Frustrating off season tempers enthusiasm for 2018 Season

Sports and Bets — March 15, 2018 at 10:45 am by

I’ve been holding off on doing this hoping that my Baltimore Orioles would give me something good to write about. Unfortunately, it’s been quite the opposite.  The Orioles have had a very quiet off-season and while this hasn’t been a star-studded free agent class, there have been players available that could have helped this team in 2018.  What we got was a lot of speculation on one of our biggest stars and more questions than answers in 2018.

The biggest news surrounding the Orioles this off-season was whether or not they were going to trade star third baseman, Manny Machado. In the first stages of the winter meetings the Orioles made it clear they were listening to offers for Machado.  Every day a new team seemed to emerge in the sweepstakes, even the hated Yankees.  By the time the winter meetings were done, Machado was still an Oriole and now he’d be playing shortstop.  I for one am not against trading Manny Machado.  The reason I am not is because I have zero confidence the Orioles are willing to make an offer to keep him here.  So, with that being the case trade him and get something other than draft picks.  Apparently the Orioles weren’t happy with any of the offers and feel ok with potentially losing Machado in the next off-season to free agency.

After it was made apparent that for the time being Manny would be staying it was time for the Orioles to shift their focus to free agents. For the last couple seasons the Orioles have lacked in one position more than any other, starting pitching.  There were four big names in this years class, Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb & Lance Lynn.  Now right off the bat I knew the Orioles would not be signing Yu Darvish.  Darvish signed a 6 year $126 million deal with the Cubs; the O’s don’t offer those type of contracts.  I wasn’t too confident about Jake Arrieta returning to Baltimore either, we’ve gone down that road before and I’m not sure Arrieta would want to return.  So that left Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb.  I mentioned in a piece at the end of last season how big a fan I was of Lance Lynn.  Lynn signed a 1 year $12 million deal with the Twins.  The interesting part of this is that according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles offered Lynn a 2 year deal, so why’d he take the 1 year from the Twins?  The only thing I can think of is despite the 2 year deal maybe the Orioles really lowballed Lynn.  As of writing this Alex Cobb is still on the market.  I’m not sure what Alex Cobb wants but the way the market has unfolded and seeing how close we are to Opening Day, Cobb might have to take a day for far less than what he was expecting.

So what did the Orioles add? Andrew Cashner, resigned Chris Tillman, Danny Valencia & Colby Rasmus.  There might be one or two I’m missing but not major signings.  Andrew Cashner is an ok signing, not great, not terrible either.  I wasn’t as upset as most people were when Tillman was brought back.  It’s a one year deal with a lot of incentives, if he pitches well it helps him and the team.  It’s not entirely gloom and doom for the birds.  We get to watch Trey Mancini continue to grow as a player.  Jonathan Schoop is coming off a career year in 2017, hopefully he continues to grow.  As much as we complain about the pitching Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman are two young starters we are hoping take the next step.  Even the forgotten Hunter Harvey made some spring starts, not sure he will make an appearance in 2018 but if healthy a 2019 call up is definitely possible.

I wish I could be more optimistic about the Orioles 2018 season. The fact is the American League is brutal.  You have the defending World Champs in the Houston Astros, the Cleveland Indians and in the Orioles own division the Red Sox and Yankees made moves to get better as well.  It’s going to be an uphill battle all season for the Orioles to remain in the 2018 playoff race.


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