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Assuming a relatively flat budget, do the O's have a realistic chance to contend in 2016?


Frobby

Assiming a relatively flat budget, is it realistic to think the O's can contend in 2016?  

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  1. 1. Assiming a relatively flat budget, is it realistic to think the O's can contend in 2016?



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This is the $120 mm question.

My assumption is that the 2016 budget will be no more than $10 mm more or less than last year's, in the range of $105-125 mm. It could be on the low end of that based on lower attendance in 2015 and no playoff revenue. Or, it could be higher based on general industry trends. I tend to think it will be on the higher end of the range based on DD's statements that he has some payroll flexibility, but in any event, I don't think the budget is outside that range in either direction.

At that budget, we certainly cannot re-sign all of Davis, Chen and O'Day, or sign three equivalent free agents. Perhaps we could sign two, but one would probably be something of a downgrade from the player he is replacing. Those three players cost $21 mm last year, and will cost something in the ballpark of $42-50 mm per season going forward.

So my question is, what are the odds that we can put together a contending team on a relatively flat budget? (Notice I said "contending," not "competitive.") If the answer is that the odds are very low, then we should be selling and rebuilding now. But if the odds are reasonable, then it makes more sense to go for it.

A pessimist would say, (1) last year's team only won 81 games, and had to win the last five in a row against teams that had already clinched playoff spots and were resting a lot of regulars, and (2) we will have less talent on paper than we did last year, so contending is a real long shot in 2016. An optimist would say, there were a number of things that went wrong in 2015, and if several of those things go right in 2016, there is no reason we can't contend in 2016 so long as we make good decisions this winter.

For me, I think our odds of contending are between 20-40% next season. While it's a tough call, at those odds I favor trying to contend and building around the core that is here. However, if we are not in serious contention at the all-star break, I will be in favor of restructuring the team, and probably will be kicking myself for not wanting to do it this winter.

What say you?

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Any chance we had went away with the Wieters QO. Assuming level budget, there is no way to upgrade enough of our holes. I have not seen a single realistic plan since the Wieters QO to improve this team. Best case scenario is we tread water. Never say never, but I would put our chances of making the playoffs closer to 1%.

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No. And we certainly should be selling and rebuilding now. That does not mean fire sale, it means being smart and trading the assets we can that are getting costly and could bring back a nice package of young players. Britton, Hardy and Gonzo should be shopped. Not dumped, but shopped. CD, Chen, Pierce, Parra and O'day should all go away in Free Agency. If we want to spend some money, go hard after the young and super talented Heyward. We cannot and should not throw money at Starting pitching. We need to re set, get younger and more athletic. I am all on board waiting for the reality to set in....We missed our opportunity last year, and its time to build back up.

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No. And we certainly should be selling and rebuilding now. That does not mean fire sale, it means being smart and trading the assets we can that are getting costly and could bring back a nice package of young players. Britton, Hardy and Gonzo should be shopped. Not dumped, but shopped. CD, Chen, Pierce, Parra and O'day should all go away in Free Agency. If we want to spend some money, go hard after the young and super talented Heyward. We cannot and should not throw money at Starting pitching. We need to re set, get younger and more athletic. I am all on board waiting for the reality to set in....We missed our opportunity last year, and its time to build back up.

The AL East isn't very good. They can put together an 88-93 win roster. It won't take 98 to win the division.

It may not be the best long term strategy, but Frobby asked specifically about 2016.

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I think it's definitely a realistic thought that they can contend, though a lot needs to be done for realistic to become likely.

A huge amount will come down to the incumbent SPs, as seen in 2014 when we crushed the division despite missing months worth of Machado and Wieters and despite Davis being very mediocre, largely because of a good performance by the rotation across the board. If Tillman, Gausman, and Gonzalez can look a bit more like 2014, and if Jimenez can retain some of the rebound he made in 2015, this still has the look of a solid team.

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After Wieters took the QO that put us at around 98 M. DD said we could still sign a SP and CD. That would put the budget in the vicinity of 135 M. That wouldn't be flat IMO. He could have been spinning things, who knows. But if it stays at 120M I don't like our chances.

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Can contend? Yes. Will contend? No.

I don't understand this comment. If you feel you already know that they won't contend, then why would you say that they could contend? I think what you are saying is that they have a puncher's chance, but that the odds are very long. But I'm not sure if that's what you mean.

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I don't understand this comment. If you feel you already know that they won't contend, then why would you say that they could contend? I think what you are saying is that they have a puncher's chance, but that the odds are very long. But I'm not sure if that's what you mean.

I think he is saying there could be a hypothetical way for them to put together a contending team, but he does not think they will do it. I do not think they can contend, nor will they contend.

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After Wieters took the QO that put us at around 98 M. DD said we could still sign a SP and CD. That would put the budget in the vicinity of 135 M. That wouldn't be flat IMO. He could have been spinning things, who knows. But if it stays at 120M I don't like our chances.

At 120 mil at this point, it would not include Davis. He would suck up the remaining budget himself. If you spread that 22 mil around 3-4 players, well.. like COC said, second wild card may not be that high a bar. Although it was in the NL this year (Pirates, Cubs). A .500 team means you're probably "competing" in September.

The Os can still jettison some money if they need to, perhaps up to $10 mil worth.

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If everything goes right, we could contend. Even if the answer is "probably not," with Wieters and Jones coming off injury seasons, we might do better to hold off on trading them until mid-season, assuming they will have shored up their value. Ironically, if we do end up selling off talent this year, having Wieters to trade to a team for a stretch run could be a good thing.

Given the low odds of being a contender, are we wise to sign a free agent with a QO, or should we resist the temptation? And, does it even make sense to re-sign Davis?

I think we should try to put together a team without Davis or any other FA that will cost a pick. We should also resist the temptation to weaken our farm system more by trading the few real prospects we have. If we can get much of anything for Britton, Roe, Matusz, Flaherty, Lough, Reimold, Gonzalez, Urrutia, Walker, Alvarez and such, I'm all for it.

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No. Very likely six major pieces out the door the last two years without much added from the farm and we may only have the budget to add one major FA. Spending $41M on Wieters, Hardy, and Jimenez this season will likely not bring the production we need. I think we need to look at 2017+. Use as many picks as we can to build the farm system. Try to extend Manny and make smart signings of younger players. If there's a trade to be made that brings back prospects (e.g. Britton out) I'd seriously consider it.

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