Baltimore Orioles: Is selling the new buying?
Should the Baltimore Orioles buy or sell? That’s always the question at the deadline and in the off season. Most people are entrenched firmly in their view – one way or the other.
Personally I’m of the mindset that you don’t rebuild in the AL East. The northeast is really all about results, whether it’s work or play. What have you done for me lately is the big saying, right? So teams like the Orioles can’t really sell a rebuild to their fans, the idea being that their fans won’t necessarily show up to support that rebuild.
In my antiquated view of the world, rebuilds also take time. The Orioles began that process last time around in 2008 when they traded for the likes of Jones. They didn’t hit pay dirt until 2012. But is that still the way of the world in terms of the time invested?
As the minor leagues have gotten more refined and coaching has gotten better, I think we’ve seen players become more and more ready for big league play. And the same is true of college coaching; players are more suited to quickly go through the minor league system and get to the bigs. That’s why teams such as New York, Cleveland, Boston, Houston, and others have made decisions to sell, and in essence have gotten better almost immediately.
So…should the Orioles commit to following suit? I still say that it would be a tough sell to the fan base. There’s a large portion of people who won’t buy tickets unless a team’s committed to winning in the here and now. Furthermore it’s still running a risk. Do the Orioles generally have the luck that New York got – where all of the prospects that came to them start hitting at the same time? Odds are against that.
It’s a tough call. My personal opinion was that they could have done a bit of a warm-over, perhaps by trading someone like Britton for a prospect or two. They almost had that done last year at the deadline, but at the last moment there was an issue with the medicals on one of the players the Orioles were to get in return. Many people will say that the O’s are too stringent in that regard. But would you rather trade for a guy who’s going to be injured on and off?
Obviously Britton isn’t a guy who can be traded any longer. Many people will say that’s what the Orioles get for not wanting to take a chance. I would argue it’s simply dumb luck. However at the end of the day, it is interesting that teams have sold and then suddenly gotten better very quickly. Should the Orioles run that risk?