After a 10-4 Father’s Day win vs. the Marlins; the Baltimore Orioles are 20-50 for the year.
Jason McLeod – Chicago Cubs, SVP, Player Development & Amateur Scouting
Amiel Sawdaye – Arizona Diamondbacks, SVP, & Assistant General Manager
Mike Elias – Houston Astros, Assistant General Manager, Player Acquisition
Josh Byrnes – LA Dodgers, SVP, Baseball Operations
Is there a name there which appeals to you? Is there someone not mentioned you’d like to see the Orioles consider?
EDIT: The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Friday evening that the O’s have interviewed former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti.
Harkins: I like Byrnes a lot. He’s smart and he’s humble and has a great eye for talent. When you look at the Astros’ amazing rebuild, one thing you notice is that they made plenty of mistakes. But they stockpiled so much talent, and developed that talent along the way, that they were able to survive the mistakes quite well. The Orioles are going to need to do something similar — stockpile and develop a load of talent for this rebuild to work. Byrnes is a guy who can pull it off. Here are some names he’s grabbed in the draft during stops with the Diamondbacks, Padres and Dodgers: Max Scherzer, Brett Anderson, A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Owings, Chase Anderson, Adam Eaton, Zach Eflin, Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe, Trea Turner, Walker Buehler.
He also effectively launched the managing careers of both A.J. Hinch and Dave Roberts. He pulled Hinch from the front to the bench in Arizona, then recommended him to the Astros, and pushed the Dodgers to hire Roberts to replace the departing Don Mattingly.
Perrotto: Jason McLeod. He has worked for two of the game’s best organizations in the Red Sox and Cubs and is an exceptionally bright guy.
Warne: I’m not sure there’s a bad name in the mix. I like McLeod from reading up on him during the Twins’ search, but for me, grabbing front office talent is about finding organizations you’d like to imitate and get talent from them. All four of these guys come from organizations that should be emulated moving forward. I don’t know much about Elias, but I think the other three are all terrific choices.
Baltimore Sports and Life: The most valuable commodity in baseball are cheap productive players, who have years of remaining team control. For Machado, would you rather see the O’s get back young Major Leaguers with some control or prospects further away with longer-control?
Harkins: Both. I think you need to get at least one young player either already in the majors or on the cusp of being so and a couple of high-end prospects. If you can negotiate some additional prospects who are farther away from the big leagues, then do so.
Perrotto: Considering the state of the farm system, the Orioles aren’t going to contend anytime soon so I would be more amenable to acquiring longer-term assets. Furthermore, teams would be more likely to give up prospects than young major leaguers in return for only less than a full year of control over Machado.
Warne: A mix of the two to mitigate risk. But then again, it all depends on the team. I wrote last week that the Indians are a good fit, and in that case, I’m targeting an MLB-ready catcher (Mejia) and outfielder (Allen), taking back some dead money (Kipnis) and maybe looking at either a lottery ticket (Salazar) or some other type of arm (McKenzie/Bieber). But that all changes depending on what team you’re dealing with. If it’s the Cardinals, for instance, I’d probably want an MLB-ready outfielder and some pitching — two things they’re typically flush with. But if it’s a team that has a high-ceiling 19-year-old player — hypothetically, a Vlad Guerrero Jr. type — I’m not picking a lower-ceiling guy just for the certainty.
Baltimore Sports and Life: Trading players who are not under team-control past ’18 (Machado, Britton, Brach…. Jones if he waives his NTC) has to happen. Trading O’Day, and Trumbo if you can eat some contract, and move them for anything is something to consider. Possibly trading Schoop (currently slumping), Gausman, Bundy, and Givens are legitimate questions to ponder in my opinion. I don’t think you have to trade Schoop / Gausman / Bundy / Givens now; but it’s not hard to craft an argument for doing so. Where do you fall on this?
Harkins: I’d pretty much listen to anything at this point. If a team comes calling and really loves Schoop/Gausman/Bundy/Givens then you have to listen. But you’re not going to lose them soon and they’re not expensive, so you’re more or less dealing from a position of strength with those players. What you don’t want to do is sell low, as you would be doing with Schoop right now. You very well could see opposing GMs circling like vultures, hoping to swoop in and try to acquire Schoop on the cheap, or thinking they can do better with Gausman. So while it doesn’t hurt to listen, be patient. There is no need to get trigger happy with these guys. This also points back to the previous question about the importance of having the right people in the front office making the decision and executing the team’s future vision.
Perrotto: At this point, the Orioles must be open to trading anybody if it helps them increase their overall organizational talent level. There can be no untouchables. If someone is willing to pay a big price for someone like a Dylan Bundy or Jonathan Schoop then the Orioles have to seriously consider it.
Warne: I’m willing to move anything that’s not up-the-middle talent, and I’d also consider moving Schoop as well. I just would want to get away from the guys who don’t have a ton of discipline at the plate, honestly. Just a personal preference. At this point, I’m not sure you can move Gausman or Bundy unless someone overwhelms you in a deal.
Baltimore Sports and Life: If Schoop is not traded this Summer (and his play rebounds) the O’s will have the option of looking to trade him this Winter, or pursue an extension. If they looked at an extension, what contract would make sense to you?
Harkins: Schoop is already making $8.5 million this year, thanks to arbitration and his big 2017 season, so you’re probably looking at a 4-5-year deal in the range of $40-55 million. Starlin Castro, Jason Kipnis and Rougned Odor are all on long-term deals paying roughly $8.5 per year, so Schoop is probably going to surpass that, depending on how far he rebounds in 2018.
Perrotto: I’d say somewhere in the $80-$85 million range for five years.
Warne: He’s a 26-year-old second baseman hitting .270/.309/.462 over the last three years (2016-18) and is a career .259/.296/.443 hitter in nearly 2,500 PA. I would probably go year-to-year.
Baltimore Sports and Life: The O’s have $5.5M to spend Internationally. As BSL Poster Drew Coker wrote at the message board:
“For the 2016-17 year, the Orioles signed a total of 5 international amateurs. FIVE.
They spent a total of 260k, with 150k of that going to one signing – Cesar Angomas.
In 2014-15 they had 14 total signings, with a total of 980k being spent. They were 2nd to last that year in spending. In 2015-16 they had 20 total signings, with around 1M being spent.”
The 2018 Orioles have a .286winning percentage after 70 games. As frustrating as that has been to watch, I’ll be far more irritated if the O’s again punt on their International spending.
Is there any rational reason for the O’s International avoidance?
Harkins: None that I can think of. Why anyone would more or less avoid tapping into a relatively cheap talent pipeline makes no sense to me, and it’s probably what’s puzzled me the most about Peter Angelos. Foreign-born players make up 27 percent of big league rosters and I believe the percentage in the minors is closer to 50 percent. The Orioles are pretty punch punting on the whole thing, which is a head-scratcher.
Perrotto: Absolutely none. It is mind boggling that the Orioles basically ignore such a great source of talent.
Warne: It has baffled me from a distance, though I do wonder if it goes back to when they kind of ticked off Korea when they signed Seong-Min Kim back in 2012. Otherwise, I don’t know….do they just think it’s a poor investment for the likelihood the player breaks though? I’m baffled.
Baltimore Sports and Life: The O’s Opening Day payroll in ’17 was $164M. In ’18, it was $148.5M. (The average for the two years being $156.25M.) In ’19, they are locked into $67M prior to Arbitration for Schoop, Gausman, Beckham, Joseph, and Givens. In ’18, those five are making a combined $19.2M. Let’s say with raises they get approximately $33M combined in ’19.
That’s $100M for:
Davis, Schoop, Beckham, Trumbo
Cobb, Gausman, Bundy, Cashner
Let’s say another $5.4M for Mancini, Sisco, Hays, Mountcastle, Bleier, Castro, Scott, Wright, Hess.
Theoretically, you’d have $50.85M +/- ($156.25M average Opening Day payroll over ’16 and ’17 – $105.4M) to spend if desired.
Based on players currently under team control, you are looking at something like:
Infield: Davis, Schoop, Beckham, Mountcastle, Sisco
Outfield: Mancini, Mullins, Hays (Santander, Stewart)… 3 of 5.
Bench: Joseph, Santander, Rickard, ?
Rotation: Bundy, Gausman, Cobb, Cashner, Hess
Bullpen: Givens, O’Day, Bleier, Castro, Scott, Wright, Araujuo
Trades of Machado, and Britton could bring back immediate options which could improve the mix above.
Such as if you could move Machado to the Cubs for Russell and Almora.
As we talked about in the initial question; you could pay Davis to go away.
You could also invest into FA additions to further improve the roster.
You could reinvest some of those funds into Baseball Operations as a whole. Improving the Scouting, Player Development, and Analytics Departments.
What would you be looking to accomplish?
Harkins: First of all, I’d have my vision in place, and my people to operate that vision, in place already. And I’d be attacking this now, not at the end of the season. I’d invest heavily in international and domestic scouting (but especially international), I’d SPEND international money and look for ways to acquire more. As I mentioned above I wouldn’t pay Davis to go away yet, because I still have to pay him anyway. I’d give it another year to see if I can help him rebound enough to trade him, so I can salvage some of that money. And while I wouldn’t look to spend big in free agency, I’d look to mine it for overlooked players I can steal at bargain-rates.
Perrotto: The best teams in Orioles’ history have had rosters heavy with homegrown players and that is the best chance the organization can hope to consistently contend while playing in a division with two franchises, the Yankees and Red Sox, that have much greater spending power.
Warne: Starting over. Burn it to the ground as much as possible. Too many assets are tied up in non-elite corner players. Bring in someone from the outside and let them gut it to the studs.