Guthrie deal reminds us…the Orioles aren’t trying to win

February 06, 2012 | Drew Forrester

I don’t know why Dan Duquette REALLY traded Jeremy Guthrie.  One bird on a tree tells me Guthrie wasn’t a locker room favorite of Buck Showalter’s because of his pro-player stance as it relates to collective bargaining issues and things like that.  Guthrie was reportedly an outspoken internal critic of the club’s facility in Ft. Lauderdale and may have snitched on the club when certain minimum standards weren’t met by the club during spring training.  Whether that had anything to do with it…or perhaps Duquette really believes Jason Hammel is better than Jeremy Guthrie…I guess we’ll never know.  I can’t imagine you’d make a trade (and I’m not forgetting Matt Lindstrom, but he’s a throw-in here — nothing more) for a player and knowingly get the short end of the deal, but that’s apparently what Duquette pulled off today.  Yes, Hammel is 3 years younger.  Yes, he’s cheaper.  Yes, he’s under control for two years.  But is he better than Guthrie?  Is he going to help the Orioles win more games in 2012?  Answer:  No chance.

You’ll see.

And don’t think for one minute I’m saying this deal spells doom for the Orioles in 2012.  They were doomed anyway.  It’s not about the losing.  It’s about the team’s management trying to cast us under some kind of spell that makes us think they’re on the verge of winning.

“We’re essentially replacing Jeremy’s innings with those that Hammel will give us,” Duquette said today about the trade.  This is also the same guy – Duquette – who has reminded us on several occasions over the last month that Dana Eveland threw 185 innings a season ago.  He did.  In the minor leagues.

If 30 less innings is “essentially”, than Duquette is right.  Hammel has averaged about 175 innings a year over his last three seasons as a starter in Colorado.  Guthrie has averaged 205 in that time.  And his numbers have been better.  Period.

But I’m starting to see Duquette’s way of thinking.

It probably goes something like this — “The fans are stupid in Baltimore…hell, they must be if they’ve been buying tickets for this mess over the last decade…I’ll just pull the trigger on this deal and they’ll figure I know what I’m doing.”

I don’t buy it.

The deal was made today for one reason.  In the next two years, the Orioles will spend less on Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom than they would have over the next two years with Jeremy Guthrie.  It’s that simple, really.

It’s always about the same thing with the Orioles.

Saving money.  

And not really trying to win.  

It’s still the new Oriole Way.