Ryan Flaherty, anyone?
Yesterday afternoon, it looked as if the Orioles’ lineup was going to be healthy and at full-tilt with the return of Manny Machado in about a week. Now, with Chris Davis’ injury status up in the air, it’s back to counting on players like Ryan Flaherty to play everyday in an effort to pick up the slack.
Insert a hearty and collective “no thanks,” here.
Chris Davis’ oblique strain could result in a visit to the 15-Day Disabled List, but nothing has been reported thus far. Either way, injuries like oblique strains are the type that can linger and result in season-long issues for hitters, especially free-swingers like Davis.
Enter, the solution: Kendry Morales.
Considering the Orioles had serious interest in Morales already, it’s safe to assume that the text message count between Dan Duquette and Morales’ agent, Scott Boras is rapidly increasing.
Whether Davis’ injury is serious in nature or not, signing Morales now would make all the sense in the world. Unlike other potential suitors, such as Oakland, Seattle, and Milwaukee, the Orioles don’t have a first-round draft pick to lose if they ink Morales to a deal prior MLB’s, June 5th-7th, amateur draft.
If the Orioles were to sign Morales today, it would result in losing a third-round draft choice, as the club has already forfeited its first and second-round choices in exchange for signing Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz.
Should the Orioles continue to wait until after June’s draft, they’ll have to contend with the aforementioned teams and will most likely lose-out in a bidding war. Prior to the draft, other teams have been reluctant to hand-away the compensatory first-round choice that it would take to sign Morales, but after the draft, the rule is no longer in play.
Whether or not Davis is headed for the disabled list shouldn’t be the deciding factor in bringing Morales into the fold. The fact that Davis has had a pedestrian start to the season, coupled with a fresh injury that could linger, should be more than enough justification for adding an insurance policy on the player who is largely considered to be the biggest piece of a Baltimore lineup that is built for home-runs.
In a young season where the Orioles still have every chance to compete for a division title, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would welcome the sound of “now batting, first baseman, Ryan Flaherty,” for the long haul.
Kendry Morales is the answer and he’s right there for the taking.