Orioles get top grades for their offseason moves despite their limited action

Despite showing restraint this offseason (for better or worse), the Orioles got a nice offseason grade from CBS Sports.

Feb 24, 2024; Sarasota, Florida, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) throws a
Feb 24, 2024; Sarasota, Florida, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) throws a / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Just to be clear, all fans of the Baltimore Orioles should be happy for every bit of positive press they can get their hands on. The better the team looks nationally, the more Orioles fans will show their support and the more fans they will have. All of this is great stuff.

However, sometimes national sports outlets say and do really weird things, whether it is completely forgetting a team or player exists when making power rankings to giving out highly questionable grades for trades/signings/picks with little to no logic to them. The latter is the focus here.

On Tuesday, CBS Sports released their offseason grades for the entire league. The Dodgers predictably got an A for their billion-dollar shopping spree and the Guardians, Angels, Marlins, and Athletics all stunk up their rankings equally as predictably because they did nothing, yet somehow arguably got worse this offseason. However, what was puzzling was the Orioles earning an A for their offseason, and that seems awfully generous.

Orioles' offseason grade feels like they were graded on a curve

Again, drawing attention to how good this Orioles team is is without question a good thing, and Baltimore did make some moves this offseason. The Corbin Burnes trade came out of nowhere and addressed an area of critical need. Adding Craig Kimbrel as a veteran to fill the gap left by Felix Bautista's injury was also a nice pickup. However, does that make an "A" offseason?

Burnes was an objectively good pickup, but Baltimore really could have used multiple new starters this offseason. Kimbrel used to be great and was very solid last year with the Phillies, but he is also 35 years old with a lot of mileage on his arm, and he has put up some dud seasons in recent years. Moreover, the Orioles have an enormous amount of prospect depth that they have only dabbled in leveraging on the trade market to make meaningful roster upgrades beyond acquiring Burnes, who is only under contract for one year.

What these offseason grades feel like are grades of a team's quality, not the quality of the offseason. In that case, they are spot on, as Baltimore has one of the best rosters in baseball, no matter how you look at it.

However, the process matters, and while the Orioles had a decent offseason, giving them an "A" considering what other teams around the league did or wished they could have done seems to be a bit much.

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