Orioles need to take the best overall package for Machado - divisional hatred be damned - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Orioles need to take the best overall package for Machado — divisional hatred be damned

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — For all the rumors floating around the Swan and Dolphin concerning the Orioles this week, there’s one question that has risen above all else.

It even goes beyond, “Will the Orioles trade third baseman Manny Machado?”

What everyone here wants to know is this:

“Will the Orioles deal their 25-year-old superstar to the rival Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?

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I’ve heard talk that the Yankees’ brass thinks the Orioles would send Machado to New York in the right deal. I’ve heard talk that Boston’s brass believes Machado ends up with the Yankees, so they’d like to do something to counter that.

I’ve heard lots of things.

On Wednesday evening, we went directly to the man that should know best, executive vice president Dan Duquette, and asked him the question during his daily media briefing.

“We’ve made trades with the Yankees. We’ve made trades with the Red Sox. I just think it’s in the club’s interest to see what the market is and canvass the entire market and see what the opportunities are and what the options are,” Duquette said. “So, we’ve made a few trades with both of those clubs recently.”

That is true.

In 2014, the Orioles sent pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez to Boston for stud reliever Andrew Miller.

In 2017, the Orioles acquired reliever Richard Bleier from the Yankees for future considerations. There have been other small deals involving those teams during Duquette’s tenure.

But this wouldn’t be a small deal. It would be shipping away your franchise player to your rival – and then facing him 19 times in 2018.

“Well, right now, we control that,” Duquette said. “A year from now, we’re not going to be controlling that.”

That’s a tremendous point. The Orioles can make sure Machado doesn’t play for the Yankees and Red Sox in 2018. But then all bets are off.

He could end up at one of those places for the next decade without the Orioles being able to do anything about it. In fact, it would almost be surprising if Machado isn’t in Yankee pinstripes in 2019.

So, by not dealing with the Yankees and Red Sox now, the Orioles might simply be delaying the inevitable. And, potentially, settling for a lesser package of players in return.

That might be OK if those teams didn’t have the balm that could fix the Orioles: Young, MLB-ready starting pitching and athletic outfielders/third basemen.

The Yankees, in particular, could jumpstart the Orioles’ rebuilding effort in one flourish.

They have two, high-ceiling starters, 23-year-old right-hander Chance Adams, and 21-year-old lefty Justus Sheffield, who could both be in the majors at some point in 2018.

Duquette made a point of saying Wednesday that the No. 1 target in any deal involving a star like Machado would be big-league-ready arms.

“We’d like to try to staff our club to be as strong as it can be this year and (acquiring starting pitching) would be our first choice,” Duquette said. “Whether we can do that or not, that’s another story. But that would be our first choice.”

The Yankees deep system goes beyond the mound. They also have dynamic infielder Gleyber Torres, who turned 21 on Wednesday and is among baseball’s top prospects, as well as intriguing, 23-year-old outfielder Clint Frazier – to name a few.

You’d have to think the Orioles could get a package with at least one of those guys highlighting it if they’re willing to ship Machado to the Bronx.

It would be a bitter pill for Orioles fans, of course.

And that’s why this gets dicey.

As much as Duquette correctly points out that the Orioles are looking for the best fit, and as deep as the Yankees are in areas of Orioles’ need, there is an emotional barrier that Duquette may not be able to cross – with the fans and with team ownership – that could prohibit such a deal.

The long-held belief is that majority owner Peter Angelos will not let the Orioles broker a deal that clearly makes one of the club’s hated rivals better.

It’s bad enough that dealing Machado to anyone sends the message that the Orioles can’t afford the franchise’s best homegrown talent since Cal Ripken Jr.

But to see him in pinstripes? Brutally painful for a fan base.

Let’s not fully dismiss that. It’s a legitimate concern – and it’s understandable to take the fans’ emotion into the equation.

Remember, exactly a year ago, Duquette made headlines in two countries when he said at the winter meetings that the Orioles weren’t interested in free agent outfielder Jose Bautista because the hometown fans at Camden Yards couldn’t stand the long-time Toronto Blue Jay.

And I can’t tell you how many Orioles’ fans I’ve talked to that are still bitter toward Mike Mussina, not because the star right-hander left Baltimore as a free agent, but because he left it for the Yankees.

So that emotion is real. I get it. And it should be a factor that is considered.

But, ultimately, Duquette’s job, and the Angelos family’s responsibility, is to put the best possible team on the field.

That should mean that Machado is an Oriole for a long time; yet, that’s not going to happen.

So, the Orioles have to do the next best thing.

They have to get the most talented return possible for Machado, even if it is from within the division.

Good organizations put winning ahead of everything, including emotion.

Including hatred for division rivals.

 

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. ComeBack2Camden

    December 13, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    1) My fear is that they’ll deal him without a hint of decent return. Satan won’t give up any prospect they really want. Taking a mediocre prospect in return is calamity.
    2) Dealing within the division means you pay for your financial disparity 19 times a year.

    There will be no equitable offer for Machado. The Marlins received zero of the top 100 prospects for Stanton and Gordon. Satan is conditioned to believe it can have everything it wants and it preys upon weakness. The Orioles cannot do this.

    Now if there are legitimate future stars on the table, a different matter is at hand.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 13, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      The Orioles won’t trade him now just to trade him. Could hold onto him until July. And the money attached to him is a whole lot different than Stanton.

  2. 5brooks5

    December 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Amen to that. But I’m not sure that DD has what it takes to make the right deal, getting the right package will go a long way toward shaping this teams future. I would feel better with MacPhail making that kind of deal. But I hope I am wrong,and that DD proves that big time. This could be his legacy as our GM. Great job as always Mr. Conno

    • Dan Connolly

      December 13, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      Thanks Brooks. And it is. Or a big part of it.

  3. 5brooks5

    December 13, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    lly. Oops

    • Dan Connolly

      December 13, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      Ya know so many people call me Conno I didn’t even notice.

  4. OsFanStuckInNY

    December 13, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I’m one of those who never forgave Mussina for going to the Skankees. I also fully expect Machado to be a Skankee in 2019. So the way I look at is

    • OsFanStuckInNY

      December 13, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      (Oops — premature transmission)
      …like this: if they trade him to the Skankees now, at least they can — hopefully — get back a couple of good young players that will make the Os better now and deny them from beating us in the future as Skankees.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      Yeah. That’s an important part. Even in 2 parts.

  5. Osfan73

    December 13, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Tough as it would be to watch, and then like you say face him 19 times during the season, I’d rather trade him-Manny-to a division rival for a decent return than see him be allowed to just go there anyway as a FA and be left with nothing.
    Additionally there’s precedent for bigger deals with division rival NY described best in just two words, or better yet two names……Dempsey & McGregor. I know it was a much different time and different people involved but still, I remember it working out quite well for the Os. Nothing would please me more than to see a fleecing of the Yankees like that happen all over again.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      And Tippy in same deal.

  6. Bancells Moustache

    December 14, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I got to ask, Why does everyone seriously think the Yankees would even bother doing this? Do we really think the Yankees are dumb enough to give the Orioles too promising pitching prospects to rent a guy for a year when they already have probably the best lineup in the American League? Stop deluding yourselves with this McGregor Dempsey trade talk people. The Yankees can just sit back possibly win a World Series this year and then just buy Machado next year without giving up a thing

    • Dan Connolly

      December 14, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Or they could get even closer to a ring by adding him. And make sure no one else does. I can see both thoughts.

  7. Osfan73

    December 14, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Because Mr. Bancell they’re the Yankees and that’s what the Yankees do because they can. Also, I can’t stand the Yankees and was just saying it’d be nice to get the best of them again, that’s all. No delusions here.
    To your question though…..teams trade for players in their contract’s last years all the time at the trade deadline for example. So in this instance NY, or anyone else, could “pay” for a potential 1 year rental as opposed to a 2 or 3 month potential rental. If come July 31st the Os are out of any chance at the playoffs Machado most likely gets traded….while he’s still in the last year of his current contract.

  8. Bancells Moustache

    December 14, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I would agree with you if this were 2002, Osfan. If Big George was still running the show, the deal would already be done. The problem is that George’s kid Hal has all of the Boss’s money and none of his impulsive bullheadedness. As much as I hate to admit it, the Yankees front office appears to be very good at what they do. The Yankees were a few innings away from the World Series and just added the reigning National League MVP and Home Run King. They don’t need Machado to get them over the hump, they’re already over it. Sending a division rival young talented pieces, pieces that can potentially bite you in the pinstriped hindquarters two years down the road, for a guy you don’t really need and can pick up for 17 million less at the end of the year is foolish. And the New York Yankees are many things, foolish isn’t one of them. As for the trade deadline, anyone can see that if the Orioles are out of contention and Machado is still on the team, the Warehouse is going to be in panic mode on July 31 and the price will be cheaper. The Yankees can afford to wait. The Birds can’t. Pretending that New York will send us two elite arms for Machado and we’ll all get to laugh at them when those two win back to back Cy Young Awards and lead an Orioles dynasty through the 20’s is just a way to make ourselves feel better about all this.

    • willmiranda

      December 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Hey, the O’s just picked Cy I and Cy II from the Yankees’ Rule 5. No need to move Machado now!

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