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Is trading prospects during playoff runs really mortgaging your future?

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1 hour ago, BarclaySouthway said:

That is a nice lede.

Couldn't read the rest of the article though.

 

It’s absurd to think that the outcome of that game would have any major impact on the outcome of the last two years.    Would Chris Davis magically be better?   Would Chris Tillman’s shoulder injury have gone away?    Would all the older guys on the team not have aged?    Would Britton not have gotten hurt two years in a row?    I could go on and on.

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2 minutes ago, Frobby said:

It’s absurd to think that the outcome of that game would have any major impact on the outcome of the last two years.    Would Chris Davis magically be better?   Would Chris Tillman’s shoulder injury have gone away?    Would all the older guys on the team not have aged?    Would Britton not have gotten hurt two years in a row?    I could go on and on.

The only thing that would have changed is if we had won the World Series, then the last two years would have been worth it.

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Just now, Mondo Trasho said:

The only thing that would have changed is if we had won the World Series, then the last two years would have been worth it.

And that’s extremely unlikely.    We were an 89 wIn team.     I enjoyed that year, but we weren’t as good as Boston or Cleveland (Texas won 95 games but that was fluky based on run differential).     Not to mention the Cubs.

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12 minutes ago, Frobby said:

And that’s extremely unlikely.    We were an 89 wIn team.     I enjoyed that year, but we weren’t as good as Boston or Cleveland (Texas won 95 games but that was fluky based on run differential).     Not to mention the Cubs.

I agree.

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4 hours ago, Aristotelian said:

DD's modus operandi has been to field a competitive team within constraints of budget and keeping top prospects. He has never truly gone for it. He did not sign Cruz. Bundy, Harvey, and Sisco were never on the table. Instead he favored C prospects for minor pieces like Parra, Bud Norris, etc. Yes, we lost Hader and Davies, but we never went truly all in. Some people thought he should have mortgaged the future more.

That said, we probably could have gotten a Gleybar/Acuna type of prospect if we had traded Manny and Britton at the right time if the organization (not necessarily DD) had the foresight to do it. We got some return but perhaps not as much as we should.

This is my problem.  Not as much the prospects that were traded but more that they were traded at times when the team wasn't a competitive product.  He's not super self aware.

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Hindsight is 20/20, and the decision looks bad now. But I at least understand the decision to hold onto the core and go for it one last time. Competitive windows don't don't open all that often. The Orioles took a decade and a half to build a team with a core of identifiable and really like-able players such as Adam Jones, the Machado-Schoop bromance, and Chris Davis before he became the albatross -- and they had a generational player the likes of which this franchise might not see again for another 20 years. They'd invested heavily on the team financially and had an owner who's not going to get another chance to see another window. So. They made the decision to keep the band together and give it another shot, one last shot.

The rebuild was inevitable, and they all knew it. They're not morons. And I do believe that given the constraints of the market and a budget that was already at its limit for a franchise like the Orioles in a market like Baltimore, they did what they could. Could they have made some better decisions, like not banking on getting anything from Chris Tillman? Sure. But the Cobb and Cashner signings on paper were deals at fair market value that should have strengthened the team's biggest weakness. No one could have predicted the complete collapse of the bullpen, even with Zach hurt. We all knew this wasn't going to be a good defensive team, but no one could have predicted the absolute collapse of the lineup -- or Davis being THIS bad. 

Sure, it may have been a decision that was made with a heavy influence of sentimentality. But, THAT is baseball. That's why the Americans who still love this game do love this game. They look back at the teams they grew up with and the stars they loved as kids with a wistfulness that other major sports just don't have.

The messaging that's coming out of the warehouse now at least makes it seem like they knew what they were doing, that there's a real plan going forward, and they all know it's going to be a long haul.

They went for it one last time, and I don't fault them for it. They lived in the moment maybe a little too long, but if you're not going to live in the moment, then what's the point of this whole thing?

Edited by Santandah
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18 hours ago, Hallas said:

So, we're all sitting here with a post-cinderella hangover after our 5 year run, since we're the worst team in baseball and stuck in rebuilding at least through 2019.  So I had a thought on that: are you really mortgaging your future by trading prospects to extend your playoff chances?  The Orioles traded 3 years worth of decent major league pieces (Hader, Ariel Miranda, probably a few others) but no top tier prospects.  Still, that price wasn't nothing.  However, now that we're rebuilding, we've got the 5 for 1 in the Machado trade, and Britton is almost certainly getting moved, and there's an outside chance that Gausman, Brach, and a few other players get moved as well.  While some of this is predicated on having tradeable pieces, this assumption is somewhat covered by the fact that, if you are in a pennant race, you probably have some talented players on your roster that helped you get there.   There's also a timing component here, in terms of starting to suck when your window is about to shut and you can start entertaining deadline trades.  By both criteria here, it seems to have worked out pretty well for the Orioles.  And while we were never good from 1999-2008, we still managed to develop Bedard, who netted us 30 WAR worth of all-star level talent in TIllman and Jones.  And obviously those players were pretty integral to our success in 2012-2016.

Conclusion: I no longer really think that you're mortgaging your future by trading your minor league talent away in a playoff race, because if you're trading for pieces to help you in a pennant race, that means you already have some good players.   And if you have good players, you can always trade back for young controllable talent when things don't roll your way.

I agree. I think team success flows like the tides: a period of success, falloff, rebuild, success again.

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5 hours ago, Reboulet'sStache said:

It's an organizational approach more than anything.  

The Dodgers, Sox, Yankees, they are all exceptions to a degree. 

But most teams need to constantly be restocking the farm.  That's the life blood of every club.  If you aren't willing to get involved in the international market.  If you aren't willing to sell high on guys that could be replaced, even when you are competitive, if you are trading relief pitchers and draft picks to the Dodgers so they will eat the pitcher's salary, if you're giving up picks to sign middle of the road pitchers, then yes, trading prospects is mortgaging the future. 

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.

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I thin 2014 was our year. The trade we made for Andrew Miller, I believe, was the right move at the time. I think we were the best team in baseball, but just fell apart when running into the Royals for some reason. I can only imagine that if we had our full squad during that playoff run, we would be world champs.

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2 hours ago, e16bball said:

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.

You make some good points here, with a take on the Hader/EdRod/Davies giveaways that I haven't seen before. Here's a quibble, though... I don't think you can just slot the window of value for young players, espectially pitchers, as a certain timeframe a few years in the future. Because in reality you might get a few good years from them younger than expected, then they get injured. Or, they can prove dependable long-term, and you miss out on them when your next window opens. By the same token, Bundy/Gausman, unlike Harvey/Cisco, certainly coulda/shoulda been big pieces of our 2014-17 window, so we needed to keep them to find out. 

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3 hours ago, Bahama O's Fan said:

I thin 2014 was our year. The trade we made for Andrew Miller, I believe, was the right move at the time. I think we were the best team in baseball, but just fell apart when running into the Royals for some reason. I can only imagine that if we had our full squad during that playoff run, we would be world champs.

Agree. The combo of no Davis and Manny and, and running into the only team hotter than us was unlucky and we deserved better. Them's the breaks. No regrets on the Miller trade whatsoever. 

I do think most of the decisions made post 2014 hastened the decline big time. Letting Nick go and not ever replacing him. Cruz. Davis signing. Never properly addressing the starting pitching. 15, 16, and 17 may have been better years before falling off into this abyss. 

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13 hours ago, Natty said:

Most 'prospects' never pan out. The percentage that make it to the majors and stay is very low.

The hit rate of top 100 prospects is quite good.  Outside of that, yes, it’s a crapshoot.

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13 hours ago, Natty said:

Most 'prospects' never pan out. The percentage that make it to the majors and stay is very low.

True, but it's a balancing act.  What if the O's had traded Machado, Markakis, Tillman or Britton?  If they had then they most likely never would have sniffed the playoffs over the past 5-6 years.

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6 hours ago, Bahama O's Fan said:

I thin 2014 was our year. The trade we made for Andrew Miller, I believe, was the right move at the time. I think we were the best team in baseball, but just fell apart when running into the Royals for some reason. I can only imagine that if we had our full squad during that playoff run, we would be world champs.

Yes, but injuries happen.  The question that will haunt the the Oriole teams of the mid 2010s was whether management needed to do much more to improve the team for 2015;  or would it not have mattered if they had brought back Cruz and Miller (or their rough equivalents) anyway because of the unexpected under-performance of the starting pitching.

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This reminds me of what my friend Kent and I used to talk about back in the 80's. If you are a small to mid market team you have to trade at least some of your better players when they get close to FA. The better they are, and the more service time they have the more you will receive in return. You are really never rebuilding, just restocking. It allows your Farm System to constantly produce ML players while not losing players for a draft pick. It also keeps your payroll manageable.

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