Baltimore Orioles: Time to be sellers?
By Jacob Adams
Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
It’s difficult to put your finger on exactly what has been ailing the struggling Orioles the past few weeks, but their recent stumbles now have them closer to last place than first place. It’s not a position the Orioles figured themselves to be in at this point in the season, but it’s where they are. Now, it’s up the Orioles management to adjust their original plan to their current situation.
Dan Duquette made news this week when he stated the Orioles would be buyers at July’s trade deadline regardless of their play over the next week. In theory, that aggression is commendable in a GM. The feeling that every year presents a playoff team lead by a GM willing to do whatever he can to win is exactly what every fan wants.
However, there comes a point in the season where playoffs hopes are thin and decisions have to be made to benefit the team for future seasons. The time isn’t here yet for the Orioles, but it could be here before the end of next week.
The Orioles 5-12 record this month has pushed them to 7 games out of first place with 68 games remaining. That’s not completely out of it but its close, and they’re tittering at the point where they could definitely be out of it by July 31.
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Much has been said about the Orioles’ pending free agents, and it deserves all the attention it’s received. It’s a mountain of a problem. It’s going to leave way more holes than the Orioles can fill via free agency. Making matters worse is the Orioles farm system. Coming into the season it was ranked among the worst in baseball, and that was before the injuries to Hunter Harvey and Dylan Bundy.
In seems panic-stricken to say, but these are the same problems that snowballed in the late-90s and set the Orioles back a 14 seasons.
Every fan wants a contending team every season, but there comes a point where a team has to sacrifice the present for the future, especially if that present is all but doomed anyway. Maybe the Orioles aren’t exactly there yet, but they could be a week from now.
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