Early morning musings
Ok, it’s more like afternoon musings. But it’s been relatively quiet at the Winter Meetings for the Orioles so far.
The team wants to make a trade and upgrade a woeful pitching staff. But ideally, it’s tough to get back some good Major League arms when you don’t have a lot of trade chips to work with.
Sure, the Orioles can dangle Robert Andino and see if team will overpay. But they also need an Andino-type on the team, not just as a utility infielder, but as a possible starting second baseman. No one knows if Brian Roberts will be ready to start the season, and –even if he is — it’s impossible to predict if he’ll be able to stay healthy and productive over a 162-game grind.
As you know by now, Jeremy Guthrie is the Orioles best trade chip, with the Rockies and Angels among the interested parties. But, keep in mind he’s thrown 200 innings in the last three seasons and guys like that don’t exactly grow on trees. Given the current state of the Orioles rotation, it’s hard to justify trading away Guthrie unless you get a few arms back. I’m not talking about one reliever.
Rockies reporter Thomas Harding offers more insight on that possible trade here.
Positionally, there aren’t as many holes. While the team could use another outfielder and a DH-type, neither item is viewed with the pressing need of pitching.
So, if the Orioles are short on trade chips why not buy a starter? Duquette said yesterday the team has interest in several free agent arms that they think fit their market and needs. While you can rule out top tier arms C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle, you are probably looking at a group that includes Edwin Jackson, Paul Maholm and John Garland, to name a few.
Teams are reluctant to trade away starting pitching, and Duquette noted yesterday that there appears to be more relievers available.
*Also, a Cubs official yesterday said there was “no truth” to the rumor the Orioles were in on Alfonso Soriano, who is owed a lot of money over the next years by Chicago.