The Baltimore Orioles are a ginormous mess. The problems start at the top with owner Peter Angelos. Angelos’ choices of paranoia have affected the franchise in more ways than one, despite the ability to field a playoff-caliber team. We have seen it again and again. They had a proposed trade for Zach Britton to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline that was nixed by Angelos. He would not sign Grant Balfour due to medicals. He also would not trade Manny Machado to certain teams because he fears Machado ending up a Yankee. Because of Angelos’ actions, the Orioles should burn it all down and start over.
The Orioles have a tough decision to make. Are they willing to give it another shot and hope that they can compete with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees? While the 2017 team went 10-0 against the Red Sox, they went 7-12 against the Yankees. They also struggled against the Tampa Bay Rays (8-11). They finished 10 games back out of a Wild Card with a 75-87 record. Is this team ready to compete again or has the door slammed shut? This writer thinks it has shut. Peter Angelos disagrees.
The Orioles have a rotation right now of Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and ummmmmmmm….no one else. Hunter Harvey is probably the #3 right now. The awful contract of Ubaldo Jimenez is finally history. Chris Tillman is gone. The Orioles have internal options such as Alec Asher, Miguel Castro and Yefry Ramirez, but does anyone seriously consider them aces to be? They need multiple pitchers. Is Peter Angelos willing to spend money? He usually will, but confusingly. See the Chris Davis signing. They offered a smaller contract, bet against them, and ended up signing him for even more money.
As for what to do in tearing it down, the Orioles have a lot of good pieces to move. However, Chris Davis and Zach Britton are now unmovable. Chris Davis is still owed $115 million over the next five years. Britton’s ruptured ACL will ruin his trade value as he is not due for a return until June. Britton will be a free agent and the Orioles will get possibly nothing more than a draft pick with a qualifying offer. Trey Mancini should be considered unmovable. He finished third in Rookie of the Year and will be a good stalwart for the future.
After that, Mark Trumbo and Tim Beckham should be immediate trade pieces. Both Beckham and Trumbo should bring back prospects that Angelos and Dan Duquette can use. Brad Brach and Darren O’Day, their other two top relievers, may be their best trade chips. The reliever market is skyrocketing. While neither will bring back what Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman did, both have the opportunity to help the Orioles get 2 good prospects each. If they so choose, Mychal Givens fits in this as well, though not at the same price. Finally, if they want to trade from their strength, Jonathan Schoop would bring back the best haul of the group (aside of Machado), but Duquette may choose to keep him for the future.
The options are there for a quick boom and build for the Baltimore Orioles. However, Angelos’ meddling and Duquette’s non-interest in the posting system will hurt them long-term and they should consider a new route in the future.