The Chicago Cubs did this organization a favor this weekend.
Both they and the Orioles entered the second halfs was sub .500 records, but only one was still a contender. If that wasn’t made clear by this weekend, the I’m not sure what else you would need to know.
I’m on record as saying the Orioles must rebuild, but the only question left for Mr. Angelos and the Orioles ownership group is who do you allow to rebuild?
If it’s going to be Dan Duquette, then ownership needs to give him a four year extension and tell him to start to rebuild now. Everyone should be on the trading block, including Manny Machado. It shouldn’t be a fire sale where you end up with pennies on the dollar, but the team needs to start shopping their key players before the market closes.
The market is not going to wait for the Orioles to decide as the Cubs and Nationals have already made splashes to shore up their playoff runs. Of course, the Nationals may not want to do business anyways with the Orioles due to the MASN dealings, which is probably why they already acquired bullpen depth when Zach Britton might be available soon.
If it’s not going to be Duquette, then you have Duquette move players like Seth Smith, Brad Brach, Welington Castillo for whatever he can get before the trade deadline, and you jettison Ubaldo Jimenez for no other reason then he’s taking starts away from someone who may be able to help you in the future. Then at the end of the year, you dismiss Duquette since it makes no sense for a rebuilding GM to have one year left on his contract.
Of course, no matter who does the rebuild, they must convince ownership that investing in the international market, particularly the Lain American market is vital to turning this franchise around. The Orioles can not continue to ignore this valuable talent stream and expect their system to get better. The best systems in baseball invest heavily in these markets and these prospects not only help their big league teams, but also can be valuable trading chips when the team is close to competing.
The new person needs to bring better talent evaluators with him as well. During Duquette’s run he’s given away Jake Arrieta, Zach Davies, Ariel Miranda, Miguel Gonzalez, Andrew Triggs and Parker Bridwell while running out the worse starting pitching staff in baseball this year. His starting pitching acquisitions like Jimenez, Yovani Gallardo, and Wade Miley have been disasters, costing millions of dollars, draft picks, and young cheap cost controlled talent.
Heck, even Oliver Drake would have been better than Stefan Crichton, Jimmy Yacobonis, and Edwin Jackson this year, but he was jettisoned as well for nothing.
Of course the elephant in the room is, if Duquette goes, do you allow the new guy to select his own manager? This begs the question, how much has Buck’s evaluations gone into the releases and trades of so many starting pitchers doing well elsewhere?
Both Buck and Dan have helped bring winning baseball back to Baltimore, but with a payroll that has swelled to around $160,000,000, a last place team, and a farm system ranked near the bottom by every national publication, it’s clear their run should be coming to an end.
So again, the question is, if it’s not Duquette, then who?
Start the Brady Anderson rumors on 3….2….1….