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Three Run Homer

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  1. Why would the Tigers pass on Emerson Hancock? Is there a hitter who is a consensus #1 pick?
  2. I gave him a B. He has the right strategy--the team needed to be stripped and rebuilt from the ground up. But it's too soon to tell whether he is good at evaluating and developing amateur talent, which in the end will determine whether this rebuild is successful. I complained about the Villar trade vociferously, but I have to admit that if ever there is a year to tank, this might be it, with Kumar Rocker looming as the #1 pick in June 2021.
  3. Let me hear your Pat Valaikas ringing out, come and keep your comrade warm.
  4. It's a step in the direction of fielding a non-competitive but respectable major league team this year, which is good.
  5. There's nothing wrong per se with ownership giving the GM a budget and then setting him loose--that's a much better model than ownership meddling in every decision. The question is, what is the budget? Does it allow the GM to use the team's full draft and international signing allotment, hire an adequate scouting, development and analytics infrastructure, and still make an effort to field a major league team? Or is it so low that the GM is forced to make harsh decisions?
  6. So the White Sox acquired Nomar Mazara from the Rangers last night, in exchange for Steele Walker, a 2018 2nd round pick, center fielder, played pretty well in the Carolina League last year. Mazara is only 24, but he is already arbitration-eligible, and his offensive production has stagnated at slightly below league average. I think Mancini would be a more valuable player. Should the Orioles have traded Mancini for Steele Walker, straight up? Would the White Sox have made that trade?
  7. Trading MLB assets that are not long term fits and getting prospects in return is rebuilding the organization. The Cashner trade and the Bundy trade fit that description. These trades also incidentally cut payroll, but that was not the main objective. Trading assets that are not long term fits and getting no meaningful prospects in return (e.g. the Villar trade) is all about saving money. Maybe that money will be reinvested in some way or at some future date, but still, the point is to cut payroll. To me there is no meaningful difference between whether ownership "ordered" a payroll cut, or whether it set a budget that was so low that Elias was forced to cut payroll to leave him enough money to sign draft picks and international prospects. Either way, Elias had to make a trade that subtracted talent from the organization.
  8. That's certainly possible, but why is Elias' budget so tight that the only way he can fund investing in facilities, player development and international signings is to trade every player making roughly a market salary, even though the O's were already going to have one of the lowest payrolls in the league?
  9. I think this is a reasonable return. All four of these prospects have a better pedigree than the one that we got for Villar. This is the kind of trade a rebuilding team should make.
  10. If you are OK with the O's trading Villar for a token prospect just to get rid of his salary, would you also be OK if the O's traded Givens, Bundy and Mancini for token prospects? I think we can all agree that the O's aren't going to be competitive for a few more years. Should we just trade everyone who will no longer be under team control by the time we are good again, even if we get nothing in return?
  11. I understand that at some point there is a budget constraint. The O's can't have a $200 million payroll. Given their competitive situation it makes sense for the O's payroll to be one of the lowest in baseball. I would not advocate signing any big-ticket or medium-ticket veteran free agents this offseason. But the O's payroll was going to be one of the lowest in the league, whether or not they paid Jonathan Villar $10 million. If it's nevertheless so important for the O's to save that $10 million that they are willing to insult their fans by trading their best returning player for a token prospect, then there are two possibilities, both of which are terrible for an Orioles fan: (1) The Angelos family is in such dire straits financially that they have told Elias that he has to cut payroll to the bone if he wants to make any sensible long-term investments in building up the team's competitive infrastructure. (2) The Angelos family is so greedy that they don't care about insulting their fans. They just want the money.
  12. I don't blame Elias for this travesty one bit. This trade was a cost cutting move dictated by ownership. And perhaps some of the $10M will be reinvested in something worthwhile, like improving our advance scouting or Latin American scouting, or signing more international players. But that money should have been invested anyway. There should not be a tradeoff between spending on having an adequate organizational structure to compete in the long haul, and spending a reasonable amount of money to keep your team's best player around for one more season, instead of letting him go for nothing.
  13. Well, plenty of people are defending the trade, and calling the critics "pearl clutchers" or casual fans who don't understand what the rebuilding process requires.
  14. Everyone on this site who thinks that this trade was some brilliant subtle masterstroke and pats themselves on the back for being "thinking man's baseball fans" should ask themselves why every national sportswriter who has commented on this trade, even at the "smart" websites like fangraphs, thinks that it's a disgrace from the Orioles' point of view.
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