With the Winter Meetings off to a face palming start for those of us in Birdland, what better way to lift our collective spirits than by playing a little
three-man armchair GM? Many thanks to Tezcatlipoca for coming up with such a fantastic idea, as well as to Stacey for allowing it to come to fruition. Stacey was kind enough to throw in, "none of us knows exactly what is a feasible trade," so please repeat that in your mind before, during, and after every sentence you are about to read. I'm a virgin so be gentle.
Today I would like hypothesize on the potential for a trade involving the San Diego Padres. But who specifically on the Padres' roster would look damn good (pause) in an Orioles uniform? Who should we send packing to make it happen? In the industry, this is called a tease.
Ok, we all know how bad the starting pitching has been at OPACY yards over the past decade or so. Last year was supposed to be the year things were different. We were supposed to see some sort of Oriole Way renaissance on the mound that would remind us of the glory years...Cuellar, Palmer, McNally to Flanagan, Boddicker etc, etc, etc. At the very least, the young guns were going to show us there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, by mid-May, we realized the light was an oncoming train that not even Denzel Washington could stop, and we were on suicide watch all over again. Zach Britton & Jake Arrieta showed flashes, yet were too inconsistent & unpolished to have so much thrown on them so early. Guts was Guts, poor guy gotta love him. Tillman was his usual AAAA self. Most disheartening was Brian Matusz, who made me want to head butt a steak knife by the 3rd inning every game he took part in.
Where am I going with this? There's a guy out in San Diego who I've been impressed with in his brief time in the bigs. Matt Latos. Hahahaha just kidding! That would be a pipe dream. I'm thinking of Cory Luebke. He's young, has potential, and has been quite successful in his short time in the bigs. A former first round pick, Luebke is a 6'4" lefty that started out in the 'pen last year, was great, moved to the rotation, and was equally great. In 46 games Luebke fanned 154 batters in just under 140 innings. Going deeper, we see a 3.29 ERA, a 2.92FIP, and a WHIP of 1.07. Doesn't that make one salivate? His numbers as a starter were very much on par with his relief numbers, including a 3.31 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and an absurd 9.9K/9 rate to go with 3.8K/BB. We all know the NL West is a far cry from the AL Beast, and Petco is a cave while OPACY is a studio apartment, so expectations should be tempered ever so slightly. But, still, there's reason for excitement. If this weren't a figment of my imagination, anyway.
The question now becomes, what do we have to give up to get this guy? This is where it gets tricky. Personally, I'm over Chris Tillman. Let's just pray the rest of MLB isn't. Tillman has an insane 12-6 curve but the fastball tops out at 90 on most days. That's not going to cut it in our division. But at Petco? I believe Tillman could be quite successful there. Granted the NL West lineups are more formidable than they were just a year or two ago, but they are not as fearful as the ones we face on a regular basis. Tillman straight up may not be enough to entice the Fathers to make the deal. Looking at their batting lineup, I see very little to be afraid of in the way of power. Kyle Blanks is the one guy (I even thought about making him a guy to trade FOR) that can seriously crush a baseball. The problem? He's still really raw. How to fix this? Throw in our boy Luke Scott! Granted we would probably have to take on some salary in order for this scenario to work, but a Blanks/Scott LF split makes at least a little sense with the whole righty/lefty thing. Perhaps Scott could start out as the guy until Blanks is ready. If one is to believe Luke's words he'll be at full strength & ready to tear the cover off the ball by the time the season starts. This also allows Nolan Reimold to take over LF duties on a full time basis for us. We want the Gazelle out there, don't we?
There's my two cents on the most awesome trade that will never happen. This has been really enjoyable and I can't thank y'all enough for allowing me to participate. Now tear me a new one!