To me, the clear lesson here isn't about how good your FAs are or necessarily how good your top prospects are. It's about the importance of deep depth.
Baseball is full of failures. Expensive failures in FA. Expensive top draft picks. Rule V guys. Whatever. Obviously those decisions matter, but for a team like the O's, we're not going to be able to buy our way out of those issues. That CAN'T be the approach.
The Phillies and the prognosticators over rated them based on those high profile names. They didn't appreciate the apparent lack of depth. This is why I still like the Iglesias trade. I want 40-45 FV guys sitting on the bench in the minors if necessary. I want so many capable minor leaguers that I won't really care (except on a human level) when one blows his arm or leg out in a fluke fly fishing accident. I want so many medium probability guys that we're almost guaranteed that 10 of them become valuable at some point. When you're there, you can blow your budget on a Lindor or trade a Mancini for more young talent and still handle it just fine both financially and on the field.
I think that any MiL hitter would benefit from going against our MiL pitching at this point. If it didn't benefit them, they're probably already close to Major League All Star level players. Really, any hitter that has to face 95 MPH and decent secondaries will benefit from that. That doesn't mean I'm saying our arms are all ML arms, but they're very good MiL arms, which is toward the top of what they'd be facing if they were actually playing minor league games.
I have expressed my concertns about Elias, but obviously he understands that you have to have a core of young, cheap players that get to the majors around the same time. Players that don't fit this timeline are being traded when the time or return is right. This can make a lot of fans (and me) angry. I'll be surprised if Mancini remains an Oriole past this year, regardless of his production. Its probably more likely he's traded, the better he performs. The O's don't have the deep pockets to acquire multiple top of the line free agents (or at least an owner that is willing to spend in that manner). If the timing isn't right, even massive spending to the luxury tax won't make you a winning, playoff team.
I’m not ignoring any financial issues that occurred in 2020. The Os were crying poor me because of the MASN case or whatever excuse you want to use before covid.
Do you really think the payroll would be another 20-40M if Covid never happened? I’m betting the payroll is the same going into 2021 regardless of the situation.
And I am in no way blaming Elias. I’m really glad he is here and I have basically agreed with everything he has done. I don’t have any complaints about him.
All of my complaints are centered around the family that has driven this organization into the ground for 2 decades. They don’t deserve an ounce of the benefit of the doubt and it’s astounding to me that anyone would give it to them even if we all agree the sons are better than the dad.
Davis and Cobb do not stop you from doing anything if your ownership allows it. The Orioles can easily spend another 20-30M, have those players here and field a better team. That money is spent. You don’t have to hide from it. You just have to work around it. If the team was willing to do that, they easily could.
If Davis retires tomorrow, meaning we aren’t on the hook for his contract, would ownership allow Elias to spend 20M on free agents? Maybe. I tend to doubt it though.
Overall, I love the direction of the team and organization but they should be trying harder to win now and the idea that people accept that they aren’t is absurd to me.