A slap in the face while we wait?

If you believe what we’ve been hearing out of Dallas today, the Orioles are “likely” to “make a move” of some sort before the day is over. We’ve heard a few rumors thus far, including that the O’s were interested in Prince Fielder (but not getting their hopes up), the O’s are interested in trading for Gavin Floyd of the ChiSox, all among other things. I’ll make this pledge; without any further speculation on what might happen, Birds Watcher will report on it at some point after it’s announced.

There was one thing of note that caught my eye this morning. Steve Melewski of www.masnsports.com mentioned that a few teams had inquired about some of the Orioles most recent draft picks, including Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy. Yesterday I said that the Orioles owed it to themselves to entertain offers involving Adam Jones (prior to Jones being declared off the board by Dan Duquette). On the flip side, I suppose it doesn’t hurt for teams to try to inquire about these players as well. However what does that say about the Orioles?

Remember that under previous regimes, the Orioles would sometimes make trades just for the sake of making trades. This would often involve sending a young prospect to another organization in exchange for what was thought to be good talent. Once Andy MacPhail came aboard, a quick stop was put to that. Say what you want about MacPhail, but he was a good negotiator. He single-handedly cheated the Mariners out of Adam Jones, a move which in essence cost former-GM Bill Bavasi his job. However MacPhail is gone now; are teams expecting a “return to normalcy” so to speak with the Orioles? Or perhaps some teams are trying to redeem what they may have lost during the MacPhail era, a revenge of the fallen of sorts. I suppose what I’m saying is that I find it a bit odd that another team (or teams) would have the audacity to ask about players the Orioles have drafted in the last couple of years. Are the Orioles really that poorly regarded in the industry? Or perhaps are they underestimating Dan Duquette as a GM?

In a way, to even inquire about players that the Orioles very recently drafted and signed is a bit insulting to say the least. But just to play devil’s advocate, what exactly would it take to pry someone like a Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado away from the Birds? If someone offered a top-line starting pitcher, I think that Duquette would at the very least listen. While prospects are just that – prospects – the idea is that they pan out and be starters on your big league club for years to come. I don’t say that with any inside knowledge of what Duquette would want or expect in return for anyone, however it would stand to reason that if a top-line starter (such as a Tim Lincecum type) was dangled out there the Orioles would listen.

For the record, it appears that Duquette is reluctant to even discuss any of the top prospects in the organization. Keep in mind that the Birds re-signed J.J. Hardy for three years with the plan being for Machado to take over as the starting SS at some point in that timeframe, allowing them to deal Hardy if they choose to do so. So if they were to turn around and deal Machado, those plans would be in jeapordy. However again, I’m a bit surprised that teams would even inquire as to whether or not these prospects are in play. Have the same inquiries been made of the Washington Nationals regarding Bryce Harper? Nevertheless, it appears that barring some sort of blockbuster deal, all of these players will remain with the Orioles.

Follow me on Twitter @DomenicVadala

Tags: Dan Duquette Orioles

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