Everyone is up in arms in Baltimore by the Orioles lack of an offseason because they have not made the big move. Let’s get the facts straight though; they were never in on Zack Grienke, they will not make a play for Josh Hamilton and they did not have the pieces to acquire James Shields. But this team has severely dropped the ball this offseason; as the options to make an impact move is dwindling by each signing and trade.
It all started with the monster trade the Blue Jays pulled off; several of those players could have been valuable commodities to the Orioles. Reyes contract was too large for consideration but taking a proven top of the rotation pitcher like Josh Johnson or Mark Buehlre by offering some prospects (and willing to take on their contracts in full) should have been a priority. Even Emilio Bonifacio would have filled holes at either, Second Base or Left Field, as well as adding a good runner on the base path. That is the first mistake of the offseason.
I was a firm believer in Dan Haren, as the only top of the rotation pitcher available not with Grienke on the back of his jersey. The Nationals swooped him up for a $13 million contract for this season alone, which seems high but Haren is a boom or kind of good pitcher signing; either way he does have some value. He is going to eat innings and even coming off a down year, still had a winning record. The ball keeps slipping out of Duquette’s hands.
The Phillies acquired a good defensive outfielder with a lot of speed in Ben Revere for two pitchers (Vance Worley and Prospect, Trevor May); he is a player that could have filled out the defensive outfield. Now the Orioles are loaded at pitcher, with young starters available, a move to add a true leadoff hitter and Gold Glove caliber player was available for pennies on the dollar. Add in the move the Phils made to acquire Rangers stalwart, Michael Young, (who could have played first, second or DH) for a couple relief pitchers and the Phillies made the moves the Orioles could have to improve the roster. Whoops by the O’s for standing still, letting this happen in front of their face.
Finally, the Rays have really screwed the Orioles with their move to acquire Will Myers from the Royals in exchange for James Shields. The Royals will now be more than reluctant to move a Billy Butler or any bat in their lineup now that they gave up their future stud. This Orioles organization fumbles another sensible move for 2013.
Now the name, Justin Upton, has been mentioned but unless this team parts ways with either Bundy or Machado, that will not happen. The one player that seems to make sense right now is Asdrubal Cabrera; he is available and the Indians may be looking for young pitching and possibly adding in a prospect like Jonathon Schoop could get the deal done. Cabrera brings a great bat but also a excellent glove at Shortstop; a position a strength for the Orioles but moving around the infield would only enhance the defense. Hardy at Second Base is still an upgrade over anyone they will throw out there, while giving you Gold Glove caliber players at the three most difficult positions on the infield.
Let’s hope they don’t drop the ball on this one.