To say the least, a few waves were made around Birdland the other day when former Oriole Mark Reynolds was designated for assignment by Cleveland. A lot of fans felt that the Orioles should have looked to re-sign Reynolds, and the thought crossed my mind, as well. However, I’m not sure that Reynolds is precisely what the Orioles need right at this moment. We all know who Reynolds is on the field, so there’s no use in going into it here.
Last offseason, I said on Birds Watcher that I felt the Birds should re-sign Reynolds for 2013 simply because of the chemistry he brought to the team. Reynolds took a beating down the stretch last year, and it seemed that Buck Showalter was saying at least once a week how tough of a player that he was. That seemed to galvanize a lot of respect for Reynolds in the clubhouse. I felt that was exactly the type of guy that the Orioles needed on the team this year. He comes with 150-plus strikeouts built in each year, but also with some majestic homers, as well.
All of that aside, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Orioles do find a way to make an addition during August. One small benefit of taking a chance on Reynolds again would be that they wouldn’t have to give up anything in return. But I’m not sure that bringing Reynolds in would be anything more than making a move just to make a move. If they go ahead and bring someone else in, I suspect that it would be a bat. You’d be hard-pressed to argue that the Birds haven’t worked on improving their pitching during the season, trading for a reliever and two starters. However, I won’t be surprised to see them try to add a middle-of-the-order bat that could in effect offer some protection for Chris Davis.
In keeping with the concept of keeping the cost down, the good news is that trades through waivers are rarely high stakes. Last year, we saw the Dodgers and BoSox swap some major pieces, and that was certainly an exception to the rule. However, someone like Adam Dunn is a guy that a team such as the White Sox might look to move. The O’s would probably have to eat most of his salary for the remainder of this year and next, but Dunn’s a guy that could possibly help the O’s.
Here’s the other thing if we’re talking about price when it comes to player aquisition: Wilson Betemit (remember him?) is currently on a rehab stint in the minors. Betemit, of course, had surgery after tearing a ligament in a spring training game in March, and has been out all season. At some point, he’ll be back with the big league club, which is a move that in and of itself will be the same effect as a trade. Perhaps, in that sense, the Orioles don’t need to make a move, but I suspect that if the right deal comes along, Dan Duquette won’t hesitate.
Going back to pitching for just a moment, according to MLBTradeRumors.com, there’s a slight chance that San Francisco might be willing to trade starter Tim Lincecum. Might the Orioles take a chance on him if that were to happen? I would submit that they’d have interest, but that they’d ultimately pass. While trades in August tend to be cheaper since they’re through waivers, I suspect that a guy like Lincecum would garner a higher price. We all know that Duquette has been very hesitant to part with the organization’s top prospects, and justifiably so. But if Lincecum is traded, it’ll be interesting to see what return San Francisco gets on him, because higher-profile players aren’t usually sent through waivers and traded.
The American League East is far more competitive than we thought it was going to be, and a deal that does or does not happen this month could very well decide the division - or even the wild card. My personal opinion is that the Birds find a way to do something before the end of the month; who and on what terms remains to be seen. As for Reynolds, I’ll never forget what his leadership meant to this franchise while he was here. But the O’s would be taking on a heavy strikeout load in bringing him back. Then again, maybe lady luck smiles on daring ones!
Domenic Vadala blogs about the Orioles at Birds Watcher, and his opinions appear here as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our pages. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.