Assessing the Orioles Deadline moves

Sports and Bets — August 1, 2017 at 4:02 pm by

So the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and for the most part the Baltimore Orioles were pretty quiet.  The Orioles did make some moves but I’m not sure it’s the moves most of the fan base was expecting.  Some of the bigger bullpen names like Britton, Brach & possibly O’Day were thought to be possibly on the move.  Instead the Orioles held on to all their bullpen pieces and adding some players that I’m not sure make the team that much better.

 Jeremy Hellickson acquired from Philadelphia

I’m still undecided on whether or not this was a good move for the boys in Orange & Black.  My first response was that it was not.  My biggest hang-up on this move is Hellickson is a free agent at the end of the 2017 season, this is basically a rental unless the O’s see a long term future for Hellickson.  The only teams that trade for rentals are teams that are usually in the thick of the pennant race, my humble opinion the Orioles are not.  Hellickson at one time was a very good pitcher with a lot of potential.  He won the Rookie of the Year in 2010.  Since that season only twice has Hellickson posted an ERA below 4.50.  The reason I’m not pulling what little hair I have left out over this move is who the Orioles gave up, Hyun-Soo Kim.  Look, I liked Kim but at the end of the day he just wasn’t good enough to get on the field in a full time basis and Kim’s contract is also up after this season, and the O’s were not bringing him back.  Time will tell if the Orioles won/lost this move or if it was just a push.

Yefrey Ramirez acquired from New York Yankees

This will be a short one because honestly, I don’t know much about this player.  Ramirez was pitching for the Yankees Double-A affiliate the Trenton Thunder.  Ramirez this season has pitched well for what it’s worth.  He has 10 wins with Trenton this season and an ERA of 3.41.  According to some scouting reports Ramirez has a fastball in the low 90s and his curveball and changeup grade as average pitches.  The Orioles acquired Ramirez by giving away some of their international bonus pool money.  The Orioles don’t spend in the international market like most think they should so I guess if they aren’t going to spend it trade for a mid-level prospect?


Tim Beckham acquired from Tampa Bay

When I saw this move it screamed one thing for me, JJ Hardy’s time with the Orioles is done.  Beckham was the number one overall draft pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, but really hasn’t lived up to being a number one pick.  2017 is the most playing time he’s seen in his MLB career, playing 87 games and hitting .259 so far this year.  The major caveat of this move is Beckham is under team control through the 2020 season.  Since Hardy’s numbers have been on the decline with the injury problems, shortstop has not been a very productive position offensively.  In 105 games this season the Orioles shortstops are hitting .219 with only 4 home runs and 33 RBI.  Beckham is hitting .259 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI.  Any way you look at it it’s an upgrade.

So there you have it, if I were to grade the moves made by the Orioles I’d have to give them a C maybe a C+.  Here are my reasons.  Jeremy Hellickson is not the pitcher he was earlier in his career, he comes to Baltimore with a 4.73 ERA, not great but putting him in the O’s rotation and he’d have the second best ERA amongst starters.  Yefrey Ramirez is still way too early to tell, most likely won’t make an impact on the 2017 Orioles.  Tim Beckham though an improvement to the current O’s shortstops he’s not a game changer at least he hasn’t been in his career up to this point.  Are the Orioles a better team after these moves?  Yes they are, will it be enough to make the playoffs and maybe a deep run in the playoffs, I would say no.  It seems the Orioles front office and the fans have different opinions of where this team is right now.  The fans seemed ready to sell some veteran pieces a build towards 2018 and beyond.  The front office however still feels this season is not lost yet.  I guess that’s not a bad thing that the front office sees good in the team but it can also be concerning that they don’t see issues that a lot of people see with the ball club.  Bottom line is I don’t get paid to build baseball teams, Dan Duquette does, I’m hoping he made the right moves.

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