Either Duquette is fibbing – which, honestly, his history here wouldn’t suggest – or he just let a player get away that he’d like to have back because of a difference of a few million dollars.
The Orioles will wind up with a 2013 “team salary” of roughly $85 million once arbitration figures are settled and the roster is set for next season. That’s about what they spent in 2012.
It would appear, then, that Duquette has been told by ownership that his ceiling for 2013 spending isn’t going up much from what the team spent a season ago.
And that’s going to cost them Mark Reynolds.
You can make the argument that Reynolds is a liability and any other reasonable baseball argument about his value and I’d agree with that, which is why he wouldn’t be on MY roster.
But in this case, in the REAL world, not our fantasy baseball world, Reynolds was on the Orioles for two years and he was good enough that Duquette has admitted they’d like to have him back for 2013 and beyond.
Now he’s gone because of a few million dollars.
It doesn’t add up, not when you’re trying to be a championship ballclub.
If you’re trying to pinch pennies, it makes sense.
But other than that, it doesn’t add up at all.
If you think Mark Reynolds is a good player and you’d like to have him back – which Duquette has said – are you willing to let him go for a few million dollars?
The Orioles “made” $7 million by playing in the 2012 post-season. Why wouldn’t they just consider that found money and throw it away – insert your Reynolds-at-3rd-base-joke here – on a guy like Reynolds who has been a good egg over his two year stay in Baltimore? Remember, they’ve admitted they would like him back. Sometimes you have to “overspend” to keep your guys, something the Yankees have done a great job of doing over the years, like two weeks ago when they gave Hiroki Kuroda $15 million for ’13 after he made $10 million in 2012. Five million didn’t matter to them. And five million shouldn’t matter to the Orioles, either.
The Orioles have gobs of money at their disposal. They spent $85 million a season ago. They could spend $100 million this year – the money we’ve given them as cable TV subscribers over the last seven years – and it wouldn’t faze them a bit.
Then again, as I wrote right here last month when the subject of Josh Hamilton came up, I don’t see the Orioles spending any free agency money of note (meaning, signing REAL players to REAL contracts) while the MASN/Washington Nationals rights fee battle continues. This is the ugly side of the three-headed business triangle called Angelos/Orioles/Nationals. There’s no way Peter Angelos is going to authorize any significant spending while this saga drags on.
And that cost the Orioles Mark Reynolds.