Be honest. There was a part of your brain that said “The Orioles aren’t serious about this rebuild.” Up until yesterday, that thought process had some merit. What had they really done? They traded away expiring contracts. So? They had no choice there. Sure, Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter had acknowledged a rebuild publicly, and there were rumors of significant interest in international free agents. But there had been no actual movement there, and talk of trading the players under control beyond 2018 had died down. Then, the deadline happened.
First, Kevin Gausman was dealt to the Atlanta Braves. The immediate reaction there was that the prospect return was light: third baseman Jean Carlos Encarnacion, catcher Brett Cumberland, right-handed pitcher Evan Phillips and left-handed pitcher Bruce Zimmermann. Then, it emerged that reliever Darren O’Day, currently out for the season with an injury, was thrown in the trade as well, and the O’s would also be receiving $2.5 million in international signing bonus slot money.
They weren’t done. Next, Jonathan Schoop was shipped to Milwaukee Brewers. The Birds haul there included MLB infielder Jonathan Villar, minor league shortstop Jean Carmona and right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz. Within an hour of the deadline closing, Duquette traded away three established veterans from an exciting era of Orioles baseball and turned them into six prospects and a major league stop gap.
I don’t know enough about the prospects involved to tell you if the Orioles did well in these deals. I will link some of the reactions I can find down below.
What I can tell you is that these were positive moves. They had to be done. If trading Machado, Britton and Brach was ripping off the band-aid, yesterday was admitting that you needed more than that band-aid anyway; you needed full-on surgery.
The Orioles acquired a ton of prospects and a lot of international signing money in July. Not all of these players that the club traded for will work out. In fact, most of them won’t, and we will have to wait two years, maybe longer, to find out. The franchise is punting on 2019 and 2020 in Baltimore with an eye to that 2021 season.
Can you blame them? the Red Sox and Yankees appear to be at the height of their powers. The Blue Jays understand this, which is why they are slow playing the arrival of their two top prospects. Why start their service time clocks when the team won’t beat those two behemoths anyway? The Rays have a different challenge altogether but have managed to put together a middle of the pack team while stripping away most of the recognizable faces. The AL East is the still the toughest divsion in baseball. In order to compete, the Orioles needed to get smarter. They needed to make some tough decisions. They’ve done that. Now, the real work begins: developing young players and scouting the next crop of prospects.
In the meantime, the O’s will still be playing games. They lost their first post-deadline match-up 6-3 against the Yankees on Tuesday night. Paul recapped the action.
The Orioyals: Could We Combine MLB’s Two Worst Teams Into a Winner? - The Ringer
The answer to this question is “no.” Both team’s current MLB rosters are barren. For the Orioles, that is on purpose at this point. The Royals, well, they are in a bad situation right now, but they did win a World Series recently, and you can’t take that away from them.
Let’s Get This Orioles Rebuild Started! - Camden Depot/The Warehouse Podcast
This episode was recorded BEFORE the deadline, so keep that in mind. But it does included reactions to the Zach Britton and Brad Brach trades, so it’s not completely useless.
O’s net Villar, six prospects for Schoop, Gausman - MLB.com
Lots of good quotes in this one from the players dealt, Showalter and Duquette. Gausman’s reaction is pretty heart-breaking. In his comments he was still referring the the Orioles as “we” and wearing a hat with the swinging bird logo. This is a tough business. They snatch up these guys when they are teens or early 20-somethings, and become a second family to them. Then, boom, it’s all gone.
More on yesterday’s moves, Bleier with post-surgery update - MASNsports
Did you forget about Richard Bleier? Well, he is out of his sling and speaking with the media. He won’t be back this year, but his presence in what will surely be a young bullpen is much needed in 2019.
Adam Jones: “I earned this and it’s my decision - MASNsports
Absolutely. Not going to hear an argument from me.
Five trades bring 15 new players to the Orioles organization - MASNsports
A quick run down on the deals done by the O’s with quick mini scouting reports on the players new to Baltimore.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!
Adam Jones turns 33 today. The centerfielder is a five-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and finished in the top 15 of the AL MVP voting on three occasions. There was wide speculation that he would be traded this season. It’s possible it still happens in August, but it seems pretty clear he has no interest in leaving Baltimore right now. Like he said in the article above, he earned it. He has been around long enough that he has to approve any trade. If that is not what he wants, that’s totally cool.
Travis Driskill pitched to a 5.23 ERA/4.93 FIP over 180.2 innings between 2002 and 2003 for the O’s. He is 47. Tony Muser turns 71. He played in 336 games for the Birds from 1975 through 1977 and compiled a .241/.293/.281 batting line as a first baseman and outfielder. Finally, George Bamberger was born on this day in 1923. The right-handed pitcher had an 8.1 inning cameo for the ‘59 Orioles. Unfortunately, he passed away back in 2004.
1993 - Orioles outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds lines a foul ball into his team’s dugout, striking teammate Glenn Davis and knocking him unconscious. Davis was not active for the game as he was already recovering from a broken jaw. The O’s lost the game 2-1 to the Red Sox.
1994 - Cal Ripken Jr. appears in his 2000th straight game en route to the all-time record for consecutive games played.
2005 - Rafael Palmeiro is suspended for violating MLB’s steroid policy. During the spring, he had appeared before a Congressional committee, stating that he had “never” taken steroids.