I believe the need to re-stock the farm system with good talent supersedes the need to fill the shortstop vacancy today with top 10-15 prospects. Teams already ahead of us in the standings are adding guys like Addison Reed, Sonny Gray and calling up top 25 prospects like Devers, Frazier and others.
Our next competitive team just becomes farther away with moves like this with folks worrying about our Opening Day 2018 SS in August of 2017 and those same folks not giving a rat’s backside to what we gave up. And that is why our GM’s trade history is poor – giving away or giving up on perceived B and C prospects in our own minds to teams more than happy to take Steven Brault, Josh Hader, Parker Bridwell and more off our hands while we get excited about “cost controlled arbitration” years of Bud Norris, Travis Snider and, now, Tim Beckham. Cost controlled Bud Norris cost us about $15M and I don’t believe he produced 1-1.5 WAR as an Oriole. Travis Snider cost $2M and was gone in about four months.
A good GM said, “better to trade a guy a year too early than a year too late”. It’s like our GM is there to scoop up the “year too early” guys like Snider, Norris, Beckham and how he holds on to almost everyone too late. How many guys have our GM paid the most $ in their careers and received downside production – Jimenez, Gallardo, Norris, Jim Johnson, Chris Davis, Hardy, O’Day, Tillman, Wieters. Imagine if we had cycled those guys at their first arbitration year, how much cheaper our payroll would have been, how much better our team would be this year, how much better our minor league system could be and how the “Machado window” could be open longer.
Folks used to say, “we don’t have to operate like Tampa Bay, we can sign the big $ guys”. Well, here we are, a payroll near $150M, a record worse than TB’s, a farm system worse than TB’s and your high payroll. I hope the Beckham move pays off, that our team rallies with a resurgent Machado and a healthy Britton because otherwise it just feels like DD continues to burn down our farm system.