LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - ESPN analyst Keith Law is not a fan of the Marlins’ trade of outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees.
“I was kind of disgusted actually, that Major League Baseball would let an ownership group buy the Marlins when it’s pretty clear they can’t afford to field a competitive team,” Law said. “Or simply are choosing not to do so. They moved two valuable players (Dee Gordon and Stanton) and got very, very little in return in young talent.”
Law compared the deal to when the White Sox traded Chris Sale to Boston and got several promising prospects. This, he said, was simply a salary dump.
But the Stanton trade could have impact for the Orioles. I asked Law if he believes it could leave the Orioles more open to trading off players like Manny Machado, whose contracts are up at the end of 2018. The Orioles, per this report, are hearing inquiries about Machado’s availability.
“The sense I have gotten so far, and this was before the meetings, is that they were more open to a deal for (Zach) Britton than for Manny,” Law said during a live interview on “MASN All Access.” They were still saying within the industry, ‘We’d like to keep Manny. We’d like to re-sign him.’ They are not going to re-sign him. He’s going to make too much money.
“I think it would have to be a situation where someone just blows them away. Maybe St. Louis gets jilted by the Marlins on some of these outfielders and they call with five prospects, most of whom that are major league ready. Just that one addition could make the Cardinals division favorites.”
Here is Law’s take on the Orioles’ ongoing search for starting pitchers: “I can understand if the Orioles said they would not pay (Yu) Darvish or (Jake) Arrieta what they are likely to get. Top tier free agent starters can often be terrible investments. I don’t tend to criticize teams that don’t play in the deepest end of the pool in free agency.
“However, starting pitching has been the Achilles heel of the franchise for the last three years. Two years ago, they made the playoffs in spite of awful starting pitching and awful starting pitching sank them in 2017.
“So if you are to compete at all in 2018, you have to do something to address the rotation. It is not going to come from within the system. So they would have to get comfortable with somebody or a few somebodies in the second tier. A Lance Lynn type, someone that can give the club 30 starts of league average pitching - they would actually really help them. They are going to score runs. But they need bulk innings from the rotation which they have not gotten in the last three years.”
Is there a trade possibility out there for a starter?
“If they were willing to part with an Austin Hays or Ryan Mountcastle, there probably would be,” Law said. “But the sense I’ve gotten (is) they love those guys and those are very good prospects. I would be reluctant to part with them unless they were getting an impact pitcher who was going to help them for two of three years and make my club a contender.
“Otherwise, you say, these are the young building blocks for when Manny leaves as a free agent, for when Chris Davis has to be benched or released for his contract.”