Notes on Rasmus, Bundy and Duquette

Colby Rasmus, we hardly knew you. We sure talked about you a lot, though.

Rasmus signed a one-year deal with Houston on Tuesday, reportedly for an $8 million guarantee. That was apparently more than the Orioles were willing to go, which was said to be in the $7 million range.

When it came to Rasmus, it seemed some fans really wanted him and the pop he could bring to right field, while others wanted no part of him and saw a low batting average and high amount of strikeouts that came with that pop.

If I were Rasmus, the chance to join a 96-win team and perhaps be a regular would have been pretty enticing. You would have a right field wall behind you to help you on defense and provide something to shoot for on offense.

But now another outfield option is gone, and what started with rumors about Matt Kemp and Justin Upton, and moved on to Rasmus and Nori Aoki, is now down to another level. It’s probably a level where the Orioles should just pass and take a look at what is already here.

Steve Pearce is probably the right field starter if there were a game today. David Lough, after a solid second half, could get a longer look. Dariel Alvarez is getting closer to getting a chance. Mike Yastrzemski is moving up the ranks.

Should the O’s just stay in-house at this point?

bundy winding up spring training sidebar.jpgMeanwhile, MLBPipeline.com has ranked the top 10 right-handed pitching prospects in baseball and the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy comes in at No. 6. This is what the story said about Bundy:

He’s making his way back from Tommy John surgery, though he did return to the mound for 41 1/3 minor league innings in 2014. His stuff was starting to come back and there’s no reason to think he won’t be back with three above-average to plus pitches and outstanding command as he gets farther removed from surgery.

This is a big year for Bundy to establish himself at the big league level since he is out of minor league options after the 2015 season.

Last year, Bundy was ranked No. 20 by MLBPipeline.com on its overall top 100 prospects list. He was ranked No. 15 by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus and No. 31 by ESPN.com.

Final take: The Orioles have said they will not allow executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette to leave for the president/CEO position in Toronto. The time may have come for that stance to change, but only if the Blue Jays pay the proper price.

To me, that price is two of their better young pitching prospects. Those that say that is aiming too high need to consider that the Orioles would be allowing Duquette out of a deal with four years to go and allowing him to join a division rival.

That is worth a certain price and the Orioles need to get it before agreeing to let Duquette leave.

If Duquette winds up staying, he is going to need to sit in front of the Baltimore media at a press conference and explain to fans what happened, how he can renew his commitment to the Orioles and put any questions about potential divided loyalties behind him for good.

Maybe it has gotten too late for that. If anyone inside the warehouse is questioning Duquette’s effectiveness for the club, it is no wonder that fans are doing the same.

This needs some resolution and the sooner the better. The Orioles have come a long way over the last three years and should be a playoff contender in 2015.

Now they have to start moving toward building for the next three years and beyond. No time to take steps back now.

They are reaching the point where they have to do what is best for the future of the franchise. If that means moving on without a man that was a big part of bringing them back to the top, so be it.

But only for the right price.

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