Baltimore Orioles: Players to Protect if the MLB Expands
With not much baseball happening, it can be fun to predict what might happen to the Baltimore Orioles in the future.
As the League and fans ponder the idea of expanding in the near future, let’s take a look at what players the Baltimore Orioles should protect if the league were to expand today.
The general idea is that the O’s would get to keep 15 players. The last expansion happened in 1998 when the MLB added the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks. So, we’ll work off of the rules from that draft.
All Orioles are eligible, except those who have not yet played in the Major League with less than three years of service when signed at age 19 or four years when signed at age 18. The Orioles can protect 15 players. Those include players who meet the 10/5 status – ten years in the MLB with five years in the same organization. They can also protect players with no-trade clauses.
So, almost all Orioles on the active roster are eligible for trade. Chris Davis is kind of in his 10th season with the Orioles – since he at the July deadline in 2011, and his contract includes a partial no-trade clause. Alex Cobb also has a no-trade clause. So technically, Davis and Cobb need to be on the 15-man list. There’s the first two.
Other than that, there aren’t any active players who would not be eligible to trade. So, the question comes down to what 15 Orioles would I like to keep?
Let’s include these start with the youngest Orioles:
That puts us at eight. Let’s look at some Orioles with a bit more experience. We’ll keep:
Honestly, that’s not an easy list to build.
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The Orioles have very few proven players who may or may not turn out to be valuable to the team. Some of these choices are truly no-brainers, like Mancini, Mean, Castro, and Givens.
Some of the younger players like Santander and Alberto have the potential to be great, but are reaching a point where they need to show it or move on. I had a tough time deciding between Dwight Smith and Cedric Mullins, but Smith’s experience and proven power bat gives him a bit of an edge. Smith is rough, but so is Mullins.
I kept Martin because he’s fast. Speed is underrated, but so necessary. Nunez has a bat the Orioles can use. The rest – well, they’re men who can play baseball better than the other men on the team.
I’m glad I’m not in the front office making these decisions, especially with a team like this. Youth is good, but when making decisions on such limited experience, the possibility for error increases.