Are the Baltimore Orioles missing an opportunity?
If Dan Duquette’s history is any indication, the Baltimore Orioles will have a somewhat underwhelming off season and end up being fine once the regular season starts. Then at this time next year fans will be grousing about the same things, and the charade will start all over again. However the fact is that San Diego traded for Justin Upton this past week (from Atlanta). My personal opinion was that Upton was a long shot to come to the Orioles, and I’m not sure I ever would have stepped off of that opinion. However, are the O’s missing opportunities by standing pat?
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Again, fans need to remember that this is just how Duquette operates, and that the Orioles now have a track record of this type of thing succeeding under his guidance. Furthermore, GM’s like Duquette are also between a rock and a hard place in the sense that these types of high-level trades aren’t free. Atlanta gave up some good prospects for Justin Upton. If the Orioles were to have acquired Upton (or anyone of that like), they would have probably had to give up someone like Kevin Gausman or perhaps Dylan Bundy.
The point here of course is that you’re either on board with winning now, or you’re trying to win tomorrow. The Orioles successfully played that game back in 2008 in trading Erik Bedard for Adam Jones and company. GM Andy MacPhail freely admitted that things might get worse before they got better. But eventually they did in fact get better. On the other hand, there’s no question that San Diego is making a play to win now.
And I suspect that’s what a lot of Orioles fans would prefer to see the team do. The argument of course would be that the likes of Boston and now San Diego are obviously dedicated to winning now – as in, 2015. Whether or not that’s how things work out in the long run remains to be seen. I would hope that Orioles fans would be happier with having the team win on a consistent basis as opposed to something like Boston, who stunk in 2012, won the World Series in 2013, and then stunk again in 2014.
However most people would probably say that the bottom line is that Boston won a World Series in that mix. And they may be right. So ultimately, yes the O’s are missing out on opportunities. But the other side is that it might matter little. For instance, I know that Duquette is really big on Dariel Alvarez, who’s lit up the Orioles’ minor league system of late. Is it not possible that he could be a long-term replacement for Nick Markakis?
I would also remind fans that I personally was not on board with Jonathan Schoop being the starting second baseman out of spring training. While he had his struggles at times, I would say he had a decent rookie season – and proving me wrong. So whether Alvarez is in the plans for 2015 or not, there’s no reason to expect Duquette not to be right again. Yes it is a leap of faith given the opportunities that the Orioles are leaving on the table, but that’s life.