Buck, Adam Jones, JJ Hardy and the other mainstays wanted one last shot because they knew a rebuild would take at least 4+ years and the clock on their baseball career was ticking.
I don't blame for trying in 2017, but by 2018 it was obvious that the Orioles had to rebuild. I don't think that is something you could have expected Buck, Duquette, Adam Jones and JJ Hardy to advocate for because they wanted to win now and not ride out a multi-year rebuild.
Well Duquette might have been game for a rebuild, but it was time to go a new direction with the front office.
I think that if you have two players that are playing at a similar level you go with the younger player. I think that if you have an older player performing at a slightly higher level you go with the younger player.
And I don’t mean, “I hope he’s traded.” What are your expectations and hopes on the field?
For his career, Santander is a .248/.290/.454 hitter. Last year, he was at .241/.286/.433. In his 37 game season in 2020, he was at .261/.315/.575.
The three projection systems published on BB-ref and Fangraphs to date project as follows:
All very much in the same ballpark, .751-.763 OPS, a tad above his career .744 mark.
I can’t really argue with those projections in terms of what I expect. And of course, you have to assume there’s a significantly higher than average risk of him missing time with injury. So, if he plays 110+ games with a .751-.763 OPS, I don’t think you can be disappointed with that.
But, on the other hand, if he gets lucky with his health, I think he could do considerably better. I really think he was never 100% or close at any point last year, and that affected his offense and perhaps his defense even more so. I think if he can stay pretty healthy (and I’m not talking about perfection here), it would be reasonable to hope for a .260/.305/.485 type campaign. I don’t see him matching his .314 ISO from his short 2020 campaign, but he’s got enough power to manage a .225 ISO in my opinion.
So, I think the most likely scenario is a .750-.760 type season with a good chunk of missed time, but I’m hoping for a relatively healthy, .790ish campaign. With far improved defense over 2021, when he really seemed slowed by his injuries in the OF.
Buck just wanted to stay with his guys as long as he could. All managers want to win today, none want to risk their job status on a rebuild if they have a choice. Buck is no different in that regard.
He had Angelos ear, which ended in some bad roster decisions.