In reading some of the commentary online from fans this week, I think that a lot of folks need to remember that the Baltimore Orioles were a playoff team in 2016. Some will say yes but they only lasted one game, or they backed their way in. All of those things are true, yes. But history will show that they participated in the post season for the third time in five years.
So when I see scathing commentary by folks who desperately want the Orioles to make a move during the Winter Meetings, I often chuckle to myself. I get it, folks – I really do. Boston makes a deal for a high-profile starter, among other teams, and you want to join the party. And perhaps there is a bit of just frustration when fans see the Orioles stand and watch as moves are made.
However, how much addition is really necessary? The big piece coming off their board in theory is Trumbo, who’s engaged in talks with the Orioles to stay in Baltimore. (And I’m not going to lie, but that surprises me.) Obviously Wieters is thought to be another departure, however we also know that the Orioles have depth at catcher. So do they really need a high-ticket item?
Starting pitching is their big weakness, and while the likes of Tillman were certainly solid last year, it will probably be struggle again in 2017. So someone like a Sale might well have gone over well for the Orioles. However it still goes back to the price.
So my question to folks who want them to make a move is would you want a move made regardless of the price? A big topic during the meetings has been Machado, and what it will eventually cost to keep him. Would you want the Orioles to step up and trade him and get a huge haul in return? Because the Orioles could in fact do that, I just don’t see it happening.
Speaking for myself, I think they’ve actually played it smart in a way. The only people with whom they’ve had conversations have been players that would fill a need. Not some high-ticket item whereby the Birds are going to make a huge splash and so forth. That’s not who they are. If someone’s still on the board later in the off season that might be a different story. But for right now I think they’ve played it safe, and played it smart.