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TT: Smith for Gallardo trade a good step, but now what?


Tony-OH

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The offseason always officially begins for Dan Duqette after the holidays and this is year was no different as he traded away RHP Yovani Gallardo for RF Seth Smith today. At first glance this looks like a great deal for the Orioles for several reasons.

First and foremost, it gets rid of Gallardo's $11,000,000 salary and $2 million buyout (His 2018 salary would be $13 million). Gallardo was nothing short of a disaster last season for the Orioles after he showed up with a mid-80s fastball in spring training, pitched poorly in April (7.00 ERA in 4 starts), sent to the DL for about six weeks, then returning to pitch to an unimpressive 5.13 ERA while AL batters OPS'd .808 off him. Gallardo will go down as one of Duquette's bigger mistakes, especially since he cost the team a first round pick last year. Of course if Duquette doesn't trade away Zach Davies for a 1/2 season of Gerardo Parra on a .500 team in 2015 he wouldn't have needed to sign Gallardo, but I digress.

Either way, he's gone and in return the Orioles get a Smith, a left-handed hitting platoon, defensively challenged rightfielder, who has a little pop and some on base ability (.342 OBP last year, .344 career). Considering the Orioles dire need for anyone who can get on base, Smith should be pretty good for this lineup, at least against right-handed pitching (.256/.351./431/.782 in 405 PAs against RHP). 

With the addition of Smith, the Orioles current lineup against RHP would probably look something like this:

1. Kim - LF
2. Jones - CF
3. Machado - 3B
4. Davis - 1B
5. Smith - RF
6. Schoop - 2B
7. Castillo - C
8. Mancini - DH
9. Hardy - SS

This still leaves room for the Orioles to sign a DH since it appears the Orioles do not want to give Mancini the full-time gig at DH. Probably a good idea since he probably won't be able to hit enough against right-handers to justify PAs at DH against them.

So who will the Orioles sign. You have to imagine Trumbo would still be in play here if the price is right and the fact that he hasn't signed tells me he's just hoping someone will get desperate for power and overpay him. If the Orioles can get Trumbo at something like 3 yrs at $40 million, i'd sign him up and put him at DH. Personally I still think Jose Bautista's bat makes the most sense because of his on base ability, but the fact the Orioles would have to give up a pick for him before June 1st, and the fact that Duquette seems to thinks Orioles fans hate him so much they wouldn't want him to be signed makes me think he won't be signed by the O's. 

With or without Trumbo, this team will need a right-handed hitting outfielder since both Kim and Smith are platoon players (there is some thought to giving Kim more chances against lefties since he hit them in the Korean League, but knowing Buck, I doubt this will happen. Joey Rickard is the best bet to be the 4th outfielder and would platoon with Kim in leftfield. If Trumbo is full-time DH, the team still needs a right-handed platoon mate for Smith. In house options include 24-year old rule 5 pick Aneury Tavarez, a switch hitting outfielder who slashed .330/.374/.495/.869 at Double-A last year including a .321/.352/.429/.781 line against southpaws., and Dariel Alvarez who slashed .323/.338/.449/.787 last year in 133 PAs against AAA southpaws. One thing to remember is when Alvarez was in Double-A he slashed .352/.379/.509/.888 against southpaws and was only a year older.

The Orioles of course could look outside the organization to players like Angel Pagan, but he slashed just .266/.291/.426/.717 against southpaws last year. If Pagan was signed, he'd probably would be the full time left fielder, moving Kim to DH and Rickart to RF platoon. Pagan's defense has slipped in center, but he probably would be ok in LF, and certainly an upgrade to Kim out there. 

So I see this playing out one of two ways, Pagan signed for LF, Kim goes to DH, Mancini makes the team as the DH against lefties and. The other is Trumbo is resigned, becomes the full time DH, Rickart platoons in LF and Alvarez platoons in RF with his cannon arm.

 Lineup with Pagan against lefties:

1. Pagan - LF
2. Jones - CF
3. Machado - 3B
4. Davis - 1B
5. Schoop - 2B
6. Castillo - C
7. Mancini - DH
8. Rickard - RF
9. Hardy - SS

Lineup if Trumbo resigned:

1. Rickard - LF
2. Jones - CF
3. Machado - 3B
4. Davis - 1B
5. Trumbo - DH
6  Schoop - 2B
7. Castillo - C
8. Alvarez - RF
9. Hardy - SS

If it's me making the call, I'm resigning Trumbo now and going with lineup number 2.

What are you thoughts?

 

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I don't think the team has any plans for D. Alvarez on the major league roster if last year was any indication.  

Signing another DH is a bad idea too IMO with Mancini, Kim, and Smith on the team.  That's four DH's! 

Let's improve the OF defense and roster flexibility.  My vote is for Pagan or Rasmus.  

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Just now, ArtVanDelay said:

Rickard should be in AAA. He's not a major leaguer. 

I'd like to see us bring back Pedro and I wouldn't mind Pagan. 

He is against left-handers. He slashed .313/.367/.494/.861 against them last year. That's pretty good. The problem he has was Buck overexposed hi as an everyday player while taking away PAs from Kim.

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Just now, Tony-OH said:

He is against left-handers. He slashed .313/.367/.494/.861 against them last year. That's pretty good. The problem he has was Buck overexposed hi as an everyday player while taking away PAs from Kim.

Do you believe Buck said last off season about how he wants to see what Kim can do against left handers in ST?

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2 minutes ago, ArtVanDelay said:

Rickard should be in AAA. He's not a major leaguer. 

I'd like to see us bring back Pedro and I wouldn't mind Pagan. 

Pretty harsh for a guy who OPS'd .861 against lefties last year and has some speed and defensive ability. He's a fourth OF/platoon player IMO and potentially a pretty good one.  

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1 minute ago, ChuckS said:

I don't think the team has any plans for D. Alvarez on the major league roster if last year was any indication.  

Signing another DH is a bad idea too IMO with Mancini, Kim, and Smith on the team.  That's four DH's! 

Let's improve the OF defense and roster flexibility.  My vote is for Pagan or Rasmus.  

I agree about how they didn't use Alvarez last year, but I think they are under utilizing him for what he can do well, which is hit lefties and played a decent RF. I heard he was approached about becoming a pitcher but he refused saying he'd rather be released. I honestly don't know what their issue is with him or why he never got a call up in September. I'm sure he wasn't too happy about that, 

BTW, Kim and Smith are not that bad that they are DHs. Both are below average defensively but not going to kill you out there.

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If Trumbo's demands really come down to the 3/40 range then sure, that would probably be good. But I think it might be better to go with the cheaper options of Pedro Alvarez or Luis Valbuena at primary DH on a shorter deal, using Mancini against lefties. I'd rather sign Pagan and Alvarez/Valbuena than sign just Trumbo for around the same cost. 

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7 minutes ago, Redskins Rick said:

Do you believe Buck said last off season about how he wants to see what Kim can do against left handers in ST?

I think it makes more sense to give him more PAs against lefties in the spring, but Buck is one of those guys that doesn't change his mind very easily. He's stubborn to a fault and he's decided long ago that Kim can't hit lefties in the major leagues. of course Kim did nothing to change his mind in hi SSS against them last year.

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9 minutes ago, Redskins Rick said:

I would rather have Trumbo at DH, personally.

Pedro had a 117 wRC+ last year, Trumbo was at 123.  Trumbo isn't a much better hitter than Pedro, if at all.  I'll take the lefty and the draft pick (and much cheaper contract).

Trumbo is projected to put up a 110 wRC+ next year, Pedro 114. 

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1 minute ago, Tony-OH said:

I thin it makes more sense to give him more PAs against lefties in the spring, but Buck is one of those guys that doesn't change his mind very easily. He's stubborn to a fault and he's decided long ago that Kim can't hit lefties in the major leagues. of course Kim did nothing to change his mind in hi SSS against them last year.

Seeing if he can hit lefties, can only help the team. IMO

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