Orioles GM Dan Duquette has used mysterious methods the entire offseason. Though people have not been necessarily pleased with the moves or lack of moves the Orioles made, hope still remains for this season. However, this week has been pretty odd.
Earlier in the week it was reported that the Orioles were looking for starting pitching. Starting pitching? It took until the end of March for Duquette to realize we may need better starting pitching?
The signing of Dontrelle Willis does not answer that question. The Orioles should be confident in their starters with their solid performances in Spring Training. Brian Matusz seems to have returned to his old form, Wei-yin Chen has been impressive as well as Jason Hammel, Tommy Hunter and Jake Arrieta. If they do not succeed Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen are surely reliable guys to fill in. Also Zach Britton will return in six weeks.
The news that really kind of ticked me off was that the Orioles were shopping the talents of Mark Reynolds and Kevin Gregg. If the O’s were to trade Gregg, it would be understandable because of the amount of similar arms they have in the bullpen. However trading Reynolds shows no positives in this case.
Lets get this straight: If the Orioles were to seriously shop Reynolds in December (which they apparently did) I would have no problem with it because talent would be out there to trade for. However, being two weeks before Opening Day, most clubs are thinking about the final roster rather then trading their starting players.
Though his statistics were not over-impressive last season, Reynolds has shown true dedication this offseason. Reynolds has lost 20 pounds in an effort to be more mobile and cover more ground at 3rd base. This Spring Training he has a .957 fielding percentage. He seems like a man on a mission redeeming himself for last season.
The question with Mark Reynolds will always be the average and strikeouts. That may not change drastically but the power will always be there. Reynolds hit 37 home runs in 2011. Without the acquisition of a big bat this offseason the Orioles remain thin in the power perspective. Reynolds is the one guy who can surely provide the team with pop, and lots of it.
When a young guy on the ball club arrives at spring training and looks at a guy who lost weight and is extremely dedicated to becoming better, that’s a GOOD thing. Now that Reynolds seems to be turning the corner in dedication and preparation they want to ship him out?
Trading Reynolds would make a bad mark on the organization. Besides the fact that they won’t get much talent in return, who else is going to hit home runs? The Orioles need all the power they can get, and Mark Reynolds is not a guy that should even be considered expendable with two weeks left before Opening Day.
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