Why haven’t the Orioles made a trade?
There isn’t one particular reason. That would be way too easy.
The Orioles aren’t simply going to hand over their young pitching. Teams need to value these arms as much as the Orioles. If they don’t, executive vice president Dan Duquette will keep his surplus and Triple-A Norfolk’s rotation will be loaded like a baked potato.
The Orioles aren’t deep in certain areas, which works against them while, for example, the Mets attempt to deal knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. They aren’t rich in position prospects, and that’s especially true behind the plate. There’s a sizable gap between Matt Wieters and the top catcher in the farm system.
The scouts I’ve talked to rave about Brian Ward’s defensive skills. That’s not enough to pry Dickey away from the Mets.
I’ve heard from fans who demand that the Orioles get Billy Butler or Mark Trumbo. They gladly would take either one, but the Royals seem unwilling to part with Butler and the Angels aren’t especially eager to move Trumbo. It’s mostly been media speculation.
It’s not like the Angels have to trade Trumbo simply because they signed Josh Hamilton. Trumbo fits in their outfield. It’s Peter Bourjos who could be squeezed out, and the Orioles don’t need him. They need a much bigger bat, a first baseman/designated hitter type of bat.
If Trumbo does become available, plenty of teams will jump in line to get him. That presents another complication.
The Nats’ Michael Morse still makes sense to me. He’s got power. He plays first base and left field. However, he’s a free agent after the 2013 season, so how much do you want to give up for a potential one-year rental? And the Nats aren’t going to consider moving him unless they re-sign Adam LaRoche.
The Orioles can’t force teams to accept their offers. Otherwise, they would have completed a deal at the Winter Meetings. They’re prepared to give up some pitching - as long as it’s not Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman - but they need cooperation from the other side.
They’re trying, folks. It just hasn’t happened yet.
Some members of the media tend to over-simplify the process and fail to think it through. “Hey, what about this guy? Or that guy? And this one might make sense.” Keep throwing ‘em against the wall until one of ‘em sticks. It’s like a carnival game, but without the stuffed animals.
Shameless plug alert I: I’m joining Tom Davis and Dave Johnson for “Wall to Wall Baseball” from 11 a.m.-noon on MASN. Lots of Orioles talk.
Shameless plug alert II: I’m joining Jim Hunter for the new “Hot Stove Baseball” show from 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. on WBAL Radio. Lots of Orioles talk.
Manager Buck Showalter, new third base coach Bobby Dickerson and shortstop J.J. Hardy will call into the show.