All the reading I’ve been doing while evaluating today’s trade of Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies is mostly negative in terms of what the Orioles have gotten – Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. At first glance, my initial reaction was that this is a salary dump … that is, until I began to realize that the two new salaries combined are essentially the same as Guthrie’s. However, were Guthrie to have won his salary arbitration hearing today (no slam dunk for Guthrie), there would be savings for the Birds. Clearly, the team did not want to take that risk, and in the continuing stockpiling of arms have received two for one.
This is definitely a trade that will take time to fully evaluate, though it is rather impossible to say that the Orioles are definitely a better team this afternoon than they were this morning.
Guthrie has had some propensity for giving up the long ball, and it is difficult to imagine that such troubles will not follow him at 5,000’ of altitude.
It is virtually impossible to not like Jeremy Guthrie. He truly has been the poster child of a class act. I would often be amazed in post-game interviews at his seemingly genuine ease of mind and emotions – having thrown yet another quality start, but with zero run support. The repetitive lack of run support is one of the more curious things I’ve seen in my years and years of watching baseball. And true to form, Guthrie’s remarks upon the news of his departure were kindly and filled with gratitude for his five years in Baltimore.
The statistics for Hammel and Lindstrom are far short of what would make you think, “Man, I hope we get those guys!” Hammel throws some
innings (170+ over each of the last 3 years) and Lindstrom is clearly a power arm in the bullpen.
Duquette’s thinking seems to be that we get, yes, 2 for 1 with an extra year option for each. Duquette clearly projects Hammel as covering for Guthrie’s innings, with the bonus of a decent bullpen arm in Lindstrom. I hope so!
As I wrote some time ago, the team is in a difficult position for making the kinds of trades that would yield clear results and upgrades. There are no extra pieces to trade, and the quality parts that exist are simply too valuable to deal away. The reality is that this sort of trade is about the best that can be managed right now. We remain in need of players coming through with breakout years that enhance their value and the team’s position.
Throw some more mud on the wall!