The Baltimore Orioles have a lot of needs, but they also have some predicaments where they have too many players who fit a particular mold.
It’s no secret the Baltimore Orioles need pitching, like every offseason. In fact, they need a lot of pitching.
I’ve heard it said before that you should have eight starting pitchers to enter a season. This accounts for injuries, a guy who might not cut it and either need to be released or sent back to Triple-A, etc.
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However, for simplicity sake, let’s say the Orioles have four.
Cobb or Lance Lynn would make five starting pitchers. Signing someone looking to rebound from a bad year, such as Tillman, would be six.
A contract to a player like Vargas, Tyler Chatwood (yes, please) or others would be seven. That still leaves one more gap, and likely not a lot of money in which to use to fill in.
Insert trading Mark Trumbo.
Mark Trumbo is two years removed from being the home run leader in baseball. However, he is superfluous for the Orioles.
Trumbo is a first baseman/designated hitter/marginal outfielder. Sound familiar? Chris Davis is a similar positional player but has the edge as an outstanding defensive first baseman. Trey Mancini also fits that same mold.
Mark Trumbo is a power hitter. Well, Davis also fits that mold. And, Davis also fits the strikes out a lot, low on-base percentage mold. The two are very similar.
But, wouldn’t this put a hole in the Orioles lineup, you may ask? Apparently, you didn’t see Trumbo hit last year. But, I know what you mean.
Currently, Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, and one open roster spot make the Orioles’ outfielders for 2018. Those question marks could be Joey Rickard or Anthony Santander. Or could new Orioles outfielder Jaycob Brugman be the answer? They could be a free agent, such as Curtis Granderson or Carlos Gonzalez.
Or, it could be a combination of those first three names, who are all under contract, and one of the latter ones. And, this is without mentioning Austin Hays, who could be ready for a role as either an everyday outfielder or at least a platoon role.
If the Orioles do sign an outfielder, and then one of these younger players has a fantastic spring, there wouldn’t be a lot of room with them. However, if Trumbo isn’t on the roster, that would help.
The other possible item here lies at the catcher position. Everyone knows that Chance Sisco can hit. Whether or not he is ready as a catcher is another question.
Honestly, Ryan Mountcastle, who has a great bat but his defensive position is unsure, could DH. The team could even bring back a player like Pedro Alvarez and platoon him at DH if many of these other options fail.
Buck Showalter loves a bench where the DH position can be floated around to help give players rest and also get guys into the lineup. With the logjam of first base and DH types on the roster, that is difficult to do.
Trading Mark Trumbo helps the team and would also get the Orioles a return. No, it wouldn’t be Mike Trout, Felix Hernandez or Clayton Kershaw. But, it could easily be a major league pitcher who has a bloated contract and struggled in 2017.
Names like Homer Bailey, Jeff Samardzija, and Matt Moore come to mind. Two of these players are San Francisco Giants. If the Giants do not get the slugger they covet, Giancarlo Stanton, Trumbo might be a great secondary option.
Now, those pitchers may not strike fear at most, but they are better than who the Orioles current have slotted at the back end of the rotation.
Trading Mark Trumbo is a logical decision for the Orioles and would help free up the team in numerous ways.