Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones and The Quest for Pitching

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It is no secret that the Baltimore Orioles are a team after starting pitching, as they continue to talk to Yovani Gallardo.

With that conversation taking place, and the thought they might lose their first pick to the Rangers because of the qualifying offer attached to Gallardo, they also are entertaining signing Dexter Fowler, who would cost another pick.

So, after a text from a non-Orioles fan, I want to take this one step further.

With Dexter Fowler, that would give the Orioles Hyoon Soo-Kim, Adam Jones, Fowler, Nolan Reimold, Mark Trumbo, Henry Urrutia, Dariel Alvarez, and Joey Rickard as outfield candidates.

Jones would be a lock in center field.

But what if the Orioles traded him?

I know, it sounds crazy, ridiculous even. But, Fowler is a center fielder, that is primarily the only place he has played in his career.

And Jones would help the Orioles get an ace.

Let’s look at a few scenarios. Obviously, the financial end of these deals may not work out, since some of these pitchers are on their rookie contracts, and Jones is due around 15 million a year. But, I tried to look at where needs exist and can be filled, and where the Orioles could acquire an ace. So, examine the trade in theory.

Baltimore Orioles trade CF Adam Jones and 1B Christian Walker to the New York Mets for RHP Noah Syndergaard, LHP Antonio Bastardo and SS Garin Cecchini.

Noah Syndergaard is 23 and under his rookie contract until 2022. And I don’t think I need to talk about how good he is. He is fantastic. In 2015, his first year in the majors, he went 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA, 1.047 WHIP and finished fourth in the rookie of the year voting in the National League. Bastardo gives the Orioles another left-handed reliever, and Cecchini is the future for when J.J. Hardy can’t play short stop anymore, in case the team decides to keep Manny Machado at third base. Walker is expendable with Chris Davis‘ long contract, and Trey Mancini in the minors.

Jones allows the Mets to put Yoenis Cespedes in left field where he belongs. Then, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson, who is 35-years-old, can split time in right field. Walker gives them someone who can compete with the perennially underachieving Lucas Duda. The Mets have a number of strong bullpen options, and Cecchini isn’t even their best short stop prospect. However, with the Mets being so high on Conforto, and how much they are paying Granderson, this might not work.

Baltimore Orioles trade CF Adam Jones to the San Diego Padres for RHP Tyson Ross, RHP Andrew Cashner and CF Travis Jankowski.

If there was one place Jones would probably not mind getting traded to, it would be his home town of San Diego. And, with Melvin Upton Jr. as the starting CF, the Padres could use the help.

The Orioles would get in return two RHPs with contracts that are up in the next few years, so the deal comes with a lot of risk. However, Jankowski is expected to be the Padres’ CF of the future. Since coming to the National League from Oakland, Ross has had ERAs of 3.17, 2.81, 3.26. However, he is only 26-34 over the span. The run support would help him immensely. Cashner struggled a bit last year, but the two years before that saw ERAs under 3.2 and WHIPs under 1.15. Not bad at all.

Baltimore Orioles trade CF Adam Jones, OF LJ Hoes, RHP Dylan Bundy, RHP Oliver Drake, and LHP Brian Matusz to the Miami Marlins for RHP Jose Fernandez and CF Marcell Ozuna,

The Marlins have talked about trading Ozuna and Fernandez all winter long. Ozuna isn’t happy in Miami. The Marlins know Fernandez has already priced himself out of Miami, even though he isn’t a free agent until 2019.

By getting Ozuna back, it gives the Orioles another option in the OF. And Fernandez hardly needs an introduction. Career ERA of 2.40. 22-9 win loss record on a team that isn’t all that good. WHIP of 1.014. Doesn’t leave up a lot of home runs.

Meanwhile, the Marlins are thin at OF, with Ichiro Suzuki as one of their main backups. Yes, Ichiro. So Hoes helps them in that area. Their bullpen is the funky windup of Carter Capps, inconsistent closer AJ Ramos, and a lot of nobodies. Matusz, Drake and Bundy could help out there.

Baltimore Orioles trade CF Adam Jones, RHP Dylan Bundy and 1B Trey Mancini to the Oakland Athletics for RHP Sonny Gray and 1B Yonder Alonso.

They say you have to give a little to get a little. So, the Orioles trade Jones to Oakland with Dylan Bundy, who could use a change of scenery, and the blocked Trey Mancini for Sonny Gray and Yonder Alonso. Gray gives the Orioles a top of the line ace. Gray is 33-20 with a career ERA of 2.88, a career WHIP of 1.134 and over 200 innings each of the last two years. Gray is only 26, and is not a free agent until 2020. Alonso is a former first round pick who has seen a little bit of time at third base. That would prove useful here, because I would probably have Manny Machado move to shortstop and Alonso be the starting third baseman. J.J. Hardy would either be traded or would be the DH if Mark Trumbo started in the outfield.

Did I mention that Alonso and Manny are brother-in-laws?

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Obviously, the Orioles have talked for years about keeping the core together. This would completely reverse that, and likely anger players and fans alike. But, like all sports, Dan Duquette is running a business and has to do what he needs to in order for the Orioles to have the best chance at playing in the World Series that he can.

I’m not advocating for any of these trades, but wanted to get opinions on what will certainly be a controversial post.

What do you think?