Every December I watch teams like the Marlins or Nationals steal the show at baseball’s Winter Meetings and I wonder when the Orioles day will come. Prior to the Ravens taking the field on Sunday I texted my dad and said that the Orioles could grab all the headlines this week if they signed Prince Fielder during the Ravens game. I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but after watching the Nats get all the hype last year with the Jayson Werth signing I figured that O’s fans should be able to dream.
The baseball experts that I follow intently have been forecasting an awesome offseason. If there’s one thing that MLB does better than any of the other three professional sports, it’s the hot stove. While there are big free agents to be had, a few baseball analysts seem to think that most of the action this year will be made through trades.
On the surface, the Orioles look like the team that should benefit most from free agency. After all, they could improve at just about any position. But rather than hope for a C.J. Wilson or a Prince Fielder, the Orioles should be looking to deal guys like Adam Jones, Jeremy Guthrie or Nick Markakis for some pieces that would benefit their many needs.
If the Braves are shopping Jair Jurrjens, Dan Duquette should be actively listening. A young starting pitcher with a bright future should be exactly what the O’s are targeting during the offseason. Billy Beane has been listening to offers for Gio Gonzalez, hopefully the Orioles have been throwing some offers his way. Washington is in desperate need of a center fielder, how about shopping Adam Jones to Mike Rizzo for some of that young pitching talent that seems to be flourishing in our nation’s capital?
Trading Adam Jones could be one of the most unpopular decisions that Dan Duquette may have to make as the Orioles new general manager. On a struggling team, Jones is the O’s true superstar and a face recognizable around the league for his stellar defensive play and personality. But the fact is that Jones is a free agent in two years and many think he is uninterested in re-signing with Baltimore. It would be smart to deal him while his value is high, as unfortunate as it may be to lose one of the fan’s favorite players.
After the GM’s leave Dallas, don’t expect the Orioles to be flying back with Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle or Ryan Madson. It’s just not going to happen. I’ll judge the O’s offseason on some of the deals he makes with the other 29 clubs, there’s lot of room to grow.
Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and the host of the BSR Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @zamwi, email him at email@example.com or call the podcast at 443-379-4BSR (4377). Email the BSR podcast at firstname.lastname@example.org