Cornerstone of the O's

With all the talk of potential trades this week, I’ve heard a lot of commentary from fans on facebook, twitter, and in person regarding whether or not the Baltimore Orioles should trade the likes of Matt Wieters and/or J.J. Hardy. I heard multiple people refer to Wieters as the “cornerstone of the franchise.” Speaking for myself, I’d still give that nod to Adam Jones in the sense that he was the first piece in place of what we currently know as the Orioles. The trade that brought Jones to Baltimore is still the stuff of legends; furthermore the term “cornerstone” means just that – the first piece.

However are there differing opinions out there as to who the cornerstone of the franchise is? Or perhaps that should be restated – what constitutes the cornerstone of the franchise? Some might say that it’s the most important player on the team. If that’s the case, I’d say it’s probably either Jones or Manny Machado. However this is certainly a fluid discussion; a year ago I think most people would have included Wieters in that discussion. Now along with Hardy, he might be on the trading block for all we know. However here’s a dark horse candidate: Chris TillmanChris Tillman. As we all know one of the most glaring deficiencies in the 2013 Orioles was the starting pitching. Tillman went 16-7 on the year, and justifiably should have had 19 or 20 wins had the bullpen not blown leads. So remove Tillman from the rotation, and the Orioles really have an issue. That brings them back to the type of rotations they had in 2007-2011 or so.

Who’s the cornerstone or the most important player on the team is probably irrelevant in most senses. I would argue that a steady hand in the dugout and in the front office is almost just as important if not more important than who’s untouchable in trades. So tell me Birdland, what are your thoughts?

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Chris Tillman

  • Dave Gruber

    I don’t believe a baseball team can have that one “cornerstone player” like other sports. For example, a great QB is irreplaceable for a football team. As great as some pitchers are, they still only play every 5th game. That is why I would never vote for a pitcher as the league MVP, but that’s a story for another day. In baseball, since they play 162 games I just think no one player is irreplaceable. Look at the Yankees last year, all year without Jeter and Texeira and over half the year without A-Rod and they contended almost all season. Having said that, if I had to name the Oriole the team would miss the most I would probably have to go with Chris Davis. Jones wouldn’t have had the season he had if pitchers could have pitched around him last year. Adam is fantastic but I believe Davis would be missed the most.

    • Domenic Vadala

      It’s a tough sell to say any one player is “te guy.” All a matter of opinion I suppose. Thanks for reading!

  • Brad

    I agree with your comments regarding Jones and Machado, and Tillman. Davis is up there too. Wieters is a great player, but I feel his potential from 4 years ago is what keeps his value up, so to speak. Chris Hoiles put up some pretty good numbers, but never was looked at the way Wieters is. The bottom line is his numbers have pretty much declined since his rookie year. That’s scary if you’re looking at a long term contract. That should happen in your 30′s. not your 20′s. Great defensively, but the nod would go to Jones and Davis. And not far behind would be Machado….

    • Domenic Vadala

      With Wieters my point would be that as long as his defense is strong he’s an asset. Offense is gravy with catchers, as they have short shelf-lives. Thanks for reading!