I want to circle back on the Baltimore Orioles trade deadline because I love circling back.
It makes absolutely ZERO sense to me that Orioles fans are okay with only adding Jack Flaherty. I don't get it. I want to address the Cincinnati Reds as well but right now my head is in Baltimore.
Jack Flaherty is a fine pitcher. Masterful at times. Disastrous at others. And almost always batting command issues with sheer, raw talent.
His last 10 starts: 58 innings with a .289/.355/.434 slash against. Only 4 HR's surrendered in the same time frame. Otherwise he wouldn't have survived much less been acquired under such positive pretenses. His 1.53 WHIP over that span is actually better than his season total of 1.55. So that's progress.
But you can't say he's enough. Not with Tyler Wells working on issues. Not with Kremer and Bradish about to smash personal inning records two months before the playoffs start. Not Kyle Gibson and certainly not unless Grayson Rodriguez is supposed to be that guy.
(He's probably not, right now.)
AND I LIKE GRAYSON RODRIGUEZ.
Just hear me out.
The Orioles can win the AL East this year after winning 83 games last year. A young loaded roster that's magically dominating the W/L column despite not really having any elite output in gross stats. In the American League - they're 5th in runs scored, 8th in hits, 8th in HR, 8th in SB, 9th in walks, 5th in SLG, 6th in OPS.
That's not what you'd expect from a team that's in 1st place of the best division in baseball history.
The pitching staff is solid with a deep bullpen, but the wheels could fall off before the playoffs even get here. And you're telling me Jack Flaherty is enough when you could have comfortably landed Verlander or Cease?
It's not guaranteed the Orioles are going to be at the top of that division for any length of time. Sure, they are young and cheap but so is the ownership. You have to compete annually against the smartest team in baseball, two of the wealthiest and just as much young star power in Toronto.
The time is now. The urgency. It's gotta be here.
I know the farm system is stacked. They've arrived and they're awesome. But doesn't that give faith in the capacity to get more prospects after trading some away?
It's crazy to see Verlander go to Houston for 2 prospect talents the Orioles absolutely have in their stable.
It's crazy not to take a run at Giolito or even Lance Lynn or ANYBODY else to go with Jack Flaherty. That borderline incenses me.
I'm not an Orioles fan. Thankfully. That ownership group is fucking TERRIBLE.
- - -
People should be mad in Cincinnati.
Probably because they've got a playoff ball club loaded with youngsters.
And all they did was add Sam Moll, a LHP reliever from the Oakland Athletics. He's got a high K rate along with an abnormally high walk rate. That's the scouting report. That's the guy the Reds got for the final push.
Interesting enough, it doesn't sound like the general Reds populace cares very much.
I can understand - most young talent has made its way up to MLB and is playing well.
But theres 2 other clubs in their division knocking on 1st place and it just doesn't make sense the Reds would willingly stay quiet at a trade deadline.
They won 83 games in 2021. All signs pointing up before becoming the most injured team in MLB history last year. They dropped to 62-100 with equally bad expectations for this year.
Those expectations were wrong.
And yet the Reds didn't make a move to capitalize. They're rolling all house money and good vibes and seeing where that goes.
Is ownership cheap?
But they've made a couple nice moves before in the offseason and it's not nearly as bad as Baltimore. That's what allows fans to be more patient in Cincinnati. You've witnessed material investment within the past decade. Baltimore, still waiting.
In both cases - the fans deserve more. They're great bases and these are special seasons. It would be a categorical tragedy should the past week of inaction fail them down the stretch. Comic in some sense. But very much a tragedy to those loyal fans.