How can there be a rosterbation contest with no entry that blows the team up good? I promise this is my last contest entry.
Dan Duquette got to the office at 9AM on the morning of December 5th. “Today's the day, Angie!” he called out to his executive assistant who was busy buying gifts on Amazon.
“The day for what, Hon?” she replied.
“Demolition, Angie. Demolition.” He turned on his office stereo and selected All Day by Girl Talk. Mood music. “Get me Andrew Friedman on the phone.”
A moment later Angie told her boss, “Mr. Friedman on line 1, Duke.”
“Andy! How's it shakin'?”
“I'm good, Duke. What's up?” Friedman asked.
“I'm blowing it up, Andy, and naturally I thought of you first. The end of last season was the start of something good, son. The O's and Rays allied against the evil powers in New York and Boston. A rebellion against the Man. You following me?”
“I'm listening Duke,” Friedman said, but he really was wondering if Duquette was off his meds.
“What do you need to get back in the World Series?” Duquette asked. “A top-flight catcher, a shortstop who can hit, a firstbaseman and a DH. Am I right? Fill those spots and the Rays are top of the heap. We're talkin' world domination, baby.”
“Umm, yeah,” said Friedman. “Sounds about right.”
“I got what you need, Andy. Wieters, Hardy, Reynolds and Davis. They're moving, Andy. I want to send them to you.”
Duquette suddenly had Friedman's undivided attention. “What do you want in return?” he asked.
“Prospects. Eight of them. Two for one,” Duquette responded. He knew the Rays' GM was hooked. “I want four pitchers. You're up to your eyeballs in them so you can afford it. Alexander Torres, Alex Colome, Taylor Guerrieri and Ryan Carpenter. And I want four position players: Mikie Mahtook (OF), Brandon Guyer (OF), Jose Lobaton (C) and Reid Brignac (SS).”
Friedman hesitated. “That's quite a haul, Duke.”
“I'm handing you the World Series on a plate and the Switch-hitting Jesus,” Duquette quickly argued. “Besides you don't need any of those guys to compete for the next three years. And Lobaton and Brignac are temporary placeholders, even for us.”
Friedman broke out in a sweat. He hated to trade within the division but this was too good to pass up. “You have a deal, Duke.”
“Excellent!” exclaimed Duquette. “You won't regret this Andy. Have your people type up the paperwork and get back to me. I have more work to do.”
And so began a legendary day in Orioles history.
Word of the Orioles/Rays blockbuster leaked within an hour. Baltimore television stations broke into their regular programming to announce the breaking news. The Baltimore Sun website put up the headline in huge type: “WIETERS GONE!” Orioles and Rays-related blogs exploded with comments.
Duquette was too busy to pay attention to commotion he caused. Before 11AM rumors of more trades spread. Duquette was tearing it all down! MLB Trade Rumors went wild! Ken Rosenthal was so excited his head exploded.
Duquette started a bidding war between the Red Sox and the Blue Jays for closer Jim Johnson. The Red Sox offered Josh Reddick (OF) and Matt Barnes (P). The Jays countered with Jake Marisnick (OF) and AJ Jimenez (catcher). Duquette went with the Jays just to screw over the team that fired him.
Boston was also looking for a starting pitcher and a right-handed bat for the outfield, so Duquette sent them Guthrie and Reimold for Josh Reddick (OF) and Felix Doubront (P).
Markakis (and $5 million cash) to the Phillies for Maikel Franco (3B).
And just like that the Orioles' slate was wiped clean.
Wieters, Reynolds, Davis, Hardy, Reimold, Jones, Markakis, Guthrie, Johnson.
Pitchers: Alexander Torres, Alex Colome, Taylor Guerrieri, Ryan Carpenter, AJ Cole, Felix Doubront.
3B: Maikel Franco, Anthony Rendon
OF: Jake Marisnick, Brandon Guyer, Josh Reddick, Miki Mahtook.
C: Jose Lobaton, AJ Jimenez.
SS: Reid Brignac.
2012 Orioles Lineup
CF: Josh Reddick
DH: Jeff Clement (FA)
RF: Brandon Guyer
LF: Beerer/Travis Buck (FA)
SS: Reid Brignac
Bench: Ryan Adams, Miranda/Jackson, Teagarden/Lobaton, Buck/Beerer
Rotation: Britton, Torres, Doubront, Tillman, Arrieta, Matusz and Brad Meyers (Rule 5) battle for rotation spots in spring training. The losers go in the bullpen for long relief (they'll be needed).
Bullpen: Strop, Patton, O'Day, Jose Ascanio (minor league free agent).
Payroll: Well, it's low. I have no idea what it will take to sign Clement, Buck, Jackson, Miranda and Ascanio but they're all projects hoping for a chance to play. They should be cheap.
This team will be a disaster for a few years, but at least we'll get top draft picks. Hope takes the form of Machado, Bundy, Colome, Guerrieri, Carpenter, Richards, Cole, Franco, Rendon, Marisnick, Mahtook and Jimenez forming the crest of a wave that begins to arrive in 2015.