Baltimore Orioles follow Royals blueprint in aim of winning it all

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 31: Jonathan Schoop
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 31: Jonathan Schoop /

Peter Angelos, Dan Duquette and the Baltimore Orioles made a conscious decision on the day of the trade deadline.

The Baltimore Orioles are going to attempt to make a run at the playoffs in 2017, and hope the team can fix its pitching woes in 2018 and be a top contender.

What Major League Baseball team can the Baltimore Orioles draw inspiration from? Possibly their current opponent, the Kansas City Royals.

In 2015, the Royals were World Champions, winning the World Series one year after losing in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants.

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In 2016, the team finished 81-81. They scored 675 runs and allowed 712 runs.

The Royals had a 7-19 month in July which effectively sunk their season. This was after leading in the division in June.

The 2016 team featured some starters that are the same as what they have now. Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas (although he only played in 29 games due to injury), Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar. However, some other main pieces, such as Cheslor Cuthbert, Jarrod Dyson, Drew Butera, Paulo Orlando and most notably Kendrys Morales.

However, the starting rotation was notably different. The 2016 rotation for KC was Edison Volquez, Yordano Ventura, Ian Kennedy, Danny Duffy and a combination of Dillon Gee, Chris Young, etc.

Jason Vargas only made three starts.

Because of free agency and Ventura’s tragic death, KC only had Kennedy, Vargas and Duffy returning, their two best pitchers and a question mark. Vargas was a wild card in 2017 due to his limited appearances in 2016.

The Royals chose to trade from their strength, the bullpen, and send Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs for Jorge Soler. Soler has done next to nothing for the Royals.

Let’s look ahead to the 2018 Orioles.

The Orioles are going to have their two best pitchers returning, Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. Gausman is a bit of a wild card, can he match his strong second halves with a strong first half as well?

The Orioles will be returning several key players, Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop, Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo. However, they may need to move on from some other key pieces. Could they trade Manny Machado over the winter? Seth Smith will be gone. Welington Castillo could be as well.

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The Orioles also have a stacked bullpen. Could they choose to trade Zach Britton for a young player? It’s possible.

Dayton Moore, Ned Yost and the Royals decided to hang on to the core of their team at the 2016 trade deadline, despite the rough July. Many thought they could have stocked their system if they traded some of their core players.

In 2017, the Royals started out awful. But, they have turned it around and are now a wild card leader.

They are going for a championship in 2017, even though there might be teams with aces, such as Cleveland, Boston and Houston.

Perez is under contract for several more years, just like the Orioles’ catcher of the future, Chance Sisco. The backup, Drew Butera, is also under contract, much like Caleb Joseph will be for the Orioles.

For the Royals, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are both free agents at the end of 2017, as are Alcides Escobar, newly acquired Melky Cabrera, Lorenzo Cain, Jason Vargas, Trevor Cahill and Neftali Feliz.

The Orioles will enter 2018 with it being the last season for Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Zach Britton, Brad Brach.

That list will likely increase, as the Orioles will probably sign a number of one-year deals to make a run at a championship.

So while the Orioles have fewer key free agents, they have the most important players on their team coming up as free agents.

So, while many people are currently bemoaning the Orioles not trading Zach Britton or others, they have a blueprint to look at as they approach a pivotal year.

Next: Orioles, Royals battle for playoff positioning

The Baltimore Orioles decided to make a run at the rest of 2017 and 2018. Much like the Royals, in 2016 and 2017, decided to make a run for it.

Only time will tell if things work out, for both teams.