Kansas City’s World Series win Sunday night marked the end of the 2015 Major League Baseball season and the beginning of baseball’s offseason.
Much like it will be for most teams, this offseason will be a big one for the Baltimore Orioles.
Baltimore has a lot of very important players who will enter the free agent market, and others who are arbitration-eligible.
I was having an interesting conversation on Twitter on Monday with a friend of mine that really got me thinking about the offseason and, to a degree, the state of the Orioles franchise.
The conversation started with me responding to a tweet sent out by Orioles reporter Roc Kubatko, saying that the O’s had reinstated Dylan Bundy from the 60-day DL. That prompted my response that, in my opinion, “Bundy is a waste of time and money. @Orioles NEED to get rid of him.”
Since being drafted in the first round in 2011, Bundy has appeared just two games at the Major League level, both being relief appearances. Since that time, however, Bundy has underwent Tommy John surgery and was sidelined again due to a shoulder injury.
If Bundy’s reinstatement to the roster is an indication that the Orioles are still looking at him as an option for the future that concerns me. Multiple injuries to the same arm have derailed his career before it really got started. That is sad, however, it happens in baseball. The signs are there to pursue no longer.
With that being said, though, if Baltimore is putting him back on the roster to trade him, I am all for it. In my opinion, get something for him now while you still can before no one wants him and you completely lose out.
This returns us to the Twitter conversation.
It seems like the farm system has been the only thing that hasn’t really improved under Buck Showalter.
For a while Baltimore had one of the more highly regarded systems in the majors, but that opinion has changed over the last few years. To a degree I blame that on bad trades and signings Baltimore has made, however, some of it is just bad luck with prospects not panning out. (That’s why they’re called prospects and not sure things.)
The great Jake Arrieta debate. Did the Orioles give up on Arrieta too quickly?
My answer is no. I would have traded him, too. He had a sub-.500 win percentage, an ERA over 5.00, and couldn’t strike anyone out.
Critics will say, “But look at what he did in Chicago this year.” Right, “in Chicago” being the key words there. He needed a change of scenery. Sometimes that’s an adjustment a player needs.
Chris Davis is a perfect example of that.
Texas Ranger personnel knew he could hit someday, but he wasn’t hitting consistently in Texas. So, they traded him, and now he’s a 40 home run, 100 RBI threat in Baltimore.
The conversation got a little less serious from there, but it definitely got me thinking about where the Orioles stand.
2015 was a disappointing year for Baltimore, a team that was widely picked to win the AL East division for the second year in a row. But, after losing key pieces from the 2014 campaign in Nelson Cruz and Andrew Miller, the Orioles wound up finishing third in the division with a record of 81-81.
A similar situation is here this offseason.
Davis (the power hitter) and Darren O’Day (key relief pitcher) are both free agents, and it is important both return, a la this season. Add in the fact that Wei-Yin Chen, the Orioles most consistent starting pitcher, is also a free agent, and you can see where there are moves that need to be made.
My analysis of moves the Orioles should make can be found here.
Baltimore needs pitching more than anything. O’Day and Chen might be the two most important players that need to return for 2016.
Davis is equally as important, though. He’s a consistent threat at the plate, who had a nice bounce-back season in 2015. Strikeouts were high, but so where home runs, RBIs and batting average.
My hopes are that all three will be back in the Charm City when April rolls around next year.
Sadly, though, it’s looking unlikely.
Davis’ asking price will possibly be too high for the Orioles, O’Day is one of the best relievers on the market, so his price will increase with demand, and Chen is a sold pitcher, and you can never have too much pitching.