A deeper look at what the Orioles have to sell - and who'd actually bring back a solid haul - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

A deeper look at what the Orioles have to sell — and who’d actually bring back a solid haul

Maybe the Orioles are sellers and will auction off some of their best players in the next few days.

Maybe they are tempered sellers, trading a few pending free agents and spare parts for salary relief and a role-of-the-dice player or two.

Maybe they are buyers – something in my opinion they shouldn’t be unless they are purchasing two, top-of-the-rotation starters (for which they’d have to surrender the deed to Camden Yards).

Whatever they ultimately are, we’ll know within the next few days – the nonwaiver trade deadline is Monday at 4 p.m.

What we know for sure is what the Orioles have to sell from the major league roster – and we can make an educated guess as to whether there would be interest, and, in some cases, which teams might surrender enough to pry some stars away from Baltimore.

Here’s a look at 10 Orioles – in alphabetical order – that either are coveted by others or may have enough value that teams would at least be intrigued enough to take on extra salary.

I’m not including young, cheap and controllable Orioles (Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Mychal Givens and Trey Mancini), or older struggling ones (Ubaldo Jimenez, Wade Miley and the injured J.J. Hardy) or ones with prohibitive contracts (Chris Davis, who has an unmovable, monster deal, or Adam Jones, who has full no-trade rights). And I’m leaving off the back-end roster guys who could be on the Triple-A Norfolk shuttle. I’m only including players I think have at least an outside shot of being dealt this season.

It’s not a particularly optimistic read – it goes along with my sentiment that the only true chips the Orioles have are their best two relievers and their star infield duo – but here goes:

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  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 28, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Dan, I’m on record stating the only player I’d trade at this point is Machado. Allow me to retract that. He’s not the only one.

    I’d love to see Castillo get the heave-ho, simply because I think the change at the 2 position this past offseason, is without question, the worst decision of Danny Ducks tenure here in Charm City. Heck, if performance is a consideration, he SHOULD be our backup catcher right-stinkin-now! And with the Sisco Kid on his way, what’s the purpose of keeping Beef on the roster anyway? I’m all in on trading Castillo for the proverbial bag of chips if you can get it.

    How’s about Beef & Smith to the Nats for the return of Matty Wieters?

    • general81

      July 28, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Boog, I’m curious why you think this was such a bad decision. I love Matt Wieters, and was very sorry to see him go, but if you look at sheer numbers, Castillo has outplayed him this year. Matt is definitely a better dugout/bench coach/advisor, but this is far from a horrible decision. If anything, it’s been a wash. I miss Matt’s leadership, but I appreciate the pop in Beef’s bat.

      All that being said, your proposed trade is a decent one – I’d go for it.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

        To answer your question ….

        I’ve been harping on the decision to part ways with Matt once the writing was on the wall that they had decided to go another direction last winter. First off, I think the decision was made long before anybody realized that Matt was going to sign for much less than what he got with his one year $15 million tender he accepted for 2016. I think everybody in the organization thought he’d command much more than the 2 yr/21 million he eventually signed for. If they knew that’s what he’s settle for, I believe they would have re-signed him. So that saved the O’s what … about 3 million per year? OK .. that’s substantial I’d admit BUT ….

        I think you already touched on it, but I certainly believe the value of a catcher in particular, can’t be totally measured by the numbers, but my intangibles. The intangibles that go into the catcher position to a certain extent, outweigh the traditional numbers we measure players by … avg, hrs, rbis etc. IMO, what he contributes behind the plate and in handling games and pitching staffs means much more than the difference that his and Castillo’s offensive numbers dictate.

        Besides all that, I don’t see where Castillo out hitting him all that much, if at all? Castillo leads him by roughly 25 pts in avg? What’s that .. about 1 extra base hit every 2 weeks over a season? (see Crash Davis’ explanation on that) Castillo currently has only 2 more home runs than Matt, but when you consider the parks they play in, I’d think Matt actually has the advantage there. Matt also has 37 rbis to Castillo’s 28 right now. So how do you see Castillo outhitting him?
        Matt Wieters always has, and still does have what I call “the clutch gene”. How many times did this guy get the big hit when the big hit is needed for us? I don’t know the numbers … but Matt was THE most clutch hitter the O’s have had over the past 5/6 years.

        And what’s happened to the pitching staff this year? Are we so sure that it’s merely a coincidence that the staff regressed so badly the very same year that Matt and the pitching coaches were replaced?

        Intangibles … clutch gene .. big arm .. handling the staff … TEAM CHEMISTRY .. Matt was a core leader on this team much as Adam Jones is. Danny Ducks messed with chemistry, and the beaker broke this year.

        Sorry for being so long winded .. but I hope this makes sense to someone other than myself. And yes … it’s just wishful … if not wistful thinking.

        • Paul Folkemer

          July 28, 2017 at 9:02 pm

          Castillo has clearly been a much better hitter than Wieters this year. Castillo is hitting for the better average (.272 to .248), OBP (.312 to .297), SLG (.424 to .381), and OPS (.736 to .678), and it’s not particularly close in any category. Yes, Wieters has more RBIs, but that’s because he has about 80 more plate appearances than Castillo, and the Nationals are much better at getting on base than the Orioles are, which gives Wieters a lot more RBI opportunities.

          As far as hitting in the clutch, Castillo has been better than Wieters this year. Castillo is hitting .325 with a .938 OPS with RISP. Wieters is .303/.762.

          And for a guy known for his defense, Wieters has been much worse than Castillo at throwing out baserunners — Matt has caught only 28%, while Welington is at 50%.

          I don’t doubt that Wieters brought some other things to the table like intangibles and familiarity with pitchers, but in pretty much every other respect, Castillo has outplayed him this year. And that’s without even mentioning Caleb Joseph, who has played well while splitting time with Castillo.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            July 29, 2017 at 5:50 pm

            With all due respect Mr. Folkemer, I think you have a hard time seeing the forest for the analytics.

          • Paul Folkemer

            July 29, 2017 at 6:03 pm

            I was just responding to your comment “I don’t see where Castillo is out hitting that much; if at all.” Castillo has been a better hitter than Wieters this season in every facet of hitting. Hitting for contact, hitting for power, getting on base, hitting in the clutch. You don’t even need analytics to prove that. Pretty much every basic offensive stat goes in Castillo’s favor.

            I’m not saying Wieters doesn’t bring other things to the table, though. He was certainly a very well respected guy in the Orioles’ clubhouse and a leader on the field. And maybe his departure did have an impact on the pitching staff and the clubhouse chemistry. There could be a lot of things the Orioles miss about him — but his bat isn’t one of them.

    • Nate Wardle

      July 28, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Why get Wieters back? Joseph has outplayed him this year, and Sisco is waiting? Castillo has also outplayed him, but as you said, Joseph should be the starter.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 28, 2017 at 11:16 am

        I don’t believe that Castillo has outplayed him. (see above) Besides who was it that had the walk off hit earlier this year in DC that sent this season spiraling out of control for the Birds? Clutch gene my friend … and maybe little karma as well.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 28, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Boog is never giving up on the return of Wieters. I applaud his loyalty. It’s not gonna happen. But the loyalty is duly noted.

      • JCO

        July 29, 2017 at 9:34 am

        In an ideal world, I would host a debate between Boog and two of my Nats fan friends, who constantly harp on Wieters being a weak spot in the lineup and lousy at handling pitches and pitchers due to the Nats having a team ERA 55 points higher than last year. It would be simply amazing to watch.

  2. All_The_Way_Up

    July 28, 2017 at 10:19 am

    A prudent & prepared team in the O’s state would seek to trade everyone on the ML roster besides Schoop , Gausman, Bundy, Givens & Mancini. We don’t buy impactful SP arms & have none on the horizon in the minors ready to contribute….you don’t win without pitching….basics

    (Loving the site Mr Connolly)

    • Dan Connolly

      July 28, 2017 at 10:37 am

      As I’ve stated before, you can win without good starting pitching. The KC Royals showed that — they had the fewest innings thrown by a starting staff and one of the highest rotation ERAs during their World Series pushes. But everything else has to be excellent: bullpen, defense, speed, offensive production. It’s not an easy blueprint to follow. The Orioles are actually pretty balanced, but the rotation is so poor right now that the other parts can’t make up for it. That has to change — and, like you said — not much is on the horizon to fix it internally.

      • All_The_Way_Up

        July 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm

        By no means did KC have an clear cut ace in 2015 however I’d consider Volquez, Ventura, Duffy, Young, Cueto & Vargas all formidable options.

  3. The Wedge

    July 28, 2017 at 11:20 am

    As usual, well-written, well-reasoned analysis, DC. And yet, at the end of the day (or more so, at the end of Monday), I don’t think any of these guys is going anywhere. I fully believe and expect they’ll keep the band together and make a run at this thing (this season and next) as best they can – I take Duq at his word.

    Only thing I could see maaaaaaaybe happening is Smith getting dealt for a song, but that’s about it. I also could see Kim being DFA’d, but that’s not a trade, per se.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 28, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Thanks Wedge. I don’t think they’ll eat Kim’s contract. Especially with rosters expanding in a month.

  4. slava1351

    July 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    What do we have to give up to get Miguel Gonzales back? We need pitching help and I know for a fact that Miggy is a quality starting pitcher. Not top of the rotation guy, but better than Milley any day of the week. I think Ubaldo has looked good over the last few starts even though he gave up some runs in the Huston game. Astros are just hot.

    I think the team with a limited budget needs to chose the players who are the cornerstones of the franchise and concentrate on signing Many and Schoop long term. To do this they need to dump salary. Some salary is already coming off the books, Ubaldo, Hardy, Tillman. They needed to trade away Oday and Britton and get quality prospects back, but as mentioned in the article, the way things worked out, if they do trade these guys, it will be just a salary dump.
    They need to fill out the other positions by looking for quality young players that are under team control for a while. Castilo needs to go so that Sisco can come up. I would take anything for Smith, I think lack of speed and quality defense in the outfield hurts our pitchers. I would rather see someone younger come up and be given a shot, but if not, god I hope they do let Kim play at some point.

    Rays put together a decent team every year. They signed Longoria and they fill out the team around him and when things click like this year, they go for it.

    I do not believe BS that we cannot develop pitching, look at the young, controllable pitchers we traded away over the last 3-4 years that are doing well in other organizations.

    They overpaid Davis, they overpaid Oday because they failed to sign Miller and Cruz. They were trying to placate the fan base by saying, look, we will pay our own players who we think are fan favorites and keep them long term. Never mind the fact that Miller and Cruz were actually worth the money they got.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 28, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Slav there is a lot of stuff in here. And a lot of good stuff, much of which — like retaining Cruz — I echo. I will say one thing, tho. The Rays have had three straight losing seasons while the Orioles haven’t had one since 2011. Now the Rays are having a good season, are a few games ahead of the Os and it’s, “well, the Rays do it right.” The Orioles are at a crossroads. No doubt. But this has been a good run. Better than the Rays in the past 5 years. And, let’s not forget, the Rays have supplemented their good P by trading vets for minor league Ps: Archer and Odorizzi the latest examples. These Os have been in constant, go-for-it mode, which keeps the record good but hurts the quality of depth in the farm system. That’s often the trade off.

      • Bancells Moustache

        July 28, 2017 at 7:56 pm

        Gotta echo Dan here. The Orioles have their problems, no doubt. But c’mon man, they’be had a remarkable run of success (the greatest era in Camden Yards history actually) and we’re acting like perennial cellar dweller like Tampa should be our blueprint because they are in third place right now.

  5. Glstem

    July 28, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    what’s embarassing angels beat blue Jays and parker bridwell is player of the game wearing a oriole cap from last year 5-1 record please who does our talent evaluation

  6. Glstem

    July 28, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Ariel Miranda pitches to nite 8-4 record not wade miley

  7. Glstem

    July 28, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Zach Davies will be pitching for Brewers this weekend against Cubs only 13-4 record oriole last year another bad decision

    • Dan Connolly

      July 28, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      Bridwell has been excellent in his limited opportunities this year. Looks like right now giving up on him was a bad move. Although, limited opps. The other two? Davies has a 4.5 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in the NL and Miranda has a 5.7 ERA away from Safeco. Yes, the Orioles certainly could use them as options vs what they have. But let’s not act like this is Arrieta 2.0. Please.


    July 29, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I was very shocked that the Orioles added Jeremy Hellickson via a trade on Friday. Only the most optimistic of fans can think the Orioles are on their way to the playoffs. Yet here we go again trading young talent for a pitcher whose best days are behind him. I would think teams would live to trade with the Orioles. In the recent past, we have given away Jake Arrieta, Eduardo Rodriguez, Zach Davies and Angel Miranda. That is a much better rotation than the one we have. The future looks bright for Cleavenger.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 29, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      GS: I am not sold at all on Davies and Miranda pitching in Camden Yards. Miranda, for one, has a 5.7 ERA outside of Safeco. And Davies’ numbers are blah in the NL with the exception of run support/wins. The only reason they look good is because Os rotation is so bad. But I’m not convinced those two would be solutions. Just more options.

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