Orioles’ management blew it.
For the first time in 15 years Baltimore is heading into August as a legitimate playoff contender. As today’s trade deadline approached it was looking like those chances would be bolstered with Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton.
But, as has become the norm for the Orioles, no deal could be brokered. The already fading playoff aspirations become a distant dream for fans and players alike.
The addition of Joe Blanton could have been huge for a young developing ball club. His addition would have added consistency to one of the weaker starting rotations in the majors. Unfortunately, it seemed like the price was too high, and the Orioles wouldn’t sell their top prospects.
The sentiment in Baltimore seems to be that they need to develop the talent already on the roster.
In other words, this is not the Orioles year. This is a very young ball club with a ton of untapped talent, and everyone is banking on the future not the present.
This would be a great move if it weren’t for one thing. What if the players that Dan Duquette is betting all his chips on, never bloom? If these young guys don’t end up living up to these lofty expectations, then this entire season will have been a waste.
It has been a great year for the Baltimore Orioles. Once a great franchise, the Orioles have not had a winning record since 1997 but heading into August it looks like Baltimore might finally be back.
The biggest problem during this run of losing season has been management. Instead of taking risks on young stars, it was veterans past their prime being brought in to right the ship.
Recently that trend has been bucked however, as young players are being brought in to grow in the Oriole’s system. Guys like Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Dylan Bundy, and Manny Machado are the true future for a rebuilding franchise. But they aren’t enough right now.
Typically going after a younger set of players is a good idea, but this situation is different. We already have young players who are developing now is the time to bring in the old veteran who has been around the block. Those players are the ones that take a team to the next level, not hoarding young guys for a later date.
Maybe somewhere down the road this will look like a genius move by Duquette in his first year. But I think it is a huge mistake.
The Blanton move may not have been enough to put the Orioles into the playoffs, but it would have been something. It would have been a showing that management was no longer going to sit around and watch as the franchise flounders.
Instead here we stand, no moves and no hope for our immediate future.
I have little doubt that someday Baltimore will return to its former glory. But for now all we can do is wait and see what the future brings.