Baltimore Orioles Should Look Down Beltway to Trade

The Baltimore Orioles have had a very quiet offseason in terms of transactions, but a look down the I-95 Beltway can change that.

Now that the Washington Nationals have paid an exorbitant amount to Max Scherzer for the next 14 years, they have enough pitching to go around. Tanner Roark, who went 15-10, 3.47 ERA, right now is headed to the bullpen, as the rotation lines up as Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, and Gio Gonzalez.

That is one heck of a rotation.  And the rumor is that either Fister or Zimmermann is on the trading block.

And the Orioles (I would say Dan Duquette, but who knows where he is at this point) should make that trade.

In a proposed trade, the Baltimore Orioles send C Matt Wieters, RHP Brian Matusz and RHP Ryan Webb to the Washington Nationals for starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and OF Nate McLouth.

Now, this I’m sure has you scratching your head and asking if I have lost my mind.  No.  And here is why.

The Nationals have no bargaining power right now.  Everyone knows they have a lot of starting pitching and are looking to deal. They also are set in the OF, and McLouth was a disappointment last year.

For Zimmermann, he is in the last year of his contract, and making a hefty 16 million dollars.

The Orioles, many say, need an ace. They believe Chris Tillman is an ace, but if that is the case, they don’t really have a number 2 pitcher.  Zimmermann could be that ace in 2015. Also, he would probably be the best pitcher in the division until Masahiro Tanaka comes back from his surgery.

The Orioles and McLouth have mutual interest in a reunion.  They still need an OF, and this could allow him and David Lough to battle it out.

Wieters is also in the last year of his contract, and is represented by Scott Boras.  Most people realize Wieters will probably not be in Orioles’ orange and black next year, if he even finishes 2015 in an Orioles uniform.

His contract is for $8.3 million, so the Nats would be able to save a little money. In addition, catcher is their weakest position player, as Wilson Ramos struggles mightily to stay healthy.

The Nationals have a very, very weak bullpen, after trading much of their talent in the bullpen.  Webb has proven he can pitch in the NL East, and Matusz as a lefty specialist would be perfect on a team in the National League that is one of the best in baseball.

The Orioles could absorb the loss of both Webb and Matusz. They would still have Zach Britton, Wesley Wright and T.J. MacFarland as lefty relievers, and Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter, Brad Brach and Ubaldo Jimenez in the bullpen. This also could help make space for their two Rule 5 draft picks.

This trade would help the Nationals become arguably the most complete team in baseball, while giving the Orioles a top of the line starter and another outfield option.

It looks like a win-win to me.

 

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