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Everything posted by ThomasTomasz

  1. Even if the Orioles had zero plans to compete and sold some pieces, there would still be a need here for both players. With concerns over Bundy's innings, you still could use an innings eater like Hellickson, especially someone who wouldn't be under contract after the year and you could just throw out there if you cashed out. Beckham comes with three more years of team control. Short-term, he is likely the starting SS, and his .700-plus OPS and league average defensive metrics is a blessing compared to Hardy and Tejada's offensive production (and Hardy's glove work this year.). Long-term, he may still occupy that spot, and also has experience playing around the infield.
  2. Houston's owner and GM are trying to save face after Dallas Keuchel, representing at least some if not most of his teammates, called out the front office for not making enough moves to better the team at the deadline. Of course you can blame it on the medicals- the Orioles harm themselves with this all of the time, so we can use it as an excuse. The Orioles going dark? When you have an owner who micromanages and needs to approve everything, of course you can use this too. Personally, I see the window to compete in 2018, and I would not have traded Britton unless the value was there, and it would have landed us an impact starting pitching prospect who is ready to contribute. We have plenty of bats coming up who will play roles next year or in 2019 when changes are bound to happen, but we need starting pitching. Packages of Calhoun, Veldugo, etc would not have done it. If the Dodgers offered Buehler or Alvarez for Britton? Done. If the Astros offered Whitley, I am there with the trade. I don't even think De La Cruz from the Cubs compares to those three above, so I would not have negotiated with the Cubs
  3. Flaherty gets an unfair rap because he's one of "Bucks Guys." I would hedge a bet that, if we were to place Flaherty on waivers, he doesn't clear, and doesn't even hit the teams who are in the playoff hunt. The fact that he can play every position on the field, as well as serve as the emergency catcher and the emergency positional pitcher, carries supreme value no matter what his bat does. As far as Kim goes, I've said it un multiple places, it was not the smartest decision to bring in Seth Smith, who is essentially the same player as Kim. The funny thing is that with Kim, there was still some upside, but Smith is hitting right at his career norms. Kim's lack of ABs and playing time this year has hurt him, just like it did Caleb Joseph last year.
  4. Kim's WAR in 2016, in around 100 less ABs, was .4 higher than Seth Smith. His offensive and defensive ratings graded higher than Smith, and his OBP was .4 higher than Smith as well. So we rewarded Kim's recovery and resurgence from his spring struggles and becoming a fan favorite by acquiring a guy who has similar skill sets, and when Mancini took over in LF (not arguing the point) we never let Kim have a shot at proving he could outplay Seth Smith.
  5. We saw last year what a lack of substantial playing time and at-bats did to Caleb Joseph. This year, the same happened to Kim.
  6. To go along with that story, how did said franchise reward him? By acquiring a guy who does what Kim does at arguably the same level, better in some and worse in others, and giving him all of the ABs. Great post.
  7. My bet is that they give him consistent ABs, and flip him at the August 31st waiver deadline. Trades done until that point have to pass through waivers, but can still be named to the post-season roster.
  8. Terrible trading Kim. I'll be rooting for him to get consistent ABs and prove us wrong. Not only did he endure the ST slump, but he worked his way to getting consistent ABs last year and posted our highest OBP by far. And how do we reward him? By trading for essentially the same player in Seth Smith, who has posted a lower OBP at the top of the lineup than Kim did last year. Sure, Mancini deserves the playing time, no one will argue that, but Kim's performance last year deserved to have more playing time, even over Smith. Since I've used the #freekim hashtag before, at least he is finally free.
  9. For what it's worth, I always thought MacPhail underachieved for what we brought him in for, and again, the lack of improving the farm system is a point of contention for another Oriole executive. It also doesn't help that Angeles rules with a much more iron fist than the near-autonomy given to him by the Yawkey Trust. Certain things that keep popping up in our recent history- such as the lack of ever having an elite farm system, lack of focus on international free agency/development, and a payroll that almost always ranks between 10-20 in the league- that obviously point to someone having an inordinate amount of control over things.
  10. Honestly, the farm system was gutted before he even got here, and has been an issue year after year, executive after executive. Duquette did draft Gausman and Harvey, as well as Mountcastle, Sedlock and Hall this year. What has hurt was the team giving up compensation picks for Ubaldo and Gallardo, as well as Cruz the same year we picked up Ubaldo. Picking at the back of the draft every year also hurts, and with his track record drafting in Boston, I fail to believe that all of the drafting is on him. As far as what minor leaguers he has brought up, the list is small- Machado, Schoop, Gausman, Bundy, Givens, Joseph, Mancini, and a few other arms throughout the years. To put things into perspective, the Cubs and Red Sox have traded away that kind of talent since the start of the 2016 off-season, and they likely still have better farm system rankings than we do despite all of those moves. Duquette has traded a lot, but if I recall, the only pieces who have come of consequence were Eduardo Rodriguez, Josh Hader and Zach Davies. Throw in Arrieta and Strop as well. I don't think this really counts as gutting the farm system. At some point, we also need to look at the player development system, which includes a lot of names that have been with the Orioles for years in a variety of roles.
  11. What makes you think Duquette can't trade the big pieces? He got two great years out of Jose Canseco in Boston for Otis Nixon and Luis Ortiz. He turned Heathcliff Slocumb into Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. He acquired Pedro Martinez for only Carl Pavano and Tony Armas. Greg Miller and Adam Everett were turned into Carl Everett, and he got an all-star closer in Ugueth Urbina for Tomo Ohka and Rich Rundles. With the Orioles, he's made a lot of smaller trades, but we've won our share. Jeremy Guthrie for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom is one, as was Lindstrom for Joe Saunders later that season. Brach for some random minor leaguer was a big win. Mortgaging Eduardo Rodriguez for Andrew Miller was a big win, and a move you do all of the time. Trumbo for Clevenger was also a big-time win. I can not hold the Arrieta trade against Duquette, he was ruined by the previous regime before Duquette ever interviewed with Angelos. However, the trade of Josh Hader was horrid, and the jury is still out on Zach Davies for Gerardo Parra. His record with the Orioles and Red Sox speak of a very qualified executive in my opinion. However, the executive also reports to the owner, and is ultimately going to do what the owner wants.
  12. No doubt he will take the next step as well, like the Jays wanted him to do. Within the parameters that ownership has put on this team, I don't see how people can find fault with how Duquette has operated. Even with this contract, it was ownership who put more money in at the last minute, either realizing he wanted to show Manny he was committed to keeping the core together (I mentioned that in a previous post) or else he remembered what happened when Mussina left and he didn't raise the bar.
  13. We are stuck with the contract. Even if we eat most of it, which is highly unlikely, the value of Davis when he can carry the team for 7-18 days is probably worth holding onto, especially if that means paying him around $100 million not to be here anymore, which isn't going to happen. Basically, I look at the Davis contract like this. I think we gave it out to show Manny that we wanted to keep this core together, in the hopes he would re-sign. If Manny is back to the Superstar edition next year and we make him an Oriole for life, then the Davis deal is worth it. If Manny moves on, it was worth the shot but ultimately a move we didn't need to make.
  14. No, because you are also taking into account previous track record, where Quintana was performing as an ace behind Sale, as well as his affordable contract long-term. The Cubs have Q for the next four post-seasons, which is essentially their window with the current core of young players they have. This also closes the door on Arrieta returning as well.
  15. Great deal for Chicago
  16. Exactly. It's almost like Caleb's performance from 2014 and 2015 made us forget about Taylor Teagarden for a second. And yes, Caleb's 2016 was historic, but that wasn't the point I was trying to make it all, just that true backup catchers in that role usually hit as such.
  17. He came in talking about those goals and wanting to invest in a baseball academy down south, but as we all see, that's not the case. I'm sure he made the case to ownership, and they've emphatically said no. It's going to be a struggle to eventually replace Duquette if Angelos (or his son) continue this line of thinking. No quality GM candidate is going to want to be told they can't investigate all avenues for improving their team.
  18. Depends on who we sell, there are a couple pending FAs that could bring good return. Even trading one of Smith/Kim opens up some more flexibility, and it could be something where we acquire another useful MLB piece. Beef is another name that will keep coming up, though I think we could do a whole lot worse than have him and Caleb split the duties the rest of the year. The problem with the Orioles at the deadline is that we know what they need, as do other teams. To succeed in the playoffs, we need a TORP in the vein of Gray, Quintana, Cole or Verlander. In addition, we need another innings eater like a Jeremy Hellickson. We don't have the prospects for the first three unless we decide to gut the system of what we have left, and we would have to eat a lot of the contract Verlander has left to make a deal happen with lesser prospects, something Angelos isn't going to do. So we essentially have to settle for acquiring 1-2 starters like Jeremy Hellickson and giving up decent prospects like we've done in the past for average SPs. That's not going to do it unless our hitting goes back to 2014 form, and I don't think that's a strong likelihood.
  19. Caleb's 2016 season is typical of most backup catchers, when you get a chance to play maybe 2 games a week, but usually just one. In the past since being called up, he essentially split the job with someone else, and at least got consistent work in the cage and consistent ABs. Same thing has happened this year, and he's hitting well. Metrics also probably have him rated higher than Beef, and at this point if I was constructing the lineup, I would be riding the hot hand at the plate to determine the primary starter.
  20. OF WAR has Souza, Gardner and Cain tied for non AS WAR in the OF at 2.4 minus Hicks who is injured. Mancini is at 1.3, and through the first part of May was in a platoon situation. I doubt he makes it. Not only is Trout beginning his rehab, but in most cases, the replacement is pulled from the team of the injured player. While he is not an OF, Andrelton Simmons is also at 2.4 WAR, and as one of the premier defensive SS's in the game, worthy of taking Trout's spot.
  21. Ownership. One of the only hirings Dan Duquette was allowed to make was bringing in Fred Ferriera to head up international scouting. He was highly regarded as one of the best international scouts, yet we dont give him any of the resources to do his job.
  22. You want the biggest haul of prospects? Do the deal with the devil that Angelos probably wouldn't allow them to make, and offer Machado, Britton and Brach to the Nationals. Talks start with Trea Turner, Victor Robles and Erick Fedde, and include many more. Nationals have a window to win now with Bryce Harper, working under the same thing we are with Manny. They need a back end of the bullpen in the worst way, Britton and Brach now shut down the 8th and 9th inning for them. Even if they don't want Manny and take Turner off the table (though I would push strongly that having Manny in that lineup for 1.5 years would be worth it for them to give up Turner) they would most certainly give up Robles and others if that meant locking down their bullpen with those two guys. Just imagine trying to pitch through Murphy, Machado, Harper, Zimmerman and Rendon in the playoffs. Not to mention they have the aces we never did. But, I doubt Angelos allows Duquette to even make contact with the Nationals, which is a shame, because right now we are a trade match made in heaven.
  23. Baseball is a fickle sport. We could all of a sudden pull off a 16-4 run over 20 games and be back in the thick of things. I am not saying it's going to happen, but its happened for many teams before, so I get why the front office is staying the course and not throwing the baby out with the bathwater quite yet, despite the fact that the pitching has been historically bad. However, some sort of changes need to be made. I think as a wakeup call, some of the coaches have to go......Coolbaugh is the first, and you won't get me to change my mind. No way should these bats be struggling like they are. I am continually on and off the Roger McDowell firing train- he's a good pitching coach, and inherited a poor starting staff, and I don't think this is his fault, but it's for sure a mess. One thing that we lack right now is leadership, and that went out the door when Nick Markakis signed with Atlanta. I remember reading about Adam Jones assuming that role over that off-season, and to me, it seems like that role was hoisted upon him, and not something he wanted. Manny is too young to be that guy. it is a veterans clubhouse that always seems to take care of itself, but without the top guy to lead it all, and we see that when this team goes into prolonged slumps, especially when the bats go cold.
  24. At one point, he was a top prospect of the Mets, along with Thor, deGrom and Matz, in and out of their top 10 and getting press for almost being a top 100 prospect, so he does have some potential. I would much rather watch him grow and struggle than watch Ubaldo do the same- we know who and what Ubaldo is at this point, as well as Wade Miley- so lets see what the young guy can do. Asher as well, though his ceiling is lower than Ynoa's.
  25. I can go into detail on that. The payroll has certainly expanded over the years, but part of that is the price to retain your core. Our young players hit arbitration, so you go from making the minimum below $600,000 to most starting players making a couple million, and they get another raise each year. Chris Tillman, in his final arbitration year, is making $10 million. Top performers Manny Machado and Zach Britton are making over $11 million in their second arbitration year. Schoop and Gausman are making $3.4 million in their first years, and at least Schoop is getting a hefty raise this off-season. Then, we spent to retain Davis and O'Day, and if the rumors are true, Angelos unlocked that money at the last hour because he is a fan of Davis. We brought back Mark Trumbo, in part because his contract demands from earlier in the off-season were halved because he had no market. Our biggest FA signings over this period have all been bargains except for Ubaldo Jimenez. Nelson Cruz was on the market forever due to the QO offer attached to him. Welington Castillo's market suffered from the emphasis on pitch framing, so we got him for cheap at $6 million. Kim signed for two years, $7 million. Despite the increase in payroll, which is certainly true, we still only have the 10th highest payroll, and according to records on SteveTheUmp's website, the Orioles are typically between 10-20 from the Dark Ages of 00 to now in regards to total payroll. While the numbers are going up, we are essentially still spending the same amount of money on the team when inflation is factored in. Also, I dont think we can blame spending on pitchers here either. Look, I know you have to approach all avenues, but free agent starting pitching costs a ton, and you don't get the quality arm in many cases. Ubaldo is a perfect example of this- at the time he signed with us, he was an average SP who could have dominant streaks of success, but also fall off the cliff, and he signed for close to $50 million. Look HERE for the top 25 FA list from MLB.com. The first pitcher is Aroldis Champman at #9, but the best available SP wasnt until #14 until 37 year old Rich Hill showed up. Then you had Jeremy Hellickson, who had a QO attached to him, but is essentially another version of Chris Tillman. That was it, except for honorable mention Ivan Nova, and no one can tell me they expected the kind of season from him we are seeing right now. The best way for us to acquire an impact starter is going to be a younger starter via trade like Gerrit Cole or Sonny Gray, and that is going to require prospects that we don't have. So unfortunately, the Orioles had few options to improve their starting pitching this year, so they went with what they thought would work like it has in the past- lineup filled with power, great bullpen, middling starters. And due to a variety of circumstances, things are not working. I was already on edge with the pitching due to losing the pitching coach, bullpen coach and long-time catcher in the same off-season, but I didn't think things would be this bad. Nor did I think the offense would fall off the cliff. At least Schoop has learned to work the counts and both he and Mancini use all of the field. I'm not defending per se how the team was constructed, but its not like we had many options.
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