osforlife wrote:For 2014, these impending free agents leave the Orioles without five starting pitchers, without seven relief pitchers, without a second baseman, without a left fielder, and without a DH.
Under Orioles control at least 2014, I see these players as possible fringe replacements:
Starting Pitcher: n/a
Relief Pitcher: Steve Johnson, Jairo Asencio,
Second Baseman: n/a
Left Fielder: n/a
Designated Hitter: Henry Urrutia, Danny Valencia
It's time to make a trade, or it could get ugly next year.
I thought this was well considered, insightful, and worth a Rep Point.
I definitely agree that we will have to make a trade and, frankly, I think we'll need to partially remake our roster. IMO the big problem is that we have a farm system that has been in a steady decline since the day we signed Kevin Gausman
last year. Since then we have lost Dylan Bundy
to an injury that may cause him to be converted to a closer and certainly will delay his entry into our starting rotation until AT LEAST late 2015, and probably 2016. We have traded away a high OBP hitter with plus base running skills and above average defensive skills that could have potentially been our LF next season. We have also traded away a legit LH SP prospect and, perhaps, our best hitting prospect. We have also traded away a first round draft pick and failed to spend the majority of our International Bonus Pool.
We HAVE added a solid HS SP that might be a part of the ML team by late 2016 and some solid college players that will have to fast track their way through our system to be considered top prospects. We have also added two Cuban OFers that MAY have ML careers ahead of them, but there's no guarantee of that.
In effect, there's less in the farm system NOW than there was the day that Gausman signed and all we have to show for that in the long term is Bud Norris; a #5 SP on a good team that may be better suited to be a lock down late inning reliever.
We will have an opening at 2B next year that might be filled by Ryan Flaherty
with Jonathon Schoop as an outside possibility. Frankly, I would rather go with one of those two than another has been from the scrap heap.
It's possible that Gausman will step up and win the fifth spot in the rotation next spring, but if he doesn't and/or someone else falters or becomes injured there's nothing left in the farm system to fill a hole. Even IF Gausman does earn that spot we will STILL have a rotation that has a #2 SP that hasn't earned that title yet (Tillman), a #3 SP (Chen), a #4 SP (Gonzalez), and a #5 SP Norris. It's unrealistic to expect Gausman to be any better than a #3 SP next season.
Unless we substantially change our lineup to one that can manufacture runs we will have to rely on quality pitching and defense to be a playoff contender and we'll be short on the pitching.
Since we don't have the solutions to our problems in our farm system we'll have to look for them from other teams, but we'll have to trade from our ML roster. This can actually be a good thing since we have too many RH softball players and need to replace some of them with high OBP hitters.
I still think that the Cardinals will enter the winter very concerned about their SS position next year. If I'm right then they will be interested in JJ Hardy. I would love to keep his glove, but we can't afford his low OBP along with all of our other low OBP hitters. I accept that not everyone agrees with me when I opine that St. Louis would trade 2B Kolten Wong for Hardy, but I think the fact that Hardy is a PROVEN commodity that they could resign will out weigh the fact that Wong is a question mark. We might have to add something like International bonus money to do the deal, but we don't seem to use that anyway.
I have also read the speculation that we would non tender Jim Johnson this winter. IMO there's ZERO chance of that. Most of the league will see him as having been overused and will make their evaluation of his future performance on the fact that he seems to rebound when he gets a little bit of rest. I'm convinced that the Tigers have learned their lesson about starting the season without a proven closer and will consider trading 3B Nick Castellanos for him. Again, it's a proven commodity against a question mark and we might have to throw in someone like Tim Berry
or Sebastian Vader
to make that deal.
Now for the part that will make some readers' heads explode. Chris Davis would land us a mountain of prospects from a team like the Pirates. Of course I would love to keep him, but I seriously doubt that he'll resign for what we would be willing to pay him and I can't see wasting his last two years with us on mediocre .500 teams when we could convert him into a long term winner. The package should start with Jameson Taillon and include at least two of their top ten prospects and probably two more of their top twenty prospects. Again, we could include some International bonus money since we don't use it and the Pirates DO.
Then. package Taillon, Bundy, and three more prospects of the White Sox choice and trade for Chris Sale. This trade makes sense for both teams. Chicago gets the young talent they need to rebuild and we get the TOR guy we haven't had since Mike Mussina. We keep Gausman and, depending on the players the Sox choose, we might be able to keep Mike Wright.
These four trades would give a solid young team, but would virtually empty a farm system that wasn't in a position to provide much support in the near term anyway. That means we're going to have to get REALLY serious about signing International talent to reload the system and start looking for almost ML ready college talent in the draft. At least using this approach we won't become irrelevant after the 2015 season.