Baltimore Orioles: Doesn’t look like a rebuild is coming

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: Head coach Buck Showalter and General Manager Dan Duquette of the Baltimore Orioles talk before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 17, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17: Head coach Buck Showalter and General Manager Dan Duquette of the Baltimore Orioles talk before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 17, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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In a long radio interview last week, Baltimore Orioles Dan Duquette laid out his plans for this Hot Stove season and the 2018 baseball season.

During the interview, Duquette made it very clear that the Baltimore Orioles are not moving in the direction of a rebuild.

This is good news for fans who want to see their favorite players work toward the playoffs, not a top draft pick.

In an article from Jon Meoli with The Baltimore Sun, Duquette said about rebuilding the team:

"“I think that’s what people want. We still have a pretty good core group, and I’ve got to tell you, that rebuilding, that’s not very much fun.”"

Rebuilds brought championships in last three years

Duquette is correct. When teams go into rebuild mode, they tend to lose games because most of their players are fresh out of Triple-A. Seats go empty and fans complain.

But, good things do come from rebuilds. In the last three years, teams that went through painful rebuilds have won the World Series, including the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, and Kansas City Royals. All three of these teams won with players who were their own draft picks and worked their way through the struggles of growing together.

Lots of losing season to get the World Series wins

Along with the big rebuilds, all three teams had similar records four and five years prior to their championships. The Royals won the championship in 2015, but in 2010 they had a record of 67-95. That year, they fired their manager and hired Ned Yost. The Cubs won in 2016, and in 2011, their record was 71-91, but 2012 was even worse with a record of 61-101. In 2012, the Astros had a record of 55-107 and in 2013, the record was 51-111.

There are a handful of teams in rebuild mode right now. In the next four or five years, the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers could be World Series competitors. Their fans were told that rebuilds were happening. And, ticket sales dropped off when top players were traded away.

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Could fans handle a rebuild?

Could Orioles fans stick with the team if a rebuild happened? The last time the O’s had a 100-loss season was 1988 and according to Baseball Reference, only 1.6 million fans walked through the gates at Memorial Stadium. That many fans visited the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Royals had low numbers at Kauffman Stadium when they were rebuilding, but the Cubs always sell seats at Wrigley. Orioles fans are a bit more fickle and they buy more tickets when the team is doing well.

So, it is in the best interest of the ownership to field a good team. A rebuild could hurt the team financially. Peter Angelos and the front office most likely know this.

Duquette’s plans for the team

According to the interview, Duquette’s plans are to add pitching. On plans to find it, he said: “Pitching can come from anywhere, and the way I look at it, if you do a decent job and work at it, you ought to be able to find some serviceable pitching.” Now that there are many non-tendered players available, he should be able to find some good arms at low prices. Pitchers like Drew Smyly and Nick Martinez are now available.

Next: Players who could manage in the future

Duquette is correct in his analysis of his team. He does have a good core of players with men like Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones, and Trey Mancini. With the right pitchers, the team could contend. Hopefully, he does the right thing and gets what the team needs. Like several of the players, Duquette’s future is also uncertain. A strong 2018 Hot Stove could lead to a successful 2018 season. It would be horrible to waste the talent that is on the team, but it would also be a waste to not get anything out of it, too.