinda like Cody Carroll. Not very interesting at first glance -- but he was one of the 2-3 best relievers at the AAA level, even better than Carroll has been. At age 23. Big K rate (13+ K/9) and a 2.05 FIP. to back up the 1.99 ERA. With the way that relievers are always in high demand, I like the idea of adding a couple guys who could pitch well out of the pen and become highly valued pieces themselves in a couple years. Zimmermann might end up in that same boat -- pretty dominant against lefties, and his stuff (which seems like it might be a little marginal as a starter) would probably play up out of the bullpen as well. Brett Cumberland is a top 100 prospect on the recent FG midseason updated top 131, one of their top 7-8 catching prospects in all of baseball (depending on how you view Mejia). So he obviously has some cachet in scouting circles, and it looks like he's been a pretty consistently solid hitter. Encarnacion's BB rate is a little scary, but he looks like he'll be one of the best projectable athletes in the system from the moment he dons a uniform. Sorta odd that the "lottery ticket" prospect would be the most highly valued piece in the deal, but the upside looks tremendous for him. It's not exciting, but the international money and the salary relief are also factors. They've gotten their international pool to the point that for VVM not to be an Oriole, he would have to say "no" to clearly the biggest offer. That's pretty cool. And I don't think we can begrudge ownership a few efforts to try to save some money -- and $12M is more than just "some money." They shelled out a ton to keep that team together and competing from 2015 to 2017, probably more than the profits could really justify, and I think we do have to keep in mind that it's a business. The other thing is, I think we all got really gassed up about the possible return for Gausman when we heard a lot of teams were in on him. But the bottom line is that he's just not that great. Per FG, he's been barely one of the top 50 starters over the last two seasons. That's not likely to return a big haul, even with some control remaining. And to my eye, the signs for the future are not great for Gausman. Substantial drop in velocity, substantial drop in K rate, FIP/xFIP/SIERA way up over the last two seasons. hard hit ball rate is up. Those are all big red flags for me. In all, I can't say it's an exciting deal. We didn't get back anyone who looks like a star in the making. But we got back a number of solid pieces again, and we got some other assets that will go into the ledger and not straight onto the field but which might have some meaningful value in the long haul. It's not a terrible deal. Especially if the red flags in Gausman's data actually are indicators of possible trouble for him down the road. I think there's a (significantly) greater than zero chance that we might be looking back on this feeling glad we got some value for him when we did, as opposed to beating ourselves up because we should have held out for more. I gave it a C, just because I don't think we had to trade him now instead of in the offseason.
  7. e16bball

    Buck's Legacy

    His legacy will be his position on the top step overseeing the return of Orioles Magic and the transition from 15 brutal years of losing to 3 playoff berths and the best record in the league over 5 seasons. For everyone who won’t let the way the last 150 games have gone cause them to entirely lose sight of the prior 1000 or so, that is.
  8. e16bball

    Manny’s farewell statement

    My post was (I thought) dripping in sarcasm, so we are very much in agreement here. “Play me at third, short, wherever” has quite literally been Manny’s approach to where he’s played his entire career. He obviously prefers SS, but when it was best for the Orioles for him to play 3B with Hardy at short, where was he?
  9. I agree with you, but I think the key is that when you’re a team in the Orioles’ position, the future you’re “mortgaging” really isn’t worth much. When you’re in a division like this — with two of the biggest spenders in the sport, another pretty well-heeled team, and no organizations that are just consistenty inept — you can't get by with being “pretty good.” Not when the worst division winner since 2000 won 93 games and the average division winner has won 97 games (despite playing the unbalanced schedule in what is regularly the toughest division). And unless you’re one of those very biggest spenders, it’s just not possible to to consistently remain at that elite level over an extended period of time. So you have to make your peace with the fact that your meaningful competitiveness will come in spurts and windows, which will inevitably be followed by periods of reloading/rebuilding during which you won’t be competing. Giving up guys whose primary value years (first 4-5 seasons) will fall in one of those rebuilding windows doesn’t hurt nearly as bad. Thats why I think it’s okay to be at peace with having given up guys like Hader and EdRod and Davies, whose primary value years are going to fall for the most part during this 2017-2020 span — when we’re not competitive, and which we’ve known for a long time would almost certainly be a rebuilding period for us. Yeah, we’d be better if we had those guys now, but who really cares? We’re not close to competing even if we still had them, so their contributions wouldn’t mean much anyway. The most meaningful loss with them is that we won’t have the ability to trade them now to help further the rebuild. In sum, I think a team like the Orioles needs to be realistic about the fact that their success/competitiveness will come in windows. Giving up guys who can’t help you during those windows — even when they may become valuable pieces down the road — in order to maximize your chances when you’ve got them is an unfortunate necessity of the position we’re in. Honestly, I think the bigger question is if we should have been more willing to move the likes of Bundy, Gausman, Harvey, Sisco, etc. in order to maximize our chances in that 2014-16 window, given that we had to know that the window was closing in 2018ish.
  10. e16bball

    Manny’s farewell statement

    Good point, would have been nice if Manny hadn’t refused to play 3B for us. We could have played JJ Hardy at SS and probably would have had a really good defense. Might have won a lot of games. I think Manny would probably make a pretty good defensive 3B. Guess we’ll finally find out now that he’s willing to do that for the Dodgers.
  11. e16bball

    Britton Trade Expectations

    This is what I was suggesting. They clearly should trade him now. But after trading him, I think they also should give serious consideration to making him a solid offer to sign back here in the offseason. Not really for his contributions to the 2019 Orioles, but for the opportunity to trade him again — whether at the deadline or the next offseason.
  12. e16bball

    Hader and the Orioles Judgement

    Putting aside the issue of the content of the tweets and how badly to condemn him for a moment, it’s remarkable to me that even on an Orioles’ fan board, the first reaction to any remotely Orioles-related news is to find a way to turn it into a criticism of the team. I know they’re terrible, and we’re all miserable and frustrated, but it’s still remarkable. The Orioles’ “judgment” with regard to Hader has gotten blasted routinely on this site (and among all Orioles fans). How could we trade a guy who is already such a dominant reliever? And he was also a good ol’ Maryland kid to boot. Only the Orioles would put him on the table and end up getting fleeced so badly. And then it turns out that the good ol’ Maryland kid was, at absolute best, a complete knucklehead in his teens. And instead of the narrative adjusting to “well, maybe the Orioles knew a little better than we did; maybe they got to know the kid, didn’t like what they saw at the time, and decided to cut bait,” it’s become their fault for even drafting him in the first place. For missing old tweets that also flew under the radar of two other teams, his agent, countless media following 3 separate organizations, and Hader himself. Obviously, everyone has the right to draw their own conclusions and develop their own impressions from the new information. I just think it’s fascinating that fans of the team would choose to find a way to interpret this news that makes them feel even worse about the team, not better.
  13. e16bball

    Britton Trade Expectations

    Why not? He has significant trade value at the deadline this year, despite the fact that he (a) is coming off a major injury, (b) has barely pitched this season, (c) hasn’t pitched that well, and (d) is a straight rental with no pick attached. If we were to re-sign him to a market value deal and he returned to prior Zach Britton form, he would be one of the most valuable chips on the market at next year’s deadline or the following offseason. Money is not going to be as much of a concern over the next few seasons. You can’t buy up prospects (for the most part), so I think they should be looking to use FA to add players who may provide longer-term value in the form of becoming coveted trade assets. That might not necessarily be guys in the Zach Britton, “top of the market” type category — but I wouldn’t rule it out either. He would be right near the top of my list of rebound season/increased value potential guys to speculate on in FA.
  14. e16bball

    Is Buck a tough manager to pitch for?

    Who? Who are all these guys who pitched for Buck and then moved on and had so much more success after they left? Jake Arrieta. Alfredo Simon had one good season as a starter elsewhere. Who else got more than a (small) cup of coffee with the Orioles and then was able to really blossom after getting out from under the strictures of the Showalter philosophy? We've had some guys from lower in the organization go elsewhere and see success, but none of them ever pitched more than a couple innings for Buck, if any. Most of the guys who have pitched here and left have either been worse or basically the same guy in their new home(s).
  15. e16bball

    Britton Out 6 months per Rosenthal

    Then maybe they can reach an injury settlement with him. Look, I’m sympathetic to what you’re saying. But no reasonable person could expect the Orioles to bear 100% of the risk on an as-yet-undetermined, mostly non-guaranteed contract. Especially when Britton was the party in the best (only?) position to minimize the risk. Maybe they could pay 60 days of salary instead of the 30 days they’re required to pay if they release him. Maybe they could arrange to keep him around the franchise this spring and summer by paying him a bit to act as a roving bullpen instructor for the minor league teams in the area. They could get creative with it, if they want to. But what they really shouldn’t be doing is paying the man the full $12M when odds are he probably won’t pitch at all to earn it. Not when the rules of engagement clearly stated from the beginning that they don’t have to. There’s a fine line between fair play and just plain bad business.
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