The Baltimore Orioles made another decision bound to make fans angry on Friday.
Núñez, who is only 26, hit 31 dingers and slugged .460 in 2019. In the 2020 MLB sprint, he was first on the team with 12 home runs and slugged .492.
Designating Núñez is an awful decision by the Orioles brass. The slugger is entering the prime of his career, and I thought he was a decent-sized part of the rebuild.
I know Trey Mancini will most likely be back in 2021 from his battle with cancer, Ryan Mountcastle plays some first base, and Chris Davis is somehow still on the team but the Orioles were closer to the playoffs this season than it appeared. Keeping Núñez – who they could retain for relatively cheap – as an option at designated hitter would be the heady play.
The Birds should release Davis and just swallow up his salary. They could write it off as a mistake made by previous management and finally move on from the atrocity that is his contract.
Baltimore would then be able to start Mountcastle in the outfield, Mancini at first and Núñez at DH. It would be the perfect three-headed, power-hitting combination to play alongside Anthony Santander, who was the best player for the O’s in 2020 until Mountcastle was called up. Add in Hanser Alberto and the Orioles would have a playoff-caliber lineup.
This decision to designate Núñez is just another bad move from a team with a history of making poor choices (awful drafts, not calling up Mountcastle soon enough, the Davis deal, etc.).
The only thing to do with Davis is just to pay him to not play for the Orioles again. With the small payroll (No. 29 in MLB in 2020) the Orioles had, they can afford to get rid of Davis and keep Núñez.
This is greed at its highest level. I feel bad for the city of Baltimore and Orioles’ fans. It is too bad a team so beloved by its community cannot love its community back.