To sell or not to sell, that is the question.
I don’t know if they represent a large percentage of fans or not, but it seems that an increasing number of Orioles fans want the team to sell off players if they start the second half losing as they ended the first.
The Orioles are 44-44 - four games out of first place - losing 10 of their last 13 games heading in the All-Star break. They have scored three runs or less in eight of their last 10 games.
Last year’s Orioles team won 96 games, and this team doesn’t seem likely to match that. But, keep in mind, the 2014 San Francisco Giants didn’t win their division and didn’t win 90 games (they won 88), but they did win the World Series. You don’t necessarily need 96 wins.
In an American League East without a great team, just how many wins will the Orioles need to, as Buck Showalter says, “roll the dice” in October?
Another complicating factor is the that Orioles, who says they will be buyers not sellers this month, don’t have much longer to change their minds. If they do stumble to start the second half, they could sell off some players, but with a the non-waiver deadline coming up July 31, they would need to make some fast decisions here. That is, if they do an about-face.
The Orioles as sellers? I see that unlikely and I also see it unlikely that they would fall far enough out of the race over the next couple of weeks to even consider it.
O’s executive vice president Dan Duquette has said that the O’s players who are pending free agents have more value to the team playing out this season they would have as trade chips.
Even if the O’s keep every pending free agent they have, they still have the chance to offer any of them a qualifying offer and get a draft pick if they turn that down. It is possible that the player the Orioles would acquire with any draft pick would be as good as any player they could acquire in the next few weeks for a rental player that can be a free agent at the end of the 2015 season.
The Orioles are in a tough spot right now. They are clearly not out of the race, but they were not showing many encouraging signs in losing their last four series. But right before that, they went 18-5.
To sell or not to sell? The Orioles seem inclined to try to add rather than subtract right now. Are they right?