Tap-In Question: If you could make one move for the Orioles this offseason, what would it be? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: If you could make one move for the Orioles this offseason, what would it be?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The World Series ends this week – either Tuesday or Wednesday.

The next morning, at 9 a.m. EST, pending free agents are no longer attached to their 2017 teams, and not long after that, once qualifying offers are tendered/accepted/rejected, the feeding frenzy can begin.

The Orioles have no “qualifying offer” questions this offseason. Their pending free agents will be allowed to fly with no strings attached. They’d like to bring back Chris Tillman on an incentive deal and maybe they’ll kick the tires on Ryan Flaherty. J.J. Hardy and Wade Miley, but those aren’t priority issues.

Hot-stove action won’t truly heat up until December, around the time of the winter meetings, but November is when much of the groundwork begins for the offseason moves that later become official.

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So, here at the Tap Room, we understand things are a little dry in late October. And we’re here to please. So, we’ll serve up some fake brew and a question about the Orioles – or, even better, allow you to steer the course of action for the club this offseason.

I’m giving you one transaction that you can make happen. Your No. 1 priority that you can accomplish this winter if you were executive vice president Dan Duquette and company.

Money is a relative restriction, but reality is paramount here.

I’ll let you sign Manny Machado to a long-term deal – I don’t expect the Orioles to do it, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

But I won’t let you trade Mike Wright and Cody Sedlock for Giancarlo Stanton (or Max Scherzer et cetera).

Go ahead and sign Jake Arrieta (won’t happen), Yu Darvish (won’t happen) or Alex Cobb (really doubt it will happen), but you only get one.

Trade Machado or Zach Britton, but at least make the return logical/realistic.

You can fire Duquette or manager Buck Showalter – but not both. Then that’s it. No firing AND adding pieces.

I know I’m limiting you here. And one move does not get the Orioles into the 2018 postseason; they are farther away than that.

But I want to understand what you believe the priority is. My guess is the leaders in the clubhouse will be re-sign Machado, trade Machado and sign an ace starter.

Truthfully, I don’t see the Orioles doing any of those three this winter. I’m not the guy in charge, though.

Today, in the quiet of late October, you are.

Tap-In Question: If you could make one move this offseason for the Orioles – and one only – what would it be?

57 Comments

57 Comments

  1. Strovel

    October 30, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Trade everybody who is only under contract through 2018. Or sign the two best available starters. Fish. Or cut bait. Anything in between guarantees 75 wins in ‘18.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 9:12 am

      I wanted just one. I wanted priority. But ok I suppose.

    • Strovel

      October 30, 2017 at 11:26 am

      I would pick the latter of the two choices. Then hope manny, Trumbo, and crush all rebound to some extent.

    • Jbiglen49

      October 31, 2017 at 12:11 am

      I’ll try to give something that maybe could happen. Trade Zach brittton to the Astros or dodgers. Both have the prospects and I think the loser of the World Series might be especially motivated to play let’s make a deal. If somehow the stros lose the series I have a strong feeling the bullpen will be to blame. We trade Britton, I’d say brach too to enhance the return but that’d violate the rules. For Britton I’d target an MLB ready pitching prospect like martes or for that matter mushrove from Houston. Makes some sense for Houston they have Morton, verlander,McCullers, mchugh (I believe), musgrove, and peacock as rotation options. ideally we could snag Paulino in a deal as well but I’ll leave that alone.

  2. Raymo

    October 30, 2017 at 8:37 am

    My suggestion won’t help for 2018, but it would benefit the Orioles for many years going forward. If there is only ONE move in this fantasy wish list, it is this: move the Nats back to Montreal.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      October 30, 2017 at 8:44 am

      I like the way you think.

    • DutchDinger

      October 30, 2017 at 8:55 am

      Interesting however my guess is we probably make money (tv) due to the fact that the Gnats are next door. Can someone break down the numbers? Dan?

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 9:14 am

      I wish I could. We have no idea on any specifics on MASN, the breakdown, revenue, etc. private biz.

    • ComeBack2Camden

      November 2, 2017 at 8:52 am

      This is a tremendous idea.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 30, 2017 at 8:41 am

    So you’re telling me there’s a chance!?!

    OK … since it’s not out of the realm of possibility in the book of Connolly .. I’ll go with signing Machado!

    And what d’ya mean .. “fake brew” ??

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Hahaha. And I knew you would.

  4. Creatively_19

    October 30, 2017 at 8:48 am

    One Personnel move: I’ll just say I’m not a fan of Bobby Dickerson at 3rd Base, so I’d probably get a new 3rd base coach.

    If I can’t have that, then I would trade Brad Brach and a minor leaguer to the LA Dodgers for Tony Cingrani. I hear the Dodgers could use some bullpen help, and the O’s could sure use a lefty starter.

    • DutchDinger

      October 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Why don’t you like BD? Players seem to love the cat.

      • Creatively_19

        October 30, 2017 at 8:59 am

        I’ll admit I’m probably just biased but I’ve seen a lot of bad sends over there, and it’s not fun to watch. It probably makes less of a difference than I make it out to be. Maybe we could trade Bobby D for Tony Cingrani….

    • All_The_Way_Up

      October 30, 2017 at 9:13 am

      Dickerson is aggressive as he should be. He’s also our IF coordinator who oversaw Schoop & Davis’ improvement. He’s a good one for sure

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 9:16 am

      I like the Cingrani thought. Creative, Creatively. Drink chip. As for Dickerson, I think he is one of best 3B coaches I’ve covered. But the job is thankless. And every bad send we see. But he’s better than most.

  5. DutchDinger

    October 30, 2017 at 8:52 am

    DFA Duquette

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 9:17 am

      But now you’re done for the winter. You really think that’s priority No. 1?

  6. Bancells Moustache

    October 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Call a motion at the Owner’s meeting to start the World Series earlier. You’ve got what’s turning into a 1975/1991/2001 type series for the ages taking place and no one is awake to see it.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Boy do I agree with this. But I did stay up last night. Drink chip.

    • Creatively_19

      October 30, 2017 at 9:53 am

      I’ve read a few times that MLB will be implementing a pitch clock next season. That should make a big difference in a game where 417 pitches are thrown….

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Limit catcher visits too. I thought the Dodgers were gonna pitch with a mask and chest protector on.

  7. All_The_Way_Up

    October 30, 2017 at 9:10 am

    They “like their guys” (last place guys) & missed the boat to move Manny & Zach two doubtful long timers when their value was highest so I think we have to go for it. Be gutsy & sign Arrieta.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 9:18 am

      It would take a boatload after that missed boat. And it won’t happen. But I’d endorse it.

    • Ben1

      October 30, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      Arrietta pitched better with hia beard. Os would have to change their facial hair policy.

  8. afterp

    October 30, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Trade Machado, Britton and Brach to Astros for McHugh, Devenski, Martes and Bregman.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Even in that haul I don’t see them dealing Bergman. Future star. Super controllable for years.

  9. bv22

    October 30, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Signing a #1 starter who is not over the hill (i.e., Sabathia) is the top priority in my opinion. Figure out a way to get one here whether it’s offering up a boatload of money and more than 4 years, or including an opt out clause/option after 2 years, foregoing the medical evaluation, making a crazy trade of some sort (such as trading Britton or Brach to the ‘Stros for Verlander + we take on his salary), whatever it takes. This team is starving for a top line starting pitcher, and Gaus and Bundy will each be better off by moving back one slot in the rotation for a few years. The way DD has approached the problem the last few years has not worked; he needs a new approach or 2018 is going to be another tease as the last hurrah before all the free agents roll out for greener pastures.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

      I’m with you for the most part. But I’m not sure the way Duquette has approached it is the problem. Hands are tied in many ways. And some of those ways are logical. But still …

    • billrmoore

      October 30, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      I agree, we need a strong no. 1.

  10. Jerry Hairston Jr.

    October 30, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I would love to resign Machado, but realistically, the answer is trading Brad Brach. I like Brad, and I love that our bullpen is so formidable, however, his value is greater to the O’s as a trade chip. You’re talking about an elite reliever that can potentially fetch a top 30-40 prospect (plus?) and isn’t closing, you should trade him. I would be very happy with the return of a top prospect and someone lower – pitcher, middle infielder, OFer with range, doesn’t matter to me. We can start stockpiling prospects for the future, without immediately starting a full rebuild. If the O’sstink when the 2018 deadline roles around, then you move any non-controllable asset we have (i.e. Britton, Machado, Schoop?, even AJ) and I would incentivize someone to take guys who aren’t earning their money (CD, Trumbo, O’Day). This isn’t personal, I love our team, but you have to be realistic.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

      I think this is a real reasonable take. Drink chip.

    • Camden Bird

      October 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      I like this.

  11. 5brooks5

    October 30, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Starting pitcher is the most pressing need at all levels for this team and most teams, I would guess. But if I have to choose one thing, it would be to invest time,money,scouting and whatever it takes to become a real player in the Latin market. Why we ignore this hotbed of talent is beyond me, when a large percentage of major league players are from this area, I just don’t get. Very myopic IMO!

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

      It’s all about not spending money on high-risk propositions. And 16yo kids from third-world countries with few background screens getting millions of dollars is the riskiest. That said, you ignore the international avenue of talent and you completely hamper your development. There has to be a happy medium (Schoop was less than $100K). Drink chip.

  12. Orial

    October 30, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I may go against the grain of thought but my addition may from subtraction. Being that I don’t expect any big name pitchers coming(maybe Vargas) I would be thrilled if there were any takers for either Davis/Trumbo. Davis would be a long shot but Trumbo for a 3-4 starter would work for me. JD Martinez would be huge in RF or DH but again not gonna happen.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

      I think the Trumbo thing is a possibility. The other suggestions I don’t see. Not right now anyway.

  13. Winger

    October 30, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Sell team to Paul Allen or Jeff Bazos

    • Dan Connolly

      October 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      I really don’t think a change of ownership is the main thing here. There is some change in ownership philosophy (international) that is needed. But handling of purse strings is no longer the core problem. This team had a Top 10 Payroll. By August it had four starting Ps that made $10M or more. I know there has been a problem in the past up top. Some major ones. But I also think you should be careful what you wish for. It could be worse. The meddling is significantly down.

  14. TxBirdFan

    October 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Bring Nick Markakis back to the O’s! I realize we need starters but if I’m restricted to one move let’s do something fun, since one move isn’t going to move the needle much.

  15. GSISDANNO

    October 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Number one: Sign Manny Machado to a long-term deal. This is an absolute priority. If the Orioles let him leave, they are telling their fan base they don’t care about winning.
    Number two: Trade Mark Trumbo to anybody for anything. We don’t need another guy to hit 25 home runs and strike out 150 times. The 2016 season was an aberration. He doesn’t have a position.
    Number three: Bring back Wellington Castillo. It may be a surprise to a lot of people but he was much better than Matt Wieters this season.
    Number four: Trade Brad Brach for a starting pitcher if you can. I think Givens is ready for a more prominent role in the bullpen.
    I know this is an unrealistic wish list.

  16. Camden Bird

    October 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Well, my options are very limited. If I could play God, I would bring in Houston GM Jeff Luhnow and let him work his magic to set the Birds up for long-term success. Of course, that is contingent on if Angelos would give Luhnow that much authority as Peter G. has a long history of interfering, voiding, and handcuffing his GM’s.

    In an ideal world, I would like to see Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank (a mega-successful local guy) purchase the O’s and become majority owner, and then instill Luhnow as the new GM.

  17. Camden Bird

    October 30, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    If my above post isn’t “realistic”, then I would completely overhaul the scouting and development department, which is why I suggested Luhnow as GM since he has done an out of this world job in Houston, and cut his teeth in a very successful organization like St. Louis. Our drafting has been largely pitiful since the early ’90s, our developing pitchers is atrocious, and we completely ignore Latin America. An overhaul of the scouting/development department is certainly needed.

    Boy, do I wish we could bring in a modern-day Harry Dalton!

    • billrmoore

      October 30, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Very good point, we need a much stronger scouting and drafting system.

  18. Ben1

    October 30, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Replace Duquette with a proven, quality, GM.

  19. Eddiemo

    October 30, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Trade MASN to the Nats for Strasburg & Mad Max!

  20. Teejay

    October 30, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Sign Jaime Garcia, I think the lefty would compliment Bundy and Gassman nicely. It’s not a flashy move but it would be a solid addition.

    • Teejay

      October 30, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Sorry Dan that’s obviously suppose to say “Gausman”….damn spellcheck!

  21. Birdman

    October 30, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    I would sign Schoop to an extension through 2022. I know its not a move that makes the Orioles any better in 2018 (or 2019), but it would significantly improve the odds that the team can be competitive for the postseason 3-5 years out … Schoop is only 26, so his next 5 years should be the peak of his career – if they take the same approach that they have had with Machado, they almost surely will lose Schoop after 2019

  22. The Wedge

    October 31, 2017 at 7:00 am

    How’s this for realism: bring back Tilly on a 1+1 deal
    chock full of incentives. (Doesn’t matter who holds the option; preferably us, but it could be his as well.) I seem to be in the minority, but I believe he’s far from done. Wasn’t close to 100% this season, but with some tweaking and _rest_, I think he can get back to the old Tilly we’ve all come to expect these last few years. And if he does that, wow, what a bargain we’ve got on our hands! Unfortunately, that’ll only drive his future price tag up, but we’ll cross that bridge whenever.

    Looking at the latest news, sounds like Dan’s on my page, which I like. (I also see, though, that they’re talking to Miley as well, which leaves me tepid, if not cold.)

  23. Marsh42

    October 31, 2017 at 7:13 am

    It hurts to say but I fall in one of your preconceived categories. I would sadly trade Machado.

    I love Manny and would love him to stay in Charm City for his career, BUT if we are being realistic you can’t pay everyone. At this point it’s my opinion that it would be more advantageous for the Birds to trade Machado and try to sign Schoop down the line.

    In trading Manny it is probably the fastest and most effective way for the O’s to stay competitive AND fill the farm. The deal I would pursue is a and MLB ready young arm and 2 mid to high prospects. LA Dodgers come to mind as a perfect fit.

  24. willmiranda

    October 31, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Since it’s one first move, I would sign Mike Moustakas to a lucrative but reasonable contract. Then I would have Machado, Beckham, and Schoop to play around with in trades, Machado and Schoop as principals and Beckham as a sweetwener with Brach or someone else. I could keep two of the three, and still have a more than viable infield.

  25. andjossch

    October 31, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    I’d trade Manny. As much as I’d love to see him in Black and Orange for the rest of his career, it won’t happen. And I’d rather trade him and get something valuable while we still have the chance. I considered for a while trading Manny to the BoSox for a package including Devers and a few other top prospects, but
    A. It’s unrealistic. The Red Sox won’t trade Devers.
    B. I’d die if I saw Manny in a Red Sox uniform.
    More likely would be a trade to the ‘Stros. As much as Alex Bregman is developing and proving himself to be a World Series hero, he’s not Manny Machado. Not many people are.
    My final trade would be Machado and O’Day to Houston for Bregman, Martes, Fisher, and a low level prospect. Bregman, Martes, and Fisher can all positively affect the 2018 O’s, and Machado could help propel Houston back to the WS next year. I’ve added O’Day because the Astros also need bullpen help, and O’Day provides veteran leadership, excellent stuff, and a few years of control.
    I think this is a fair trade for both sides, but maybe I’m fooling myself that the Astros would part with a budding star and two top tier prospects.

  26. Marshall

    November 1, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Davis to anywhere that can absorb the money. His production (but not his defense) can be duplicated from the waiver wire.

  27. DPG0124

    November 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I would give Yu Darvish 1 year/43 million. This really does seem like the Orioles last hurrah so I’d go all in on an Ace. If you’re Yu Darvish you get a huge deal and you’re still a free agent in 2018 in your prime. If you’re the Orioles you don’t have to give a pitcher a long-term deal. Obviously it’s a pipe dream, but they have to do something to improve the starting pitching this offseason other than hoping and praying

  28. ComeBack2Camden

    November 2, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Make “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” by The Smiths as the post-victory song at Camden Yards.

  29. rickytrommer

    November 11, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I would sign Darvish. For DPG0124’S suggested $43M (earlier comment) you should be able to get two years. Regardless, I think it’s the one best thing we could do for the upcoming season. If you do that and extend Jones and Britton one year, you keep the core of this team together for two more seasons with a real chance to compete. Bring in a couple lefties like Garcia and Liriano to flesh out the rotation. The real elephant in the room is still Machado. But if you win, your chances of resigning him improve.

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