Some fans that have commented on this blog in recent days have had a similar refrain: “Why not blow it up and start over?”
Basically, those fans advocate a total rebuilding of the Orioles. Rather than sign a player like Adam Jones to a long-term contract, they prefer to see him and other key players traded to add prospects to rebuild the farm system and, eventually, the major league team.
These fans reason that if the Orioles traded players like Jeremy Guthrie, J.J. Hardy, Jones and others, the club could quickly stockpile plenty of young talent that is close to, if not, already major league ready.
The Orioles could then field a team of mostly young to mid-20-somethings and find some to stick for the future and other players to cut. Some could possibly develop into stars and form the nucleus of the next great Orioles team.
Is this plan fullproof? Not at all; there are no guarantees in baseball. But it certainly is a clear direction and path for any organization. There are some that feel the Orioles are always somewhat in that in-between mode. They are not ready or willing to spend big on key free agents, nor are they ready to go into full rebuild mode.
That can be a tough neighborhood in which to live, as 14 years of losing has proven.
A full rebuild mode would mean likely even more losses than the 98, 96 and 93 the Orioles have endured the past three years. It would also, though, allow the club to bring the payroll way down. It would allow the Orioles to potentially then add a key piece or two along the way with the extra funds as the team grew together into a winner. Rebuilding will make perfect sense to some and others will not understand it even a little.
Another issue is that the club hired a manager in Buck Showalter who seems more suited to a win-now mode. I don’t see Buck wanting to nurse a bunch of kids over the next three to four seasons hoping for a winner at the end of the tunnel.
Others would say the Orioles have some young pieces on the field now in Nick Markakis (28), Jones (26), Matt Wieters (25), Hardy (29), Mark Reynolds (28), Zach Britton (24), Robert Andino (27), Chris Davis (26), Jake Arrieta (26), Brad Bergesen (26), Brian Matusz (25), Tommy Hunter (25), Jim Johnson (28) Nolan Reimold (28) and Jason Berken (28), to name a few.
There are other 20-somethings like Troy Patton, Chris Tillman, Ryan Adams, Matt Angle, Pedro Strop and Zach Phillips that could be on the team. New backup catcher Taylor Teagarden is 28.
There is a somewhat young nucleus already in place and there are also plenty of fans that want to see the team win with that group mentioned above. They want that core added to and not torn down.
Going into full rebuild mode is an interesting concept to ponder. But I don’t see if happening, and the club is probably too far down the road in trying to build a winner with what is already on hand to reverse the process now.
Coming here tomorrow: I will have an interview with Matt Hobgood, as the 2009 first-round pick provides an update on his shoulder injury and rehab.
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