Orioles Victory Number 27: 1-0 over the Texas Rangers
We're hitting that point of the season where I'm starting to wonder if anything matters at all. Yes the Orioles won, which is always nicer than them losing, but still what does it all mean? In about a week the roster is most likely to be decimated. There is a good chance that Manny Machado is still in the organization only so that he can represent the Orioles at the All Star game, which may be the dumbest reason yet for the Orioles to delay a trade.
The things this management staff does is mindbending at times. Take for instance the handling of Zach Britton. He should have been traded last year and he wasn't because of concern over the health of some of the players coming back in the deal, one of which was Colin Moran. Moran has since been traded to the Pirates and the third baseman has put up a slightly below replacement level season (-0.1 WAR) hitting .262 with 8 home runs and and a .336 on base percentage. If you were wondering yes those numbers are better than either Tim Beckham (by a long shot) and Danny Valencia (comparable).
Since then, Britton ruptured his Achilles which disrupted any chance of trading him in he off-season. It also took him out of action until mid-June. A point at which the Orioles were well out of the hunt for the playoffs. As a left-handed reliever who had a history of being dominant he was, by his very nature, a valuable trade asset. The only question involved was how the injury affected his performance.
For the most part it seems that he is getting back to his pre-injury ability. In fourteen appearances he's allowed runs in only two of them but he struggled with his control early in his return. Luckily for the Orioles (and his trade value) he's shown signs of his old dominance since the calendar flipped to July. In six appearances he's worked six innings, struck out six, walked one and allowed one hit. He's also induced 8 ground balls and allowed only 2 fly balls which indicates his sinker is back to it's pre-2017 nastiness.
So why hasn't he been traded yet? There is no reason to hold on to him, it's not like he's an All Star. Waiting is going to only invite the potential of another injury or bad outing. For the good of all things holy don't make the same mistake two years in a row.
And that's what we've come to. Any good performance by a player is now viewed through the lens of it improves his trade value, not as hope for the future. Valencia hits a home run - trade him. Jonathon Schoop singles to the right side to win a game - trade him. Chris Davis makes contact with a pitch - trade him.
Trade them all now. Blow this thing up in spectacular fashion. Trade everybody and call up the entire Norfolk roster. If someone wants Dylan Bundy and is offering a top-50 prospect, do it. Same with Kevin Gausman and Trey Mancini. Let's burn this thing to the ground. It's not going to make that much of a difference in the standings.
OK. I'm done.
JustinG.'s Current Trade Rankings (updated!)
(in order of most likely to be traded)
1. Manny Machado
2. Zach Britton
3. Mark Trumbo
4. Danny Valencia
5. Mychal Givens
6. Jonathan Schoop
7. Brad Brach
8. Kevin Gausman