O’s management seems against that, and with both Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter in the last years of their contract, it could get awkward to ask them to start building a team for a future they don’t know they will be a part of.
But the Orioles look like a real long shot to have much of a chance in the American League East this year even with Machado. How far back are they if he is dealt? The Orioles have been stuck in the middle before - not going all-in but not ready to commit to a rebuild. There is no rule that a club has to pick one option and stick with it. But if Machado goes, the club probably shouldn’t stop there.
If we can gain any sense of the pulse of the fans by our blogs on this website, it seems plenty of fans are OK with a partial or total rebuilding effort. They want hope and adding young prospects through a series of trades could provide that. Of course in doing so you are punting the 2018 season and it would be very unlike the Orioles to ever make such a proclamation.
There is potentially the concern of club management over the silent but no doubt very large group of fans that is never heard from. Not all fans call talk shows or write in on our message boards or those of other outlets. There are many fans we never hear from. How would they feel about the Orioles throwing up the white flag on 2018 to try and produce better days in the future?
Adding prospects in trades could provide hope. What we don’t know for sure is if can provide future wins or a winning team. Prospect are just prospects - until they have actually done something. How many young players, especially pitchers, have the Orioles had over the years that never lived up to the hype? Too numerous to count.
So while it might be easy for some of us to sit back and recommend the team take steps back to go forward in the future, there is no guarantee it will work out that way.
If Machado goes, then what happens next? It is likely a tough decision for the club brass to decide which direction to go.