Not a festive day in the Tap Room. The O’s are done, and the Ravens lose to the Redskins.
We’ll offer a two-for-one drink special today so you can drown your sorrows.
I’m only asking one question today. But it’s a weighty one.
Last week, Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter discussed, at least generally, the path this team is on for 2017. You can read my take on that here.
Some of the topics that were covered included the free agency of Matt Wieters and Mark Trumbo, potential extensions for Manny Machado, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton and Jonathan Schoop, the club’s need to improve its on-base percentage and its starting rotation. And now they have a pitching coach vacancy, too.
As Duquette said, “We have our work cut out for us in the offseason.”
There really are a lot of issues facing this 89-win team.
I think the club needs to look at re-signing both Wieters and Trumbo, though I doubt either gets done.
I know a lot of people think the Orioles need to improve their rotation and obtain an ace. I’d agree, except aces aren’t available in this free agent class and the organization isn’t deep enough in top prospects to trade for one.
I also hear daily from fans that plead for the Orioles to extend Machado’s contract. And, yes, I believe that is a huge priority. But he isn’t a free agent until after the 2018 season. This offseason would be the perfect time to do it, but there will be time remaining if it doesn’t get done by Opening Day 2017. In fact, re-signing Tillman, the only one of the above-mentioned four that’s a free agent after next season, requires more urgency than bringing back Machado.
For me, the No. 1 priority this offseason needs to be the diversification of the lineup. They need to find one, maybe two more hitters that have well-rounded offensive skills. Someone who can get on-base at a near .400 clip and maybe leadoff. Draw a walk, see some pitches, move a runner over, not strikeout in key moments.
You get my point.
Anyway, let’s hear from you.
Tap-In Question: What do you think should be the Orioles’ No. 1 offseason priority?