As many Baltimore Orioles fans already know, Dan Duquette has his work cut out for him this offseason. While their is still a great core to work from, there is still many needs on Baltimore’s ballclub.
With the departure of Nelson Cruz the Orioles will look to find a way to replace the 40 home runs, and 108 rbi’s he provided. It’s also looking more likely that Nick Markakis will test the free agent waters as well. While neither of these moves will sit well with fans, everyone must stay calm and let Dan Duquette do his magic.
Now I guess the question is, how does he do that? There have been rumblings of him trying to obtain Matt Kemp in a trade. It’s not a bad move on paper, as Kemp was able to stay healthy the second half of 2014, and showed a glimpse of his MVP caliber play. For a trade to work it will most likely mean the Dodgers would be paying part of his 20 million dollar contract, and the trade not involve Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy. It comes at a high risk as well, since Kemp has had injuries plague his career. You have to hope moving Kemp to LF, and having the availability to DH part-time will help keep him healthier. That most likely comes at the expense of the O’s dealing one of there starters, with Miguel Gonzalez, and Bud Norris the most likely candidates. Of course if one of them must be involved in the trade, it shouldn’t be a problem with Kevin Gausman set to start in the rotation next season, and Ubaldo Jimenez looking to rebound after a rough 2014 campaign.
The Orioles also have tendered De Aza a contract as a fall back option. There are no real answers at this point, only speculation. Dan Duquette has earned the trust of his fans, and of Peter Angelos. There may not be any big moves made at all. As long as the Orioles pitching staff can pitch consistently as it did last season they will be hard to beat. A pitching staff such as last seasons, along with a full season of
Manny Macahdo, and a bounce back year from Chris Davis, and improvement with the bat from Johnathan Schoop should be enough to keep this offense outscoring it’s opposition most games.
I’m sure Mr. Duquette will add some surprising heroes for the 2015 season, just as he has every other offseason during his tenure with the Orioles. Sure it can be hard to sit back and watch 40 homeruns leave, and perhaps a big fan favorite in Markakis leave, but you just have to believe Duquette has a plan. His plan doesn’t involve spending tons of money such as the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Yankees have done in the past/present. He will make the moves necessary to make sure the Orioles roster is utilized to it’s fullest extent, and that he doesn’t over pay to do so. He will make the shrewd moves that he is known for, and maybe not the moves that fans will always agree with. It’s hard to have faith losing good players, after not being that far removed from 14
straight losing seasons.
One thing is for sure, with Duquette at the helm the Orioles will be in the mix for a pennant race again one way or another, without having to sacrifice future seasons in the process. It’s time to have faith O’s fans, and let Dan Duquette work his magic once again.