Tap-In Question: If Machado's gone, what's your next move as O's GM for a day? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Connolly's Tap Room

Tap-In Question: If Machado’s gone, what’s your next move as O’s GM for a day?

Let’s start with the likely Orioles’ situation at the Tap Room today, even if it is not guaranteed yet.

Let’s figure that third baseman Manny Machado gets dealt away at some point in the next few days or weeks.

Let’s not even worry about where he is going, or what the Orioles will get for him.

We’ve already been doing that dance.

Let’s ask another question:

“Then what?”

Machado is gone; the Orioles have a few additional young players to put on the 40-man roster, presumably including at least one pitcher that will immediately be inserted into the rotation. That’ll still leave two open spots for starting pitchers remaining.

The Orioles still will have some tradeable assets, specifically closer Zach Britton and set-up man/potential closer Brad Brach, who are both free agents at the end of 2018. The same goes for center fielder Adam Jones, who can veto any trade, but also wants to win badly and may decide he’d accept a ticket elsewhere if a World Series ring is attainable.

So, if you are running the Orioles, if you are executive vice president Dan Duquette and are charged with making this club better, what’s your next move?


Do you trade Britton, Brach, even Jones, for more young goodies?

Do you instead turn your attention to the free-agent market and sign a starting pitcher such as Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas, Chris Tillman or Miguel Gonzalez – because you certainly aren’t getting three MLB-ready arms in any Machado deal? (No club has that kind of stockpile.)

Do you figure you aren’t gonna let the same scenario play out twice and make a hard play to sign second baseman Jonathan Schoop to a long-term deal now before he can be a free agent in 2019?

Do you think out of the box and now throw legitimate coin at a free agent third baseman – Mike Moustakas, Todd Frazier – to fill Machado’s role without spending $300 million?

Let’s assume you are the man – or the woman – and you’ve just shipped off Machado. What’s your next move, independent of what comes back in return for Machado?

Tap-In Question: If Machado’s gone, what’s your next move as O’s GM for a day?



  1. mike3764

    December 20, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Ok so if Machado is gone, and hopefully the trade brought in at least one major league ready starting pitcher to plug into the rotation (it had better!) then I still have two open spots, but want at least three due to the high probability of one of them failing or getting hurt. With that said, I would look to grab Tillman and Vargas on one year deals and then I would hope that Castro can start.

    Then I would look to trade Brach to a team with good prospects and hope I can get at least one controllable starting pitcher.

    Britton would have to wait to improve his value by the trade deadline and then I could get more for him.

    Jones I would approach on a lifetime Oriole contract, and look to sign Schoop to an extension now.

    Maybe Moustakas on a one year deal.

    • mike3764

      December 20, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Well now that Britton is out with a ruptured Achilles, then Brach won’t be traded….scrap everything I said since there are reports now that the Orioles may pull Machado off the trade block if the offers don’t improve. To me it seems like a negotiating tactic but who knows.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      I think all along they’re trading Machado if they get the right package. I imagine they will at some point get the right package.

  2. letsgolos

    December 20, 2017 at 7:49 am

    One fit that I had been eyeing was Brad Brach to LAD for LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu, because of LAD’s surplus of pitching and the fact the contracts were similar (about $6MM for Brach, $7MM for Ryu on 1 year left). Ryu would be a nice SP3 lefty for us… But then LAD went and traded away Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir so they don’t really have an SP surplus anymore.

    Another fit I liked was Mark Trumbo to SF for Jeff Samardzija and some cash. But then SF went and traded Matt Moore, so I don’t know if they want to trade yet another SP.

    So, um… I don’t know.

    MAYBE revisit sending Zach Britton to Houston? If the point of the exercise is that this trade happens after a Manny trade, perhaps we could do Britton for a package built around 3B prospect Colin Moran? He’s blocked in Houston (Bregman), he’s a LH batter with some pop in AAA, and he’s a former 1st rounder, which we know is Dan Duquette’s drug of choice. Plus, controllable for 6 years.

    For one year of Britton, I’d honestly do that trade straight-up…

    Best I’ve got for ya…

    • letsgolos

      December 20, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Nevermind on Britton, now that he ruptured his Achilles… jeeeeeez what terrible luck. For him and for management.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Terrible luck. Especially for him.

  3. Marshall

    December 20, 2017 at 7:55 am

    It would strongly depend on the return from Manny.

    But in the proverbial vacuum…
    Continue on the path looking for multiple middling starters
    check out Todd Frazier, Moustakas, or Eduardo Nunez
    Make a play for Jay Bruce or maybe Curtis Granderson, whichever is cheaper
    4A Catcher just in case
    Move Britton or Brach. Keep the other until mid to late season when someone really needs a pen arm.
    Do whatever it took to move Chris Davis.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 20, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Can’t see moving Davis. Too much money. And it’d be silly to eat a ton of it two years in.

  4. Bill813

    December 20, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Why wait until Manny is gone to make a move, presuming that happens? Sign Moustakas (2 years), slide Manny to SS, and Beckham is the utility infielder. In 2019, Beckham gets SS because no way Angelos pays market rate for Manny. A long-term contract renewal for Adam will end up at same price and possibly the same result as the Davis deal, albeit it won’t happen as quickly. If you resign Adam, it’s with the understanding that he eventually moves to a corner OF slot.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 20, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      How you getting Moustakas for two years?

  5. Orial

    December 20, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I fear that the O’s will not trade Manny which would have a snowball effect on more trades. Not trading Manny could lead to very poisonous situation. Could you imagine the younger players/Manny buddies following his lead as he plays and laughs to a soon to be departure? Again he HAS to go. Now that being said-I would look to move Brach first,Britton at trade deadline(reestablish his worth),Jones I think they’ll resign,push Trumbo hard for a salary dump 4th starter(Samardzia,Kennedy). Concern is with Schoop. Should push an extension PRONTO. I fear Schoop is watching this Manny fiasco and developing his own sour taste. I did see somewhere where Dan got major kudos for his Rule 5 picks so maybe there is a method to his madness. In closing I repeat they HAVE to trade Manny now but this ownership’s hesitancy concerns me. Geesh I’m out of breath.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      And I only wanted one. A priority. Now I need a nap.

  6. Osfan73

    December 20, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Assuming a starting pitcher comes back in a Manny trade id try and sign another FA for a year, Vargas or Gonzalez. Then try Castro as the 5th starter. Keep Britton, save him for the trade deadline if need be, let him have the first half to show he’s effective and can be solid at games’ end again.
    Next you would have to fill out third, the list of names above works for me.
    Lineup could use a little more speed on the bases, maybe look around for that.
    As for Schoop, expect that you can keep him and work to do so. Thats my very vague framework.

    • Osfan73

      December 20, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Just heard about Britton’s injury. Now this changes alot. Just awful. Hope he heals quick and all goes well for him. With respect to todays question, you keep Brach to close now IMO.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Yep. Life changed the priority list.

  7. willpatten

    December 20, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I agree with Kobatko that O’s have to either commit to aggressive rebuild or “re-arm” for a run at the pennant. Trying to do both will do neither.
    So, trading Manny means 2018 starts a rebuild.
    Like the other comments: sign Schoop now; trade Britton and/or Brach at deadline when their value is hopefully high and contending teams are desperate; do not dumpster-dive in hopes that someone will rediscover their talent; decide in ST which young pitchers are most advanced and put them in the rotation.
    When we trade Manny, we’re rebuilding.

  8. phildell

    December 20, 2017 at 8:50 am

    So the O’s now have 3 SP and two slots to fill. I believe they’ll pick up a SP who has not yet been signed as spring training approaches and hope to catch lightning in a bottle with whoever that is. The winner of the Ynoa/Castro experiment becomes the 5th starter (with the loser becoming the much needed long reliever).
    At the same time, I’m looking to sign Schoop to a long term deal to avoid another Manny fiasco. I’ve always believed that JS is has more long term value to the O’s than Machado. He’s a middle of the lineup hitter and he may be the heir apparent to Manny at third.
    I’d look to lock up AJ to end his career here.
    I’d leave Brach and Britton alone for now but remain open to moving them for the right price.
    It’s important to take care of the assets we have in place

    • phildell

      December 20, 2017 at 10:53 am

      And if the report is accurate, you’ve lost Britton until July/August. Brach and Givens become that much more valuable. And you’ve lost a couple of trade chips. The need for pitching becomes even more dire.

  9. willpatten

    December 20, 2017 at 8:53 am

    One more thing….
    Do whatever it takes to get rid of Davis. That contract was the beginning of the end.

  10. 54orioles

    December 20, 2017 at 9:08 am

    I would work on a trade with the Cardinals by offering either Britton or Brach for a SP. Then I would move Davis to third and Mancini to first base. Trade Trumbo for a pitching prospect and the sew up Schoop for the near future. Merry Christmas.

    • 54orioles

      December 20, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Forgot Hays plays everyday in Right Field.

    • 54orioles

      December 20, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      So Britton is out……Givens or Brach become the closer. Spot opens on the roster and we push forward.

  11. jonniebmore

    December 20, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Here’s an idea: Take advantage of the Dodgers’ desire to get out of luxury tax hell. Offer to take Matt Kemp (who they really want to move) off their hands. But LA would have to add a top pitching prospect, and they would have to take Trumbo off our hands. The deal results in the O’s getting a coveted young starter and an outfielder/DH who had slightly better numbers than Trumbo last season, and is a real outfielder. Kemp has a huge contract but the pitcher would make the league minimum. So the dollar outlay would actually be a few million less than what the O’s paid Trumbo/Jimenez last year. The Dodgers get Trumbo who makes half of what Kemp makes so that really helps them. They also could flip Trumbo and really save $…

  12. Marshall

    December 20, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Well, now with Britton out of commission for at least the next 6-9 months…

    The cards have changed again. A positive break on the river would sure be nice.

  13. JParsley

    December 20, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I have a question off topic. why doesn’t MLB let teams trade draft picks. Although it’s just as risky as trading for prospects, it would be a great way for teams to rebuild. it works well in other sports so why not baseball

  14. bigdaddydk

    December 20, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Too many things to consider, namely what we get in return for Manny. But being as pitching is a huge black hole right now, and that with Britton’s injury starters going deeper into games will be even more critical, I’m considering cutting Britton, saving the money on his contract, and looking for a starting pitcher. I hate to overspend on a FA, but I think Cobb would be a guy I’d pursue. Last year, he only failed to go at least 5 innings twice and he routinely went 6 or more. Danny Duffy is another one I’d look at. We’d get a lefty arm that can eat innings. He, like Cobb, routinely went 5+. The longer the market takes to unfold, the less apt we are to get a FA pitcher without spending a fortune, I suspect. I like Duffy a little better because he’s a southpaw and also because we’d have some years of control at a lower salary.

    Who am I kidding? I’m going after both of them. We need pitching. And neither is a Boras client.

  15. bv22

    December 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I would be doing a bunch of things at once. In no particular order: lock up Schoop somehow; quietly explore the trade markets for Britton, Brach, Jones, and Trumbo; pursue Cobb, Duffy, and Vargas; pursue Moustakas; and if you can find a way to unload Davis, that’s even better. We need pitching and we need to get a little younger and we need a different approach at the plate.

  16. Bancells Moustache

    December 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I hold a press conference pointing out that the 2014 Orioles went 28-16 then completed a 3 game sweep of consecutive Cy Young winners playing some of their best baseball after Manny Machado was lost with a knee injury. One Manny don’t make no circus. Then I tell the Orioles fanbase it’s been 34 years, I have no interest in subjecting you to a few 100 loss seasons because it’s fashionable to believe that’s the only way to build a winner. Then I get to work building a contender.

  17. bickel57

    December 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Can I be owner for a day and fire Duquette and bring in a GM that can make decisions. I would still trade all free agents to be at the end of year. Get as much as you can then fill in spots with low cost free agents or bring up people up from the minors and give them experience under fire. Also I would try to dump salary aka Chris Davis even if it were for 2 prospects in rookie ball that had an upside

  18. Chewy

    December 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Stick with the philosophy of grow (or trade for) the arms and buy the bats. I would see if I could trade Trumbo for a solid #4 starter to stabilize the rotation and get a little more average into the lineup. 3B Moustakas’s market doesn’t look too strong, so I think we can get him at an O’s friendly deal. I’d sign Moustakas to something like 3 years -$55 M. That would be a great value replacement for Manny and get the needed lefty hitter in the lineup. I would sign C Jonathan Lucroy to a one year deal with a possible team option 2nd year that would be lucrative to Lucroy if he earns it. The Lucroy deal would allow Sisco to get a little bit more training, with the likelihood that he would come up at some point due to an injury or a trade of Lucroy mid-year (to get more pitching). I would also make a play for OF Lorenzo Cain who is the type of hitter we need towards the top of the batting order and provides plus defense. I’m not as big of a fan of OF Jay Bruce, but the left handed bat would come in handy if we didn’t get Moustakas and/or Cain. We would also need to sign a utility infielder and one or two relief pitchers (including at least one lefty). I think we have enough competition in-house for the 5th starter, but wouldn’t hurt to see if there is anyone else out there with potential at a relatively low cost.

    We would have a great offense, improved defense in the outfield, and still have a strong bullpen. We would also have flexibility at DH which would give the ability to give veterans a few days off and get younger talent like Hays into the lineup. The question would then be if the starters can just be decent enough to consistently get through a lineup twice. With more off days this coming season, there will be more rest for the bullpen and the possibility of skipping the 5th starter more often. Then mid-year we might be able to bring up Harvey if he’s ready and there is a spot available. That would bring four good young arms into the rotation (Gusman, Bundy, Harvey, Machado return) with a possible 5th in Castro. The future could still be bright with DL Hall a few years away and another young pitcher from the Machado trade. If the season doesn’t go well, we can trade for another young starter. That might be when we trade Brach who can be replaced with a healthy Britton. I don’t see a full rebuild being needed even after a Machado trade, since we still have a great core of young talent and the needed few veterans for leadership. Go for it now, with the knowledge that we can get younger mid-season if our starters don’t give us enough.

  19. JoeFundo

    December 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    1) Trade Manny Machado to CWS for Lucas Giolito & Michael Kopech.
    (Sweeten deal a little for CWS if you must.)
    2) Sign Mike Moustakas – 3B
    3) Sign Alex Cobb – RHSP
    4) Sign Lorenzo Cain – CF
    5) Sign A.J. Ellis – Backup C
    6) Trade Darren O’Day to NYM for Matt Harvey.
    7) Make Luis Sardinas the UTIL IF
    8) Send Joey Rickard to Norfolk to play all three OF spots and get a lot of ABs vs. RHP & LHP.
    9) Send Chance Sisco to Norfolk to work on his defense and compete with Austin Wynns.
    10) Send Anthony Santander to Norfolk after Game 44 and call up Austin Hays.
    11) Assume Zach Britton will not return until after the ASB and do not rush him.
    12) Try diligently to swing deals for any of our Rule 5 P who does not make the Opening Day Roster.
    13) Send pitchers who do not deserve a spot in Baltimore to minor league camp early and make sure they
    know what they MUST improve on in order to get to the big leagues.

    Cain CF
    Jones RF
    Schoop 2B
    Mancini LF
    Moustakas 3B
    Trumbo DH
    Davis 1B
    Joseph C
    Beckham SS
    BENCH: Sardinas, Ellis, Brugman, Santander
    STARTERS: Bundy, Cobb, Gausman, Giolito, Harvey, Kopech, Ynoa (May the 5 best/healthiest win)
    Note: Gausman, Giolito, & Kopech all have 1 or more options remaining.
    RELIEVERS: Araujo, Bleier, Brach, Castro, Cortes, Givens, Hart, Mesa, Wright
    Note: Araujo, Cortes & Mesa are Rule 5; Bleier, Givens & Hart all have 1 or more options left.
    DL: Britton
    12 pitchers and 13 position players on the 25 man roster

  20. Mr Will

    December 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Were it not for bad luck, Os would have no luck at all. Get the best you can for Manny and sadly the Yanks have best to offer but perhaps Dbacks and Os can deal and they have a decent left handed starter.
    You need to try and sign both Jones and Schoop now…important
    Also, sign Moustakas as he is your new 3b and left hand hitter
    I would be very surprised if Os spend a lot on starters as I think they are still reeling from the mistakes of the last few years…Ubaldo et al.
    They can only hope that a miracle or two such as Santander, Hayes or a Rule 5 pick or two shine.
    Joe Fundo: I like your thinking except for Trumbo and Davis back to back still a no no and I think Trumbo might be gone. Cain at leadoff…not a negative thought in your brain!
    While the season may be a disappointment, it will at least be interesting if DD does not dawdle and dumpster dive this off season.
    Happy Holiday
    Mr Will

  21. Os forever

    December 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Everyone is missing the obvious move Schoop to third base and find a second baseman who has speed and can hit for an average and then hopefully we have received at least 1 major league ready pitcher in the Machado trade then go from their.

  22. JustWin8

    December 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I’m going to break the rule in the Tap Room- I don’t trade Manny. I would keep him for the year and when MM starts getting offers be the highest bidder. As pseudo-GM first thing I do is offer a Schoop a legit extension offer and keep him around. He’s Manny’s buddy so keep MM happy. Sign a 3rd baseman and move Manny to SS. Find some serviceable but not overly expensive starters. I love AJ but as GM I would ask him to take the hometown discount, if he doesn’t take it, trade him at the deadline for a starter or 2. I’d Throw Trumbo’s name out there and see what you cam get- Maybe a solid 3 starter. I don’t know what will happen but if PA kept Davis why wouldn’t he keep Manny. He certainly isn’t going to let the Yankees out bid him

  23. Churchton

    December 31, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Fire dandy dan and brainless Anderson

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