You can argue that Mike Adams had more value than Koji Uehara, but I think once you account for the differences of the NL West vs. the AL East, and PETCO vs. OPACY; the differences are minimal. In the span of two days, the Texas Rangers traded for these two relievers. In the package back to the O’s, Baltimore received two players (both 25) that have had some Major League success, and are under team control through 2015, and 2016 respectfully.
San Diego received two players (Joseph Wieland, and Robert Erlin) who are a bit younger (21, and turning 21) and having a lot of success in the Double A Texas League.
I liked the package the O’s got for Uehara, but a more realistic appraisal of things would be to say that the two younger players probably have higher ceilings, and can contribute to your organization longer.
On Twitter, throughout the Blogosphere, and here on the Orioles Hangout Message Board; there are an awful lot of people I respect that are scratching their collective heads. I understand why. The O’s are 20 games under .500, and it seems ludicrous to most that the O’s can think of drastically improving in the near-term (1-2 years). I can’t say with any certainity that I disagree with that opinion. The extension of that thought is that if you don’t believe you can reasonably contend in the near future, you need to be committed to a further rebuilding. To quote Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail, more ‘inventory’ needs to be acquired. One would think that if you can not contend, you would reduce the Major League payroll, and reinvest into Baseball Operations (Amateur Scouting, International Scouting, Player Development etc.), and consider trading anyone that will not be around when you might contend.
I understand these thoughts, because I’ve been articulating similar arguments for a decade. It is not going to happen though, and after the extension of Hardy, and the trade yesterday; all O’s fans should realize this. The O’s are going to move forward with the core of talent they have, and going to try and augment around them at the Major League level. The O’s preferred Davis, and Hunter because they have the chance to help the Major League team now, and in the immediate next couple of years. You can disagree with the O’s decision making here, but I’d suggest all of us get used to the idea. I understand it takes a reversal of thinking to do so.
To me, there are only a couple of interesting questions surrounding the O’s at this point. First, what happens with MacPhail? If he does not return, who replaces him? Past that, if the O’s are committed to trying to win with this group; how are they going to address the multiple obvious holes that still exist? What I know is, if further development is not going to happen, you need to attempt to win. The O’s know they can not win without additions to what is here. We will see what they do.
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