Blog Entry

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

Posted on: February 7, 2012 12:29 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 2:10 pm

There's been a lot of wonderment about why the Orioles would trade their perennial Opening Day starter, Jeremy Guthrie, for two lesser veteran pitchers who together make more money. It is perplexing, no question about that.

But here's my guess as to what caused them to do this seemingly nonsensical move ...

The Orioles just didin't love Guthrie.

It is, of course, possible that they just messed up and made a dumb deal. They've done it before. But in this case, I don't think so. I just don't think they had any great desire to have Guthrie lead their staff again.

Guthrie seems like a pleasant fellow, and he certainly is a smart guy (Stanford man). But there were whispers that the Orioles saw him as being slightly satisfied (one Orioles person remarked to me last spring that you could never tell from the way he carried himself that he only had 38 career victories) and perhaps not as tough a fellow as they'd like for their staff ace, either. Perhaps that is why they were so intent on trading him. And considering the take (Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom), I have to assume they were pretty intent.

Orioles GM Dan Duquette went on the airwaves Monday and said the Rockies' package was "by far'' the best offer they had for Guthrie. And I believe that. Even taking less than the midpoint to go to contender nor far from where he lives in Utah, as Guthrie did in going to Colorado, $8.2 million is still a big salary for someone with now 47 career victories.

Duquette pointed out that they could keep Hammel and Lindstrom for two years, not one, as if this was a big selling point. But I think Orioles people just felt it was time to move on. And if they thought that was the case, it probably was.


Since: Feb 9, 2012
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:38 am

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

Could not agree more. Growing up in th 60's and 70's,in Boston,  Baltimore was the team to beat. Their long losing streak is a disgrace. Baseball should be able to oust cheapskate, incompetent owners. There is no reason why any team should be perrenial losers, despite their market. Their refusal to enter the FA market to get better,has killed them in recent years.. Why wouldn't any player want to call Camden Yards his home. Fielder should have been aquired for what ever it would have cost. His numbers at the Yards would have been off the charts. He could have been someone who would have recharged the franchise and its fans. it's a shame.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:40 am

Peter Angelos Had Destroyed the Orioles

You can blame the entire mess in Baltimore squarely on owner Peter Angelos.  Angelos bought the team and immediately proceeeded to destroy the once vaunted "Orioles Way" of doing business.  The Orioles were once the model franchise that all of baseball emulated.  Then came Angelos and his cheepness, and insistance on meddling in the day to day operations of the club.   Angelos is a cancer plaguing this club, and until he either sells out or dies, the team will remain in the basement of the American League.  Fans have funded mobile bill boards to drive around Baltimore begging Angelos to sell the team.  However, as long as he keeps siphoning cash out of the club, instead of re-investing it, he isn't going anywhere.  So, every day, I awaken with the hope of reading Angelos' obituary online.  Unfortunately for Orioles fans, the rotten never die.

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: February 12, 2012 1:12 am

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

I would have to say that 3 of the last 4 years have been pretty good for Guthrie.  Pitching in the best offensive division in baseball on a horrible team, ERAs of 3.63, 3.83, and 4.33 are not bad at all.  Not facing the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays should lower the ERA evn more and give him a winning record.  Should be a solid #2 or #3 in the National league.   

Since: Sep 9, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:04 pm

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

Guthrie isnt that great. I would prefer Hammel and Lindstrom over Guthrie any day. The Orioles have a lot of elite talent at starting pitcher, Britton, Tillman, Arrieta and Matusz. Am I missing someone? Hammel has always posted decent numbers and they should improve even in a hitters park like Camden Yards coming from Coors Field, he is a sleeper next year if the Orioles could hit.

Since: Feb 10, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 2:17 pm

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

As a long-time Orioles fan, I wish Jeremy Guthrie luck in Colorado, but it's good that he's moving on.  I won't have to cringe anymore when I read how many innings he soaks up (who cares about innings when in the process he loses 17 games and there are fans still chasing balls that have been hit over the outfield walls).  The Orioles made a mistake several years ago by forcing him into the #1 role, and hopefully the Rockies slot him in a better place in their rotation.  Outside of baseball, it sounds like Baltimore is losing an active community volunteer.  Strictly looking at this from a baseball standpoint, it looks like Hammels will be at least an equivalent to Guthrie at a lower price and we get Lindstrom in addition.  I'm not sure that the two players we get costing more than the one we give up really matters when we need talent in a lot of places.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:27 pm

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

15 wins for Guthrie? Seriously? I put the over under at 12. His inability to strikeout batters will kill him. Giving up a hit per inning will not help either.
Wins largely depend on the team around you.  I have no idea how many wins Guthrie will get.  I do know that even in a year that was slighly below his norms, he outperformed Hammel in the categories you mentioned.  He gave up fewer hits per inning and struck out more per inning.  Guthrie will never be a star, but when you comparing players in the trade and chose those qualities to hang your hat on, Guthrie is an easy upgrade over the Hammel.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:20 pm

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

Hammel isn't as bad as you think. Him not having to pitch half of his games in Colorado is huge.
Wait until he gets to experience that Camden Yards Jet Stream to the power alleys.    

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:16 pm

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

Oh, and by above-average, I mean with an ERA and WHIP better than the league norm for starting pitchers.  I don't consider his W-L a knock considering the teams he's been on.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:12 pm

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

Guthrie isn't quality. He's had a few good seasons, but he's also had a few bad seasons.
Completely disagree.  How do you define a bad season?  He's been a full-time starter for five years and had one bad season.  He can usually be counted on for 200 innings of above-average pitching. 

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:33 am

Making sense of a non-sensical Orioles trade

Guthrie isn't quality. He's had a few good seasons, but he's also had a few bad seasons. And at 32, I doubt the number of good seasons will remain greater than the number of bad seasons any longer.

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