The Baltimore Orioles’ fanbase has to feel like the Grinch is about to ruin their Christmas, as each new day brings new negative headlines.
First, we have all the uncertainty as to what is going on with the Baltimore Orioles and their third baseman Manny Machado. The latest reports from Oriole beat writers, and national writers are that the Orioles are about to give up on trading Manny Machado because they cannot get the talent they wanted.
Well, you may be happy about that, if you don’t think the Orioles should trade Machado. I’ll get back to you shortly. There’s more to deal with here.
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Now, another gut punch and this one may seem less dangerous, but I don’t believe it is. Zach Britton tore his Achilles tendon while working out and will probably be out until at least May.
Oh boy. The Grinch hasn’t just appeared, but he took all the presents too.
So, why is all of this so bad?
Well, these three players are arguably the three most valuable Orioles on the team. Schoop led the Orioles in WAR in 2017. Machado was second. Machado led in 2016. Britton was second. Even more, Machado led in 2015. Kevin Gausman was second. You get the idea here.
Machado is the Orioles’ franchise. He isn’t just the face of the team, and he is one of the best in the game. The Orioles may not be able to get enough in a trade. That’s ok. But, if you aren’t going to trade him, then you are falling back on trying to make a push for the playoffs.
How is that working when your rotation is Dylan Bundy, Gausman and a combination of spare parts, auditioning starters and Rule 5 picks? The Yankees’ offense is Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez and more, in case you forgot.
The Angels are locked and loaded for a playoff appearance. The Mariners are in decent shape if they can keep the pitchers healthy.
The Indians are very good. The Rangers are pretty good. The Twins are a young team on the rise. See where I am going here? But, back to the Orioles.
Why do you ask? Well, without Britton, Brach is now the closer, and O’Day and Mychal Givens will be setup men.
At one point, the Orioles bullpen depth was more profound than ever. Now, not the same. So, the Orioles can’t get what they want for Machado. The Orioles no longer can trade a reliever due to the Britton injury. Keeping Machado states, they are risking in 2018.
Not making a trade from the bullpen makes it challenging to do that, because even with signing two free agents, the rotation may not be good enough.
If the Baltimore Orioles want to show loyalty to their young players, they need to ink their budding star. Sure, they aren’t inking Machado, but that isn’t a huge shock. He is going to get one of the wealthiest contracts, ever.
The Orioles are a team in flux and turmoil. Their general manager’s contract is up. Their manager’s contract is up. Their closer is having surgery tomorrow and is a free agent at the end of the year. Their best player is a free agent at the end of the year, and they seemingly never made a contract offer to him.
Their second best player right now has a few more years under contract, but they have never offered him a deal. The face of their team, the icon in Baltimore, Adam Jones, is a free agent after this year too. And, his social media talk is concerning.
The Baltimore Orioles are a team that can’t figure out if they want to contend in 2018 or moves on to the future. Before too long, they will be out on both, and they will be throwing more than just one season away.