I've been taking a scan at the other blogs such as Camden Chat, the Loss Column and the various forums during a lull in the workday here for a reaction to the Jeremy Guthrie trade. It's like everyone still wondering why it happened. Very few fans are pleased with it.
I'm still dumbfounded by what happened yesterday with the Guthrie trade. It's not because he was traded -- but the timing of it. Were the Orioles not set to go to arbitratio with him soon? Did the Orioles frankly just wait too long to trade one of their most valuable chips? Does anyone really feel the Orioles got any better?
Anyhow, you've got to read what Buster Olney wrote this morning on his blog:
The fact is that Guthrie doesn't have a ton of trade value now that he's less than a year from free agency, so forget the notion that Baltimore was going to get some high-end prospect for him.
But what is confounding about the deal is that it really leads to nowhere in the Orioles' big-picture need to improve. Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, the two pitchers that Baltimore acquired, make about as much money as Guthrie, so the O's didn't save any cash. And if Hammel has another season as rough as last year, when he lost his spot in the Colorado rotation, then he will be a non-tender candidate next fall. Similarly, Lindstrom will be a non-tender candidate if the Orioles don't pick up his option.
This deal is all about 2012 for the Orioles and given the incredible power of the division, with the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays all significantly better than Baltimore on paper, there's almost no chance Baltimore will contend. Why not hang onto Guthrie for the first few months of the season, as a credible innings-eater, and then swap him for a second- or third-tier prospect that has a chance to make the Orioles better in the future.
When it comes down to it, the Orioles are rebuilding and they don't have a lot to work with. It's going to be painful road for us fans, and it may be 3, 4, 5 years or longer before the team even contends at all. I guess right now, Dan Duquette is trying to get as many bodies - especially arms - as he can into camp and hope some of them stick around and can be viable for 2012.
Here's what Duquette told the media assembled in the conference call yesterday (courtesy via Roch's blog on MASN Sports):
"Jason Hammel is a solid major league starting pitcher and Matt Lindsrom, I believe, really strengths our bullpen," Duquette said. "I spoke to a number of teams about Jeremy Guthrie and realize he's a dependable major league pitcher who's given us 200 innings three years in a row, but we felt like this was a good deal to help our club win."
If you were going to get pitchers like Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom as Olney asserted, then why bother trading Guthrie?
Then again, I'm very confused by a lot of moves that have happened with the Orioles during the off-season.