The 2012 non-waiver trading deadline came and went this afternoon with the Orioles not making any moves. Based on some of the stuff I’ve seen on twitter and on various message boards, I’m sensing a certain amount of anger on the part of the Orioles’ fan base. I suppose in a way I can understand that. However my main message to fans this afternoon is to bear in mind that the O’s are still a better team after 4:01 today than in the past. Look at it from the perspective that they still have the #2 and #3 prospects in baseball in their farm system (Bundy and Machado). Furthermore, they’re still in contention for the wild card and on the outer fringes of being in contention in the AL East penant.
I understand the angst…I really do. Believe me folks, I would have loved to have seen the Orioles acquire San Diego third baseman Chase Headley. I think he’s exactly the shot in the arm that this team could have used. Furthermore, he’s under team control until 2015. Obviously the Joe Blanton rumors were among some of the strongest of the “trade season,” and that potential deal was hot and cold for the last 24-36 hours. I had a hunch all day that it wouldn’t happen, however that was solidified by this tweet by MASN’s Amber Theoharis. If Blanton was going to be dealt odds are he wouldn’t have been throwing a bullpen session in Washington prior to the Phillies playing the Nationals. Had the price been right, I don’t think Blanton would have been a horrible deal, however the fact is that the price was obviously too high (not to mention that the O’s didn’t want to pay the remainder of his salary this year).
There are a million different ways to look at the results of this trade season, however we won’t know the true results until the end of the season. Anything less than a playoff birth, and the naysayers will claim that the Birds missed their chance. In sports you have to keep an eye and a half on today with half an eye on the future. There’s no point in making a trade for the sake of making a trade. The Orioles have done that in the past, and it’s rarely worked out. I don’t know this for a fact because I’m not the one making the calls and speaking to the execs, however I get the impression that other teams felt that Dan Duquette would bite on one of these trades sending Bundy or Machado someplace to get a player. In life, we call that instant gratification. It’s had its struggles, however the Orioles have outdone their expectations thus far in 2012. Adding a player such as Headley would have certainly made their potential ceiling higher, however none of that is guaranteed bear in mind.
In my opinion, Orioles fans should be thanking Dan Duquette for not trading away prospects such as Bundy and Machado. You might even throw Jonathan Schoop in there, who was rumored to be on the radar of Philadelphia GM Rueben Amaro. Noodle this through for a second; Amaro was going to send Blanton to the O’s, and ask them to pay for him along with sending Schoop to Philadelphia. Great deal…for Phillies fans! To suggest that the Orioles’ future isn’t still bright is basically saying that Bundy and Machado are going to be busts. All of that aside, there’s still a lot of season left to play. To those who say that the O’s have no chance to be better, I would ask if you thought they’d make it this far back in April. Probably not. This team has defied expectations for four months…who’s to say they can’t do it for two more? The Orioles kept the status quo today, while continuing to build for the future. Were there trades that could have helped? Absolutely…however they would have jeopardized the future. Is running that risk worth the while? If you’re still adamant that something more needs to be done, keep in mind that teams can still trade through waivers all through August.