Again, a Baltimore Orioles rebuild was the subject of an interesting discussion with a national sports expert.
The Baltimore Orioles have issues that need to be addressed if the team is going to have a future and the national audience has recognized this.
The latest national voice to address the problem with the Orioles was Robert Flores, who shared his thoughts local sports radio hosts Vinny and Terry.
Flores – who has been in the national sports scene for over a decade working for ESPN, MLB Network, and NHL Network – provided his take on the Orioles. He told the hosts:
"“They are in what I think is the worst position right now in baseball, they aren’t a very good team and they’re not a terrible team. They’re just kind of in the middle. This is a team that needs a rebuild.”"
Flores then went on to suggest that the Orioles trade Manny Machado as a way to get the rebuild started.
So, is Flores right in his assessment of the Orioles?
He actually might have a kinder view of the team than what is showing up on paper. The team stats and current record show that the team is not really “in the middle.” In fact, the numbers put the team closer to the bottom than the middle.
With the 29th best pitching in the MLB, it is clear where the problem is. Something has to give in order to make an improvement. The Birds do have a few valuable commodities and not just Machado – at least right now. If he can return to his typical numbers, then trading him would be a different story, especially for $11.5 million.
Of course, the national media focuses on who they know and Machado is the face of the Orioles. But, he’s not the best player or the most valuable player on the team right now. The league is loaded with outstanding third basemen and Machado is not even the best one.
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Machado’s statistics aren’t anything notable. He’s batting .230/.296/.445 with an OPS of .741. He does have 18 home runs – which is the same number that Jonathan Schoop has. Yes, Machado has serious range at third, but so do several others at the hot corner. According to the current stats of the everyday third basemen, Machado is sitting in the #10 spot, right under Nicholas Castellanos of the Detroit Tigers and right above Todd Frazier of the Chicago White Sox.
Consider this: Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians has scored 62 runs in his 328 at-bats. Machado has scored 38 in 330 at-bats. Then, there is Miguel Sano who has scored 55 runs for his Minnesota Twins in only 301 at-bats. What third baseman would you rather have on your team?
If the Orioles are going to give up a player to get pitching, Machado is probably not going to be the one. Until he gets his stats back up to his All-Star numbers, he’s going to stay in Birdland a little longer.