It appears there’s a very strong chance the Baltimore Orioles will be completing a 3 year deal with Yovani Gallardo by the end of the weekend. This actually concerns me because it also means losing the Orioles 14th overall draft pick. Although Gallardo could make a decent addition to the Orioles rotation, I find myself struggling with whether or not he’s worth the sacrifice.
The purpose of this article is to help understand the gravity of losing a first round draft pick. If you look at the homegrown talent Baltimore has on the field, Weiters, Machado, Schoop, and Gausman, they have all been top prospects we’ve taken in the first round of their respective drafts. Now it looks like we’ll lose the chance to duplicate this success by adding Gallardo, or Fowler for the same reason.
When we look at Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 prospects list for 2016, the Baltimore Orioles only have two top prospects amongst the group, Hunter Harvey at #58 and Dylan Bundy at #69. Dylan Bundy will find a home in the bullpen this year, being he’s out of options, so that means Baltimore realistically have but one Top prospect in the till. This defines our current farm system. Needless to say, it’s in dire need of development.
Reviewing the Brew
The rest of the AL East has on average 3.75 top prospects per team, leaving us at the bottom. The Red Sox have five prospects with #7, #35, #46, #73, and #98. The Yankees have three prospects with #18, #65, and #92. The Rays have five prospects with #21, #52, #54, #84, and #88. Last but not least, the Blue Jays also have two prospects with #44 and #100.
Comparing the lists from the last four years, its more than noticeable the Orioles have completely depleted their resources. We had three in 2015 Bundy, Harvey and Sisco. We had five in 2014 with Gausman, Schoop, Bundy, Harvey and Eduardo Rodriguez, whom we sent to the Red Sox, and again the first three are all actively playing this year. We had three in 2013 with Schoop, Bundy, and Gausman and three in 2012 with Machado, Bundy and Schoop.
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Realizing Harvey stands alone as our last top prospect, should we even have been considering Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler? If you ask me, the answer is NO! We need both of the draft picks those players will cost. Rebuilding our farm system needs to be a priority. Although we have a few great young talents ie; Christian Walker, Trey Mancini, Dariel Alvarez, there’s a reason why the players that have been in the top 101, less Harvey, have made it to the big leagues. With that being said, I don’t feel like we should bring on two mediocre players at the expense of our future.
Gallardo’s biggest upside is the 30+ starts he’ll most likely provide every year, but even that can be supplemented by Tyler Wilson or even Vance Worley. I don’t ever see Gallardo being more than a 14 win pitcher, especially not in hitter friendly Camden Yards. What else do you think he’ll provide?
Since 2012 the Orioles have looked to their farm system to make contributions to the teams’ recent success, so what about the success of the next five years? Does Baltimore want to risk a future playoff draught or the over expenditure of outside stars in return for low impact players now?
The reason why teams have to constantly spend money, buying new players every year, is because they don’t have the homegrown talent to fill in the gaps. Baltimore isn’t the type of organization to start spending money on a constant rotation of over valued players, yet this will be the situation they’ll be faced with if the farm system isn’t replenished.
Weigh in and give me your thoughts. I personally don’t think either player, Gallardo or Fowler, will have a significant enough impact to justify the sacrifice. Do the Orioles really need them to make it to the post season?