With a flurry of moves the past two weeks, Dan Duquette has set the Orioles up to be a contending team in the AL East, but they might not be done according to Ken Rosenthal:
Sources: #Orioles still interested in Santana even after signing Jimenez, Cruz. Next pick they would lose would be No. 91 overall.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 22, 2014
It seems unlikely for the Orioles to be able to sign Santana after adding Yoon, Jimenez and Cruz, or does it?
I’ve already described what the Orioles would get with Santana, but now with Jimenez in the fold, the Orioles would have the potential of having four starters that are capable of pitching 200 innings – Jimenez, Tillman, Chen and then Santana.
No team in MLB had that happen for them last season with the closest being the Tigers and Reds having three pitchers each having 200 IP or more, and they both made the playoffs.
Also with a Santana signing, the Orioles suddenly have some pitching depth, and there’s a certain player that they’ve scouted and have inquired about before and if they could get him it would be franchise altering. That player is none other than Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins.
With the Orioles having four starting pitchers in the minors that any organization would love to have, the Orioles are dealing from a position of strength and could easily include two of their top arms in a deal for Stanton along with two other pieces were the Marlins to make him available this July.
Stanton would have a Manny Ramirez-like impact for the Orioles. He’s still young at 24 and he’s got plenty of ceiling left and the Orioles will likely have a vacancy in RF after the season as Nick Markakis will likely be bought out as the Orioles won’t pick up his $17.5 million option.
If you were to acquire him, he would also likely be a lot less expensive to sign to an extension than Chris Davis and you could build around a Machado-Jones-Stanton core.
Trading Davis also could easily restock the minors and provide some young ML talent as well to surround those three players – say a trade to Houston and grabbing some of their prospects for instance.
If not Stanton, there will be other names at the deadline to acquire that the Orioles could move Eduardo Rodriguez and/or Mike Wright for.
The key first is signing Santana however, and after a long and brutal offseason, the door of possibilities could suddenly be swung wide open for the Orioles to finally have that franchise altering step that the Red Sox did in Duquette’s tenure. At the very least they’d be able to make a real run in 2014 to try to bring a World Series title back to Baltimore for the first time in 31 years.
Any way you look at it, it’s an exciting time to be an Orioles fan again, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
What do you think? Leave a comment or discuss in the forums here.