FanSided MLB’s faux GM simulation is well underway, and the fake Baltimore Orioles are making moves
The Baltimore Orioles haven’t done much this offseason but they’re rumored to sign Mike Elias as their new GM any day now. We’ve almost made it to Thanksgiving without the O’s doing anything, but if they do hire Elias, it’ll be the first genuinely smart decision they’ve made in what feels like forever.
However with the faux GM simulation underway, we’re as busy as ever at Birds Watcher. We posted a primer earlier this week about the fake offseason; if you’re unfamiliar, you can read it here. Essentially, all of the MLB site experts at FanSided pretend to be their team’s General Manager, make trades and bid on free agents; we simulate the offseason in three short days.
I meant to get one of these out on Thursday morning but I couldn’t create the time and it would’ve been boring anyway, at least in terms of fake Orioles news. I can’t stress this enough, but again, this is fake. Don’t misconstrue any of this information as actual news. This is just the FanSided MLB division simulating the MLB offseason.
We were deep in negotiations on a Dylan Bundy trade for a few hours on Wednesday but we came to an impasse with the other GM; I didn’t pull the trigger so for now, Bundy remains on the roster.
But we did confirm a trade this afternoon with the guys over at Tomahawk Take running the fake Braves, which I fully expect you all to crucify me for.
We were able to start negotiating early this week, and I’d been actively shopping Mancini from the beginning. I expected more suitors for him as he has four years of control left, but there was limited interest in Mancini until we got into it with the fake Braves.
This isn’t a deal the Orioles would make in real life, but I wanted to move Mancini. I’m beginning to doubt that he has a true defensive place on the diamond and he hasn’t hit well enough to be a full-time DH. In return, we got RHP Freddy Tarnok, LHP Ricardo Sanchez, and OF Isranel Wilson.
A third-round draft pick in 2017, Tarnok is a very projectable 6’3 with a mid-90’s fastball, a plus curve and a change-up. He has great feel and spin on the curve, and big strikeout upside as a 19-year-old.
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Sanchez was an international signing out of Venezuela in 2013. He has three plus pitches; a mid-90’s fastball with late life, a deep curve and a change-up. He profiles similarly to another Venezuelan lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. If Sanchez can maintain control of the strike zone, he can be a contributor in the majors next year.
Wilson was an international signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. Initially a shortstop, the Braves moved Wilson to the outfield where he immediately became a proficient defender. He’s shown good bat seed and contact skills, and has gap power which should translate to the major league level.
All three players have very high ceilings, and Tarnok would immediately pop into the Orioles top-10 prospect list, while Sanchez and Wilson would likely be top-15. Maybe that’s not enough for Mancini, but it depends on how high you are on him.
We’ve also put a few fake free agent bids in which will process early tomorrow afternoon, if successful
A bid was submitted for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, for 1 year, $3.25 million. The idea behind it was to get a capable defensive shortstop to play with Villar. The Orioles defense was abysmal last year and it needs to be drastically better if we want to give the Orioles young pitchers the best opportunity to succeed. In this scenario, we’re non-tendering shortstop Tim Beckham and replacing him with Hechavarria.
A bid was submitted for RHP Adam Warren for 1 year, $2.25 million. The Orioles need cheap relief pitching next year and Warren will be inexpensive. Best case scenario with free agent relievers is that they become tradeable assets come the deadline in July.
We submitted a bid for Garrett Richards for 2 years, $13 million. Richards underwent Tommy John surgery in July and will miss all of the 2019 season but the idea remains the same. Pay for his rehab, get him right and hope he becomes a tradeable asset down the road.
When Richards has been healthy, he’s been very good. This is about me believing that Richards can rehab his elbow and return to being the pitcher he was before the injury: a mid-three’s ERA and a strikeout rate close to 30%.
We put in a bid for Tyson Ross for 1 year, $1.2 million but we were outbid and he’s up to almost $5 million; we’re not even thinking about him at that price.
Going forward, we’re looking at bidding on a couple more free agent relievers and potentially a catcher. Adam Jones hasn’t received a bid yet, but we likely won’t bring him back. For this exercise, without Mancini, we’re assuming Mullins, Stewart and Hays handle the majority of outfield duties in 2019, with Joey Rickard and potentially Yusniel Diaz in the background. We’d love to find a new first baseman but we’re not going to be able to move the Chris Davis contract and eating that money isn’t really an option.
In other faux GM news
Several big fake trades have gone down.
The Rockies traded Jon Gray to the Rays for CJ Cron; big yuck on the Rockies for this one. The Rays then traded for Nomar Mazara, only to flip him to the White Sox in a package for Jose Abreu.
In a big one, the Yankees pulled Madison Bumgarner from the Giants in exchange for Justus Sheffield, Estevan Florial, Domingo Acevedo, and Ben Heller.
The Indians traded Carlos Carrasco and Tyler Naquin to the Diamondbacks for David Peralta and Jimmy Sherfy.
The Cubs got Brad Hand from the Indians for Albert Almora, then they got Raisel Iglesias from the Reds for Mike Montgomery, Justin Steele, and Brennan Davis.
And in the last two big pitching trades, the Braves sent Kyle Wright, Max Fried, Kyle Mueller, and Greyson Janista to the Mariners for James Paxton, and the Diamondbacks sent Robbie Ray to the Pirates for Ke’Bryan Hayes, Luis Escobar, and Steve Jennings.
Successful free agent bids that have gone through include Bryce Harper to the Phillies for 12 years, $485 million, Manny Machado to the White Sox for 10 years, $355 million, and Patrick Corbin to the Yankees for 5 years, $150 million.
Again, everything here is totally fake, don’t misconstrue this for real news. But it’s fun for us, and it gives us something to talk about as the Orioles continue to make us wait. The faux GM sim ends at 10pm eastern, so we’ll post an updated piece tomorrow with updates.