Tap-In Question: With Trumbo signed, are you content with the Orioles' offseason moves? If not, what has to happen? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: With Trumbo signed, are you content with the Orioles’ offseason moves? If not, what has to happen?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles had several priorities heading into this offseason. They wanted a catcher. They wanted an outfielder who could get on base. And they wanted to re-sign slugger Mark Trumbo or find a suitable replacement.

They signed catcher Welington Castillo to replace Matt Wieters. They traded for outfielder Seth Smith, who is adequate defensively and has an impressive track record of getting on base versus right-handers. And now they’ve re-signed Trumbo to what seems like an affordable, three-year, $37.5 million deal.

So, those boxes are checked.

Several aren’t, however.

The Orioles could use at least one more hitter that can get on-base at a solid clip. They still haven’t found an experienced leadoff hitter or a true upgrade defensively in the outfield. Given that, the grade for the Orioles current offseason is “I” for incomplete.

They should be pleased, but not satisfied with what’s been done so far. And since Dan Duquette-run teams seemingly don’t ever stop shopping, I’d be shocked if Trumbo were the club’s final acquisition before Opening Day 2017. Especially given that this looks like an offseason of free-agent bargains; and Duquette loves himself a bargain.

Obviously, the Orioles could use a stronger rotation. But there’s just not much available, so don’t expect something major to occur on that end. There’s been some clamoring for a reunion with Jason Hammel – and that’d be great – but if the tall right-hander can’t get the deal he is looking for, I’d be surprised if he settles on a one-year pillow deal here. He’s familiar with the negatives of pitching in Camden Yards.

I could see the Orioles picking up one veteran starter on a minor-league contract or cheap big-league deal who is looking to rebound. But, remember, most pitchers hoping for a one-year turnaround stay far away from the AL East and Baltimore. So, think reclamation project not savior.

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Personally, I think the Orioles should pursue another solid reliever – preferably a veteran left-hander – and a defensive-minded outfielder with speed — the oft-injured Angel Pagan or maybe Michael Bourn (pictured above), for instance — and then call it an offseason.

Again, the Orioles could certainly use rotation help, but there’s no one out there on the free-agent market, besides Hammel, that is an actual upgrade.

I stress this because some of you – especially when this is placed on Facebook and people read only the headline before commenting – will answer the simple question with a much more complicated answer: Better starting pitching.

Good luck with that.

Now, for those being realistic, what’s left on your Orioles’ shopping list that would turn this offseason from incomplete to satisfying? You can name a specific player or two or the improvement of a position or statistic.

Tap-In Question: With Trumbo signed, are you satisfied with the Orioles’ offseason? If not, what needs to happen?

32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. ZantiGM

    January 23, 2017 at 8:10 am

    i would like DD to sign Hammell, Hunter and Gutierrez-RF and sign Desmond Jennings to a minor league deal and invite to ST

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Solid thoughts. But I don’t see Hammel here. He’d probably be too expensive on a multi-year deal and he’d have better options to pitch on a one-year deal.

    • Camden Bird

      January 24, 2017 at 12:02 am

      I was thinking about Jennings, too.

  2. bigdaddydk

    January 23, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I’d say overall I’m not terribly disappointed in this offseason. A pitching upgrade would have been nice, and I would still like to see a run at Hammel. That aside, if they could do one more thing to shore up this roster, I’d say someone to be more of a leadoff hitter would be nice, particularly if that could be coupled with some semblance of defensive upgrade in the outfield. Angel Pagan would be my last true target for an acquisition. He fills the need for a somewhat higher OBP guy who can play OF, particularly CF to give Adam Jones a day or two off. Plus he could lead off. His splits are not impressive — still hits RHP better than LHP — but he’s not horrible against lefties and bats from both sides. He’s also got enough pop in the bat to provide occasional power, which we all know DD and Buck like. Considering he played in that canyon in SF, his power numbers may improve in OPACY, particularly from the left side of the plate. Not sure what a contract for Pagan will look like, but he’d be worth one or two years, at least until the O’s either need to make a salary dump to try to pay Manny or they need to cut bait and rebuild with a prospect haul from trades.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Big daddy: I’ve been on this train all offseason. I think Pagan should be an excellent fit at a reasonable price. But there is some injury concern based on his past. So I dunno if that will happen.

      • bigdaddydk

        January 27, 2017 at 6:56 am

        Yeah, there is that infamous Orioles physical.

  3. karks

    January 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

    It’s been a nice offseason for the O’s. I love that they took care of the catcher vacancy relatively quickly. That position is too important to wait until spring training to figure out.

    The trade for Seth Smith and bringing Trumbo back make sense. Buck seems to like having a lot of moveable parts and he’s got that in the OF. I still think Bourn could come back and add some needed speed, though.

    They’ve taken care of business nicely. I think sometimes, for us fans, it’s hard to match Duquette’s patience with the market. But his track record says it often pays off.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Well said. Drink chip.

  4. Wade Warren

    January 23, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Michele Borne and Hunter

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      I’d think both would be a reasonable get. Drink chip.

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 23, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Other than the move they made at catcher, I’m a happy camper. A return of Michael Bourne would be welcome, but with the parts they have now, I’m thinking it would be gravy. (how ’bout trying Flaherty in right?)

    Dan, I know that Wieters (hopefully spelled correctly) would have been taking a pay cut from last year’s one year deal … but in your opinion … wouldn’t a 3 year $12+ per year, such as they gave Trumbo, have tempted Matt to stay? I’m still having a hard time with letting this guy go, and I would imagine the core of the pitching staff is as well.

    Waaaaaaahhhh. How’s about one of those Natty Bohs?

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      You know, it is really hard to say what Matt’s market is and what he is looking for. But the more the calendar flips, the more you wonder whether a reunion could occur. Because, I agree, the pitchers as a unit would like him back. Boh on its way.

  6. Rhayne

    January 23, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Since Donnie Hart had some success against both sides of the bat and I have little to no real confidence in Wade Milely, I would like to see Donnie at the very least get significant playing time over the spring as a potential starter, and see if the O’s can pick up a decent left handed pitcher to ease into his former position if he can make the rotation. In the interim they if they’re isn’t something contractually not allowing them to do so, they can swap Donnie, and Miley until the new left handed prospect/ pick up whomever is out there is up to speed.

    As far as a lead off hitter I was fine with Joey Rickard he has decent speed, hit for a decent average. And the O’s don’t have to waste Adam Jones power there with a healthy Rickard. Also he’s fairly young, I don’t think he’s fully reached his potential yet.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Rhayne: Welcome in. Rickard is definitely someone to consider at leadoff. He’s pretty inexperienced as a MLBer, and how quickly he rebounds from the thumb injury and layoff will determine whether he makes the OD roster. As for Hart, he is definitely viewed as a LH relief specialist at this point. His numbers against right-handers don’t project well as a starter. But he was a great story last year and was very effective in his role. It could expand to full innings in 2017, but can’t see it stretching into the rotation.

  7. Calvin95

    January 23, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    With the signing of Trumbo I felt a little excited so I guess I am satisfied with the offseason. I thought we would lose him like Cruz. looking forward to the season and hoping our pitchers can step up their game.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 24, 2017 at 12:03 am

      The offense is about the same so, yeah, much of next season will depend on the rotation’s performance.

  8. HOF19

    January 23, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    I am interested too see what Chris Lee will look like in March. I like some things I have read about him so it has me interested. Lets hope.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 24, 2017 at 12:05 am

      If he hadn’t gotten hurt he probably would have been with big club in 2016. After a long layoff, they won’t rush him in 2017.

  9. Bancells Moustache

    January 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    One more off-season move; address the embarrassing attendance numbers by mothballing the tiered pricing of tickets and force Delaware North to decrease concession cost by 15%.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 24, 2017 at 12:06 am

      Since I don’t buy concession food, I can’t really comment on that. But people shouldn’t forget they can take food into the park.

  10. Amazing

    January 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I would like one more OF who is a plus defender, and may even steal a few bases. A high OBP wou l d be a plus. as much as I really like him, we stole Brad Brach from the Padres, it may be time to cash in.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 24, 2017 at 12:10 am

      Hate to deal Brach. But if you can get the right outfielder — speedy leadoff type, good D, a couple years of contractual control — I’d consider it. But not for an aging OFer soon to be a FA.

  11. OsFanStuckInNY

    January 23, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Three great pickups, for sure, though I sure hope Trumbo can improve on last year’s runs produced by striking out less. (Barry Bonds’ philosophy about if you’re going to make a few hundred outs every year, there’s no need to run down to first base for all of them is sound, I guess.) My only worry is that the $37.5 million might prevent the O’s from signing even more beneficial players longer term (Tillman, Machado, Britten, in that order.)

    Like everyone else, I’m really hoping they can find some speed, OF defense, and good OBP. Where’s Mr. Applegate when you need him?!?

    • Dan Connolly

      January 24, 2017 at 12:12 am

      I don’t think the Trumbo deal really prevents them from re-signing anyone. Just wasn’t that significant. If they fail to sign the big 3 there will be other reasons to point to.

    • OsFanStuckInNY

      January 24, 2017 at 2:56 am

      $12.5 million here, $12.5 million there — it starts to add up. 🙂

  12. Camden Bird

    January 24, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Dan, I absolutely agree with you. I get a little annoyed when I hear other fans clamoring to upgrade our starting pitching. We would all like that. But the problem is, “How?” Trading Gallardo for Smith killed two birds with one stone: we got better by subtraction, we cleared the logjam in the rotation (six starters for five spots), and we helped upgrade the outfield. But even before free agency began, looking at the available starting pitchers was extremely unimpressive, to say the least.

    With a very weak pool of starters, I was thinking back in October/November that the only realistic way to help our rotation is actually by improving our already stout bullpen. Other than Tillman, our starters typically last only 5 IP. Rather than ask one of our relievers to pitch more innings and risk tiring him out down the stretch (i.e. Brad Brach), we can alleviate some of that workload by bringing in another quality reliever. Plus, if nothing else, we could trade someone like a Brad Brach to help strengthen the outfield, and not really lose any ground if we had already picked up another reliever.

    With that said, I think the O’s ought to look at a reliever like Boone Logan. He’s a solid lefty reliever and spent several years pitching in the AL East to the tune of a 3.38 ERA. If Duquette could pull it off, I would love for him to trade for Rockies reliever Jake McGee.

    As for outfielders, I would re-sign Michael Bourn and try to get another outfielder as well. I like the thought of going after Pagan, but the one who intrigues me the most is Chris Coghlan. His batting average isn’t very impressive, but he has decent power and has had an above average OPS+ with the Cubs for the past three seasons. Plus, his OBP has been around the .350 mark the past three seasons, as well. Maybe, I would be in contact with Pedro Alvarez to be another lefty power bat, but we have only so many spots on the roster.

    Lastly, I would listen to other teams about what we could get for Britton. Obviously, I want him back. But let’s be realistic, we won’t be able to afford him and Manny when he hits free agency, and closers are a dime a dozen. Our farm system has been largely barren since the ’90s, and the haul we could get for Britton and Machado would be a king’s ransom x2…enough to instantly put us in contention for having the BEST farm system in all of baseball. I would see about what we could get for Britton this offseason, and if Manny wants Bryce Harper money (10-yrs/$400M) and it becomes clear that there is no way we can bring him back, then I’d shop him next offseason, too. Will it hurt losing them, from a fan perspective? Absolutely. But it seems like most O’s fans are too caught up in emotion and focused on the here and now rather than being rational and looking at the long-term good of the team.

    In summary:
    1. Bolster the bullpen with Boone Logan or Jake McGee
    2. Re-sign Michael Bourn and sign Angel Pagan or Chris Coghlan
    3. Put out my feelers on what we could get for Britton this offseason and begin scouting other teams’ farm systems for a possible Manny Machado trade down the road

    If Duquette can accomplish #’s 1 and 2 alone, then I would consider this a successful offseason.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 24, 2017 at 12:18 am

      Bird: nice post. Well rationalized. Drink chip. My only criticism: I don’t see them pursuing two outfielders on MLB deals at this point. And I doubt one of the guys you mentioned would take a minor-league deal. But who knows what happens if this market keeps stagnating?

  13. LarryBS

    January 24, 2017 at 4:23 am

    I know he had a 9+ ERA last year in his limited comeback attempt, but its surprising to me that no one is giving a shot to Tim Lincecum, with all the talk of the scarcity of starting pitching these days. A large potential, if unlikely, upside, and he is willing to do time in the minors.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 24, 2017 at 10:27 am

      He’ll get a job. In the past he’s preferred the West Coast. So many solid players still looking for a home.

  14. WhyNot

    January 24, 2017 at 6:45 am

    It doesn’t appear there is room for the 2 Rule 5 players on the roster. Is there something that I am missing that will allow them to stay with the O’s?

    • Dan Connolly

      January 24, 2017 at 10:26 am

      One had surgery in the offseason. And could easily begin the year on the DL with no eyebrows raised.

  15. woody

    January 25, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I don’t want to sound ungrateful – last year was a great performance by the club and Trumbo played his part. But, sigh, i was hoping this was one signing they wouldn’t make – even though I think they got a value signing here. My point is, he doesn’t satisfy our requirements for speed, defense and OBP. And I think we’ve reached a point where we could have done just fine demanding a bit more from the likes of Schoop and Machado who are hitting with more power year on year. As a fan though what I really crave is more balance in this lineup – on a bad day watching guys not score a man in scoring position with 0 outs, watching davis, machado, trumbo, schoop strikeout 3 times a game – its just not that much fun.

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