The Orioles Could Look To a Familiar Face To Fix Their Pitching Woes:

June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Orioles remain well in contention for either the AL East division title or one of the two Wild Card spots, and need to seriously consider themselves buyers during this trading period. The problem remains of course that they can't afford to make a big splash in terms of the number/quality of prospects they trade away. This means Baltimore needs to remain creative in their pursuit of players. While adding a DH or 3B bat remains a priority for the Orioles, the struggles by their rotation (or at least 3/5's of it) these past few weeks has made starting pitching a priority. Unfortunately trying to acquire a guy like Matt Garza or Brandon McCarthy will likely cost the Orioles too much in prospects for it to make sense. This leaves guys like Ryan Dempster, Wandy Rodriguez, and Joe Saunders as some of the top targets. While those wouldn't be bad options, I think the Orioles could look to a former Oriole, Erik Bedard to provide them with a boost.

Now the initial reaction (outside of humor of bringing Bedard back, after trading him away led to the Orioles star Adam Jones) would probably question the likelihood of it happening, considering the Pirates are competing for their own playoff spot. . While it is true that the Pirates are competing and contending teams don't usually trade away one of their starting pitchers, but this could be an exception. Pittsburgh could very well contend for a playoff spot in the weakened NL Central, but their eye has to very much be on the future. They have a number of major league ready arms in the upper minors, not to mention a couple uber-prospects who could be ready within the next year. So not only is Erik Bedard, not likely in their longterm plans, but they should be more than capable of replacing him this year. The Pirates have the pitching to go to the playoffs with or without Bedard, but they simply don't have the hitting. For Pittsburgh they could look at Bedard as a moderate trade chip, and focus on getting a return of someone who can help offensively this year, while adding a decent prospect or two.

Who to offer:

1B/3B Mark Reynolds- Reynolds bad has starting coming alive these last few weeks, but the Orioles should be willing to part with him if he can help them land a starting pitcher. With the return of Brian Roberts and the hopeful returns of Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold some time next month, the Orioles offense can handle the loss of Reynolds' production. Reynolds can take over 1B duties most days for the Pirates, and either he or Casey McGhee (who will play some first as well) can play 3B, when the Pirates want to sit Pedro Alvarez against tough lefties. Baltimore can also throw in his 500K buyout for next season, making it less of a financial burden. And if money is a sticking point they could offer to split the difference in remaining contracts with Pittsburgh.

Ryan Berry RP (High-A)- Berry isn't a spectacular pitching prospect, but he's a solid middle relief/late inning guy. He gives Pittsburgh some potential future value for Bedard after Reynolds leaves.

Ronnie Welty OF (Double-A)- Welty isn't considered a major prospect, but he's got a chance to be a cheap bench bat in a year or two. He's more or less a throw in here.

Is it enough?:

Well the Pirates would get a high risk/high reward bat for basically free the rest of the season for free, even if Reynolds doesn't see a major jump in his numbers, his bat will be an upgrade for Pittsburgh. In addition, they get a decent bullpen prospect, who could be in the mix for them in a year, and a throw-in young OF. It's not a lot, but it is better than nothing, which is the return they'd get if they don't move him.

For the Orioles it is a creative way to acquire a starting pitcher that doesn't either cost the team major prospects or a major financial commitment. While Reynolds bad will be missed some, adding a new starter takes precedence. Reynolds was gone after this year anyways, so its not as if it's a major loss. And just like for the Pirates, how they need to improve their offense to contend deep into the season, the  Orioles need to improve their rotation.

47 responses to The Orioles Could Look To a Familiar Face To Fix Their Pitching Woes:

  1. There is no chance thie will happen. I just wasted five minutes reading this. You are such an amateur.

    • @Jason- Thank you for the professional response and showing why it is 'amateur'…epic fail

  2. Orioles best Trade bait are the guys we should probably keep……..Dylan Bundy,Machado,Schoop,Delmonico,Mike Wright,Townsend,Avery,Schrader,Bobby Bundy,Matt Taylor and Eduardo Rodriguez

    • Zanti: You're being captain obvious again. OF COURSE the best trade chips are the ones we should keep. If we were better off without them, then they wouldn't be trade chips!

    • Well I think Dylan Bundy and Machado are as untouchable as they come, but most of the others could be had for the right deal.

  3. From a Pirates fan… No thank you.

  4. Pass on Reynolds. As a Pirate fan, I can honestly say no thanks. Yes the Pirates need a bat. Reynolds does not provide that. We already have enough high k rate guys in this lineup. And is there a worst fielding 3rd baseman in the big leagues?

    All that said, O's have always been my 2nd favorite team. Good luck to yinz as the season progresses.

    PS…Ravens suck.

    • Reynolds would be acquired here to give a boost to 1B production, he or McGhee would only play 3B against lefties when Alvarez needs to sit. I understand about wanting more for the Pirates, and I don't think this is the offensive move they should make, but it is a cheap one for their longterm prognosis. The bucs aren't going to sign Bedard long term, and they aren't going to get a much better prospect only deal, and that deal wont help them at all this season.

      • Reynolds is not really a substantial upgrade on what the Pirates are already getting at first base from Garrett Jones. It would make more sense for the team to trade for a corner OF to steal playing time from Tabata and/or Presley.

        Nolan Reimold would make a lot of sense, if he weren't hurt.

        • Reimold would have made more sense, but like you said he's out and no one is sure when hi'll be back.

          Honestly I think the Pirates need a corner OF as well, but right now Jones has played about half of his starts in the OF, so until a better option was found his bat could still be in the line-up.

  5. LOL Yeah I can see the Pirates trading their #3 starter (and he would be a #3 on most staffs in the bigs) for another sub .230 hitter. WHAT a great idea (rolls eyes)………

    • @Greg-

      Bedard's been solid this year, but far from spectacular and the Pirates have other pitchers. And that sub .230 hitter has a higher wOBA for this season than any hitter for the Pirates sans McCutchen. That includes guys who have been part time players or few at bats, and this is the lowest Reynolds wOBA has ever been, and its been rising. Finally in case you didn't notice they get a legit middle relief prospect as well.

      • Ok he's been far from spectacular but he's still the 3rd best starter on the Pirates and would be slotted 3rd on most teams. As far as the middle reliever WOW Huntington should be on the phone now to get this done…….

        • The point is the Pirates can replace him internally, something they can't do in procuring a bat. As I said the Pirates could get a better prospect only trade, but it would do zero to help them try to contend this year. Reynolds gives them a bit of a boost, and Berry is a solid middle reliever/late inning guy, to give Pittsburgh some long term value in this deal. The Pirates aren't going to get a bat, and a top pitching prospect for a rental of a number 3 starter.

          • No they can't replace Bedard. They have other guys like Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens and Jeff Karstens who might be able to pitch in the majors right now, but none of them have the ability to be a good major league number three (at least not right away). Bedard's FIP right now is 3.42 and he's striking out nearly a batter per inning. Rental player or not, that's a very valuable major league pitcher. Reynolds, for all his power and his decent wOBA right now is a big risk as a hitter because of his crazy K numbers. He's kinda like Pedro Alvarez except that 1) Pedro has actualely been quite good defensively this year while Reynolds, well…yeah; and 2) Pedro still has the potential to be a better hitter. Reynolds is what he is. He's going to strike out a TON and he's going to hit HRs but you're not going to get anything more than a good but not great wOBA. Put another way, how confident are you that Reynolds will outproduce a Jones/McGehee platoon the rest of the way? He might but I think we could easily be talking about the difference between a .330 wOBA and a .320 wOBA. That, plus a couple of prospects that the Orioles really wouldn't miss and the Pirates really wouldn't care about is not even close to enough for the Pirates to gamble replacing Erik Bedard in the rotation with Rudy Owens. Actually, let me flip this around for you. If you think that the players are interchangable (at least to the point where the Pirates wouldn't miss Bedard), would you give up Reynolds, 2 prospects and the money for Owens and his 3.97 AAA FIP?

          • Look FIP is a nice tool, but it is hardly indicative of a good year to have a FIP around 3.5, esp. for a pitcher who's ground ball rate is under 40%. And while you highlight his K rate or FIP, you ignore his walk rate, which is 13th worst in the league among the 109 qualifying pitchers. I absolutely think that Owens or Locke can come in and put up numbers similar. No it might not be the same K rate, but the walk rate would be better etc.

            You are acting like like it is an either/or with Reynolds or Jones/McGehee, when in reality you can still have Jones in the OF vs RHP, and McGehee to pinch hit vs lefties, or start over Alvarez against some lefties.

            It's not the same thing to replace Owens in the trade with Bedard, b/c if the Pirates trade Bedard, they can plug Owens in, if he falters then give Locke a try, then Justin Wilson, plus some other additional lesser options.

          • I think you overstate Berry's value. He's a fairly pedestrian RHRP, of the sort you can pick up on waivers/in the R5/as a minor league FA fairly easily. I don't think he'd even make the Pirates' 40-man this offseason.

  6. first off, way to go Jason Green for making such a well thought out argument. One might even call the argument amateur. much like spelling this thie. As a bucs fan, I would say that this trade isn't bad, but isn't exactly what they are looking for. If they make trades it will be for major leaguers only. They don't really need prospects unless they can step in and perform right now. Reynolds has some pop and would be welcomed but won't be who they get in the end. I looked at the Orioles roster to see if another fair trade for Bedard could be made and it looks to me that unless the Orioles were willing to give up way to much for him (which they won't) there will be no Pirates – Orioles trade. p.s. the Ravens suck

    • @Chaz- The problem with just trading for major leaguers is that not many contenders would of course trade them away, and no teams that are rebuilding are going to look for a rental like Bedard. I do think the Pirates will make some other moves, as I think they will need to add at least 2 if not 3 bats to make any sort of playoff run (they don't have to be major since their production is so poor currently). I think you have to ask yourself what is better for the Pirates short and long term goals, trade away much of their ML pitching depth (Owens, Locke, Dodson, Cain, Morris, Black, McPherson) for those guys, and go with Bedard the rest of the way. Or trade Bedard for one of those bats, promote Owens/Locke and keep a greater portion of their pitching depth (and here even add to it). It's an out of the box solution for a team (Orioles) who don't have a ton of prospects to trade, and a team like the Pirates who can't take on a lot of money.

  7. Can't see why the Pirates would want to makes this trade. Bedard is pitching well, is an important part of their rotation, and they aren't going to trade him for a guy like Reynolds, no matter how many other scrubs are thrown in.

    The only guy on the Orioles roster that might be of interest to the Pirates is Markakis, and I don't see the Orioles trading him – especially straight up.

    • Ed said on June 24, 2012

      The Pirates are probably the only team I think of whose offense is so bad that they would even think of trading for Nick Markakis. Relative to his performance the past couple years he's overpaid, plus he's currently injured. The O's wouldn't consider trading Markakis unless he comes back healthy and rebuilt his trade value — and likewise no other team would consider trading for him unless he comes back healthy and rebuilds his trade value — except maybe the Pirates.

  8. As a Pirates fan, I don't see this helping us much. McGehee and Alvarez have both been hot over the past 30 days (.402 wOBA, .370 wOBA respectively) and McGehee provides much better defense than Reynolds. I don't mind Reynolds' K% all that much, but his defense is an issue.

    I'm fine selling high on Bedard, since he could get hurt at any moment, but the pitching depth isn't so good that we could replace him in the rotation easily. The loss would be bigger than the marginal gains. I think those minor league prospects would have to be a bit better. Maybe if you tossed in Brandon Waring too.

    • I could see a waring type added to the deal. I understand that McGehee has been better, but man he's a risk to bet on. I think he's a better fit as a bench/role player

      • "I understand that McGehee has been better, but man he’s a risk to bet on."

        More than Reynolds?

        Oh, HELL, no.

        McGehee (BTW – you should proofread / edit your spelling of his name) is capable of putting up similar counting numbers in R & RBI, about 2/3 of the HR, and half the Ks. He's already putting up numbers pretty equal to Reynolds so far this season, as it is.

        And yes – the O's would have to be willing to eat 90% of Reynolds' contract.

        Also, McGehee can field.

        Obviously, you're an Orioles fan, and looking to come out ahead in this proposed deal, but the MiL "throw-ins" you're willing to give up are no great shakes, either.

        You have, however, successfully driven traffic to your site, so kudos.

        • Yes McGehee is more of a risk to bet on than Mark Reynolds. Let's take a look at their career wOBA numbers:

          McGehee: 2009-.367, 2010-.346, 2011-.272, 2012-.299 Career- .319

          Reynolds: 2007-.358, 2008-.340, 2009-.381, 2010-.328, 2011-.348, 2012-.339 Career-.350

          Not only has Reynolds been far more consistent, but his best year and worst year are both better than McGehee's best and worst. And the .031 difference between their career wOBA's is pretty significant. And counting numbers are a horrible way to judge a player, b/c they are completely predicated (outside of HR's) on what happens in front or behind you in a lineup. As for HR's, Reynolds season low is 17, but that was in rookie year in just 414 PA's, McGehee's career best mark is 23 in 670 PA's. As for the strikeouts you are correct, McGehee will probably strikeout about half as much as Reynolds, but he will also only walk about 60% as much as Reynolds. So when you add in the walks, and HR's it is pretty clear who is the better offensive weapon, and who is the bigger risk.

          McGehee may be better defensively, but it isn't exactly by much. McGehee can replace Alvarez against lefties, and he can be a late inning defensive replacement, but he certainly wouldn't be starting over Reynolds. As for Ryan Berry he is a legit prospect and would be roughly akin to the Pirates Victor Black.

          • McGehee has actually been outstanding defensively at 1B this season. His career #s might not bear it out but that's because he was never able to play 1B for the Brewers because Prince is/was too fat to play anywhere else. He is a MUCH better defender than Reynolds. The Pirates also don't want Pedro to be replaced vs. lefties. He has been on occasion during his slumps but the team (and the fans) are hoping that he might be coming out of those slumps. Yes, that's a gamble but Pedro is, without question, the most important offensive player not named Andrew McCutchen. I can't imagine the team constructing a trade based on the belief that they had to hide Alvarez for 20-30% of the team's games. Also, Victor Black is not really a "legit prospect" Victor Black is a former sandwich round pick who hasn't panned out and is now an older middle reliever. He is probably somewhere from the 30th-40th best prospect in the system and, off the top of my head, their 6th best relief pitching prospect. Adding a guy like that to a deal isn't something that makes it that much more appealing.

          • I'm not saying you sit Pedro vs every lefty, but against the tough ones. Otherwise you are doing nothing for his confidence and killing your team. And I'd say Black is a top 25 prospect, if not top 20. He ranked 19th for the Pirates according to BA to start the season.

  9. What a horrible article. Mark Reynolds is horrible. HORRIBLE. Bedard is throwing like an ace, and combined with burnett and correia, they have the pirates in contention for the second year in a row. If you want the O's, or any other team to land him…you'd better do more homework before posting garbage like this. Whether is be jason bay, or octavio dotel…when have you ever seen the current pirates management, trade away a very good player, for garbage? Will they take guys with upside, that have alot to prove…yes…will they take guys with horrible track records, that are past their prime…No. We are past the days of dumping salary for little to nothing in return, and your "idea", is just that. you are dreaming….and you just caused me to waste time, that i can never get back. Bedard, when healthy…is an ace…and he has proven that over and over and over again. With the extra wild card team now in place…trades are going to be harder, more expensive, and less common. Trading a guy of Bedards caliber…for anything less than a stellar prospect…isnt going to happen, let alone you lame brained idea. Shows why you are writing your little known blog, and not manning a spot in a teams front office.

    • And we do not need a corner outfielder….marte is waiting in the wings, and bell is acouple years behind him….SS, and first base….those are the bucs two areas of need. Our outfield is already above average, and when you slide presley to the 4th spot…and put marte in…it will be one of the best outfields since bonds, van slyke, and bobby bo….Reynolds is a guy the O's signed for cheap…that has done what he has for most of his career….provided shoddy defense, and horrible offense. You are forever dreaming, if you think you will aquire any of the pitchers you named above, much less bedard. Again, look at the current management group. The guys we aquired in the Dotel trade alone, should give you a hint that your throw away players wont get it done.

      • Wait so the Pirates aren't going to add a corner OF now, b/c they have a CF who might not be ready for at least another year, and a 19 year old kid who is probably 3 years away (if everything goes right). How is your OF above average unless they have found a way to clone McCutchen? Well Reynolds wasn't signed by the Orioles he was traded for, and for most years he's provided good offensive production (look beyond batting average).

    • Bedard is pitching like an ace? Wow that is a news flash to everyone including the Pirates and Erik Bedard. His walk rate is up and his GB% is down. Bedard hasn't been fully healthy since the last time the Orioles had him, so I really don't know what you are talking about. No team would give a stellar prospect for 2 months of Bedard, who's ERA stands in the low 4's. Thank you for your expert opinion.

      • Again, "Ace" is probably strong but Bedard does have a 3.42 FIP and is striking out a batter per inning. That's a valuable pitcher.

  10. A good corner outfielder with a good average and extra-base power is what the Pirates need. And nobody would have to 'steal' playing time from Tabata, since Tabata is awful and shouldn't even be a fifth outfielder let alone a starter.
    For some reason nobody cares that he can barely hold a .230 average, and hits mainly singles only, and with nobody on base. Then he usually proceeds to get caught stealing picked off. My guess as to why the Pittsburgh fans don't complain more about Tabata is that they are used to having sub-standard outfielders and it doesn't seem out of place to them. That, and they can't read basic offense statistics.

  11. My Pirates are not giving up Erik Bedard for Mark Reynolds. They need him in their rotation just as much as the Orioles do and they can live with a platoon of McGehee and Jones at first base.

    The Pirates will trade for corner outfielders. It would be good to see the Cubs paying Alfonso Soriano $45 million to play for the Bucs – just like the Yankees are paying A. J. Burnett $20 million to put up All-Star numbers in Pittsburgh.

    • The Pirates don't need Bedard in their rotation as much, b/c they have multiple internal options. Soriano could be an option, but his bat isn't as good as Reynolds.

      • They're pretty comparable, actually. Soriano has a .336 wOBA this year (.354 career) compared to Reynolds .339 wOBA this year (.350 career). You could say that Soriano is a slightly bigger risk because of his age but I don't think it's fair to say that Reynolds is a better hitter. If the Cubs are willing to eat enough of his deal, for example $45 of the roughly $50M he is still owed over the next three years as suggested above by Richard, then I would rather see Soriano than Reynolds.

        • Yes but much of Soriano's career numbers are predicated on his great years with the Yankees, Rangers and Nationals. If you took his career numbers and compared them to Reynolds over the same 6 year period (2007 to present) Reynolds would have a fairly solid advantage. And if the Cubs were willing to eat 90% of his deal, they won't settle for the same non-prospects the Yankees did. Probably two guys ranked in the Pirates late teen's, through 20's.

      • You sure? Soriano has a higher OPS+ this year, and a higher OPS+ over the last three years.

        This is not to imply that I like Soriano much as a potential acquisition, either…

  12. Mike Mussina is available. Seriously though, it's an interesting thought. I thought this article was going to be about Guthrie when I read the headline, haha

  13. I read the headline and I thought you were going to suggest bringing Guts back, when I saw you were suggesting Bedard, I cringed. He was a cancer in the clubhouse and is much less talented now than before (someone said he is an ace? Is it 2007?). I was at the game last week when we made Bedard look like garbage (matched his personality) and there was no greater satisfaction for me than booing him off the field. If these Pirate fans think they could get more than a power bat and a couple low-tier prospects for him, they are dreaming, unless Ernie Grunfeld has taken over the GM role on a MLB team and I am not aware of it.
    I do, however, think you hit the nail on the head when you said we have to be creative and can't go out looking to for a big time player that will cost us prospects. As nice as it is to be competitive again, we're still a few years away from putting together a serious contender and there's no reason to risk blowing that up now for a chance at a playoff birth. I'd like to see what the DBacks want for Saunders. We've been linked to him multiple times in the past and I think he could slide nicely into the 3rd spot in the rotation.

    • haha, the good news is reports are that Bedard's attitude is better than it was 6 years ago, but the clubhouse issue would be a factor. Yeah Saunders is another option, though I think Bedard is def. a better talent.