Orioles manager Buck Showalter called into "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report" yesterday on MASN in his latest round of interviews. The guy had more privacy while his team was still playing, but he's in demand after being a finalist for American League Manager of the Year.
Showalter addressed a topic that came up here immediately after news broke that the Toronto Blue Jays were acquiring half of the Miami Marlins.
Do the Orioles need to make a big move to counter it?
"They took on a lot of money, but they took on a lot of good experienced players, too," Showalter said. "You add (Mark) Buehrle and (Josh) Johnson to your rotation, it automatically improves you. The (John) Buck kid ... they've got some catching surplus now. And (Emilio) Bonifacio is a good player. He can play anywhere. Jim Presley really likes him. It's just a good trade for them.
"A lot of people forget we always talk about Boston and New York's payrolls, but I don't know if anyone's got more financial resources at their disposal than the Toronto Blue Jays. But we're very comfortable with where we are. We'll compete with them. And I'm sure they're not done. But if you start basing moves and the things you do according to what somebody else is doing, you're going to have some problems.
"We have to know who we are and how we're going to do it and stay true to the plan. Believe me, a lot of things are going on that Dan (Duquette) is on top of and we talk every day, and I think you'll see us do some things."
These "things" probably don't include overreacting to the blockbuster trade and giving Josh Hamilton $175 million or emptying the farm system for a collection of former All-Stars. That's not how the Orioles operate.
I'm reminded again of the Glenn Davis trade prior to the 1991 season. Every other team in the division had a slugger in the middle of the lineup. The Orioles needed one. For that reason, Davis made total sense and I endorsed the deal wholeheartedly. Who knew that he'd come down with a nerve condition in his neck and that he'd become a disruptive force in the clubhouse?
That's not to say that the Orioles should avoid making another bold move because of Davis or Albert Belle or whomever. It's just an example of how the club reacted to what other teams had done.
As you'd expect, clubs that want to talk trade with the Orioles always zero in on their young pitching.
"Let's face it, when young, affordable guys have had some success in the big leagues, they have a big upside and that's who they're after, the other teams. But that's also one of our strengths and one of the things that made us sustain some things this year, so we're not looking to give those guys away," Showalter said.
"Competition is going to be earnest and I think our guys have figured out that nothing is given to them. They're working hard, and it'll be fun to work from a strength and know that some guys are going to be in Norfolk this year that are capable of being in the big leagues. These guys really stepped forward for us this year and I have a long memory with that.
"There are a lot of things young pitchers have to go through in order to be consistent. They finally got them under their belt and it's going to be fun watching how far along they are. And you see guys like (Kevin) Gausman and (Dylan) Bundy coming quickly and it bodes well for us."