Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis not on the trade block
I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised that there are fans out there who think that the Baltimore Orioles should consider trading Chris Davis. Having said that, it’s also worth noting that with a few exceptions most teams are probably willing to part with almost anyone – if the price is right. In baseball as in all businesses, deals are based on what the return on investment could be. Keep in mind that when the Orioles acquired Davis from Texas, he along with Tommy Hunter came in a trade that sent Koji Uehara to Texas. A reliever for a pitcher and a power hitter is great return on investment.
However in reading this article today by Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun, perhaps the people clamoring for Davis to be traded weren’t so quick to judge after all. It appears that the Orioles have had internal discussions on whether or not they should keep Davis on the roster. Again, while I recognize that he’s a pending free agent, to me it’s a no-brainer that he stays. (The caveat is that if the O’s fall flat on their face immediately out of the all-star break, I might consider it if I were Dan Duquette.)
Any trade scenario boils down to whether or not the player is worth more to the organization on the roster or on the trade market. In my personal opinion, he’s worth more to the franchise on the roster. If the
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Orioles were floundering through a poor season and already playing out a string on the year, I might feel differently. But the AL East is a division that’s very much the Orioles’ to lose in a sense, and trading Davis’ threat of power would be incredibly narrow-minded from the Orioles’ standpoint.
The exception to that might be if they could yield a power-hitting outfielder in return. But the reason that teams make trades is to better themselves for the future. Davis might bring a return of a couple of prospects for the Orioles. While that would re-load the farm system a bit, it wouldn’t help them to win the division. And that’s really the goal right now, is to repeat as AL East champions.
Again, if things start going incredibly poorly out of the shoot for the Birds in the second half, I would expect this idea to be re-visited. But contending teams rarely break themselves up – in the middle of contending. And furthermore consider the fact that last year after Oakland thought they were being coy by moving Yoenis Cespedes, they had a horrendous second half and barely made it into the playoffs. That happening to the Orioles wouldn’t be a given if they traded Chris Davis; however the point is that when you break up chemistry, you never know what can happen.
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And that’s a perfect example of a team possibly over-thinking things. They thought that they had enough offense, and that their playoff chances were still good even without Cespedes. Granted they still made the playoffs, but not in the manner that they had thought they would. With the ballpark in which they play, they thought that pitching would get them there – so they traded for John Lester. While Lester was good for them in the second half, that move sparked a tailspin.
Connolly also makes valid points about the Orioles getting a supplemental pick in next year’s draft if Davis declines a qualifying offer and then walks. So any return on the trade market would have to offset the fact that the Orioles would be losing Davis’ services for the remainder of the year, AND they’d potentially be losing a prospect in next year’s draft. So there’s more to it than meets the eye. If you still think the Birds should just move him to get something for him, then needless to say you want them to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade.
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