Orioles’ general manager Dan Duquette stated that Memorial Day would be the point at which he reconsidered the direction of the club. Well, Dan, it’s Memorial Day! What’s the first piece to fall? Duquette surely knows the truth about this team – it would be impossible not to. These 25 players, though somewhat talented, do not have “it” this season. Their World Series window has long passed, and it’s time that the whole operation is blown up.
While the most impactful move will be the O’s long-awaited trade of star Manny Machado, he may not be the first player to leave Charm City. Others, such as CF Adam Jones, DH Mark Trumbo or RP Brad Brach could be shipped off. Regardless, a number of moves await us – it’s both an exciting and nostalgic time. However, it must be likely that the majority of the fanbase is well-prepared for these changes, as rumors have swirled throughout the past few seasons.
In reality, a few of these players – Machado included – should have been traded long before now. On the podcast, this has been discussed from the get-go. But what needs to be considered now -as the Orioles are in a similar position with him, too – is whether or not Duquette should trade 2B Jonathan Schoop. Year after next, Schoop will be a free agent, meaning they either have to commit to a future with him or include him in their massive rebuild. Duquette did a poor job handling Machado’s pending exit, and he must learn from that mistake with Schoop, a similarly franchise-changing player (though not quite to the extent that Machado is).
While it is difficult to know whether or not the club has begun contract discussions with Schoop, one can imagine that they will have already made their minds up about what to do with him. On one hand, Schoop could be the veteran leader to rebuild around; he could be the cornerstone of the next generation of Orioles. On the other hand, though, Schoop would be the team’s second-best trade piece, behind Machado, and shipping him off would surely provide a nice supply of prospects. To that point, coupling a Schoop trade with one including Machado would jumpstart a rebuild that – if done correctly – could quickly bring Baltimore back to baseball relevance.
Either way, though, do we trust Dan Duquette to make the right choices? And even if it is no longer the GM who is pulling the strings, will Brady Anderson and ownership really do what’s right for the club? While Jerry and Jason have discussed this in past podcasts (even asserting that a change should be made before any trades are), the time has come for the rebuild to begin, and we had better hope that whoever is making the moves will be savvy enough to get the rebuild off on the right foot.