The trading deadline is a mere few days away. It’s certainly reminiscent of a yard sale except trading of goods is done instead of cash transactions.
The Orioles have certainly been active shoppers these past few years, and 2014 seems to be no exception. What we saw with the trade for Scott Feldman last year has been two fold. First of all, Feldman did nothing more than occupy a rotation spot. The worst of all of it has been that Jake Arrieta has officially put his game together and is now a dangerous part of the Cubs’s pitching staff.
Here we stand with our birds perched atop of the AL East and Dan Duquette has got an itchy trigger finger once again. While everyone else is screaming for a starter, I plead for a little restraint.
The starting staff has come into it’s own the last few turns through the rotation. Bud Norris is back from the disabled list, and while the results weren’t what we wanted, once he gets back the feel for his fastball he becomes a deadly number three guy. Kevin Gausman is officially off of his yo-yo style treatment and has been given the green light in regards to innings and staying in the bigs. This is just as big as making a trade for a David Price or Chris Sale. (Keep in mind these are the only two guys I would give up anything for). Add a Chris Tillman back to his old self, a Miguel Gonzalez who has been sick his last two starts, and this is a very good starting four. Ubaldo Jimenez is always a second half pitcher, and Wei Yen Chen has shown flashes of brilliance. These guys are excellent number fives.
The problem this group has had is the inability to get deep into games. The first half was so dependent on the arms in the bullpen, that one can honestly fear a second half meltdown is indeed possible. This is where the orioles need to make a move.
The big name until Friday was Houston Street. He is now the closer for the Anaheim Angels and they paid a King’s ransom with which to acquire him. While he would have been nice, the likes of a Joaquin Benoit or for example’s sake a Pedro Strop would be a perfect move for the birds to make. It’s a low cost trade that helps sure up another inning. If our starters get us six guaranteed, the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings would be almost a sure thing with extra role players down there for added support.
The only other possible move I would do, is try pry Chase Utley away from Philadelphia. Johnathan Schoop has indeed shown glimpses of why he is so highly rated, but I still feel he needs a little more time in Triple A. This gives him the start everyday at second without worrying about Ryan Flaherty stealing playing time. It also guarantees an offensive and sure-handed veteran to provide some protection in the middle of that line-up. This would be the only other move I’d sign off on for the birds to make.
So let’s not run the gambit of Christian Walker, Dariel Alvarez, and company being trade bait just yet. There are enough pieces on this club, and even still down in the minors (Chris Jones, Steve Johnson Etc) to make an impact on the playoff longevity of this team. Sacrificing the future for rentals is not the way we need to go.