Baltimore Orioles: Is the Wild Card really a delusional dream?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 08: Manager Buck Showalter
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 08: Manager Buck Showalter /

Sometimes Baltimore Orioles news comes from unexpected places especially as the trade deadline approaches.

With the Baltimore Orioles, and nearly every other MLB team, caught up in trade rumors, far away media outlets look to teams outside of their markets.

Such was the case with Jeff Sherman of the New York Post who decided that the Orioles and the Texas Rangers were having “delusions” about getting into a Wild Card run.

Is Sherman right in his assessment of this team? Is Dan Duquette having delusions of grandeur by thinking that the Wild Card is even within reach? Is Duquette making rational decisions about the present and future of the Birds?

Why trade now?

According to Sherman, Duquette is not making good choices and with his decision to hold pat, he is harming the future of the team. He said:

"And they will never have as good a chance to maximize Britton…who stand[s] as the best reliever…in this market."

Trading good players can bring more good players

It is important for teams to understand where they are going in the future and how their present situation can help. Take for instance, the Detroit Tigers. They have been a consistently subpar team for a few seasons and they have an immense payroll. The team needs to dump salary. So, they traded away their best player – J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In exchange, they received three prospects. The Tigers knew they could not pay Martinez what he was worth as he entered free agency in the fall, so they got something out of him by trading him.

Sure, Tigers fans are upset, but they will get over it.

The Orioles need to do the same.

Is the Wild Card a reality?

By holding on to a few valuable pieces, management is not doing the team any favors. Sherman shared that in the last five years, teams that won Wild Card games had 86 wins or more. With the Orioles at 48 and 52, it is difficult to imagine the team getting to 86 wins.

The Orioles have played 100 games. With 62 left, they would have to win 38 games. That is better than .500 baseball. Yes, the Orioles were above .500 in the beginning of the season, but they haven’t played .500 baseball since April. In fact, the monthly percentages are as follows: April: .652, May: 429, June: .429, and July: .450.

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Could a miracle happen?

There would need to be a miracle for the Orioles to play .612 baseball for the rest of the year to get to the magic number of 86 wins. With the pitching performances of Ubaldo Jimenez, Kevin Gausman, Wade Miley, and Dylan Bundy, it probably isn’t going to happen. (But, if it did – Wow! What a story that would be).

So, in the meanwhile, what should the Orioles do?  Trade for affordable starting pitchers. They need pitching and they need it badly. There is little to nothing in the farm system, so to build a rotation, something has to give. That something should be valuable players who are not under affordable team control. Those include, but are not limited to, Zach Britton, Manny Machado, and Seth Smith. Chris Davis is owed too much, especially for a first baseman. Ubaldo Jimenez is grossly overpaid and worthless to other teams and so is Chris Tillman.

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Of course, fans want to see winning teams and good players. The Orioles have some good players, but they are not winning. So what would be the difference if a few of those players were traded? The Orioles might still lose, but there would be some hope for the future. The record is crystal clear – the Orioles need to make some changes. And, now is a good time to do it.