As it stands right now, the Baltimore Orioles are tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in all of baseball. To say they're have underachieved or are not playing smart baseball would be a huge understatement. Instead, it would be fair to say the way they've played so far this year, is down right awful.
To date, the Orioles currently have the worst run differential in the entire league (-71), the fourth worst pitching staff in baseball with a 5.05 ERA, and the worst offense with a cumulative batting average of .223. From a fielding perspective, Baltimore has committed the fifth most errors (24) and are tied with the Texas Rangers for the worst Defensive Efficiency Ratio (.665). For a team that many expected to at least stay in the conversation for a Wild Card spot this October, the pitching staff has certainly been a huge disappointment.
With all of those things combining together, the question then becomes: what are the Orioles waiting for in trading Manny Machado and their other assets? Sure, it's only May 6th and there's still a lot of games left to be played, but at this point and with the division the Orioles play in, they will be lucky to finish 4th ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays are the three teams that will likely be in the postseason this year assuming everything continues to go the way it has and all three stay healthy to the point where they can get over the hump. Beyond that, Tampa Bay is hitting better than they were at the start of the season, but don't have enough to compete with the talent on Boston, New York, or Toronto's 25-man rosters and Baltimore is going to absolutely fall short.
So, now is the time for General Manager, Dan Duquette, and the entire Baltimore front office, to open up the phone lines and start entertaining offers for everyone on their 25-man roster especially Manny Machado. This past offseason, there were several teams that had inquired about Machado including the rival New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and Arizona Diamondbacks. That means that there should be enough demand for them to find someone to trade him to, but they have to ensure it's the best deal and that they get a haul given the state their farm system is in.
Furthermore, Baltimore needs to seriously consider blowing things up because of the dismal future of the franchise, which is likely not going to go anywhere. At the start of the season, Baltimore's farm system ranked 23rd in the league, which is not good at all. In addition, the Orioles have always been one of those teams that fail to invest in the International market with players which is something they will need to get better at moving forward.
Going back to Manny Machado and other trade assets that the Orioles have, there should be plenty of players to get deals done sooner than later. The Astros are looking for bullpen help, which Baltimore has plenty of, and other teams are going to be inquiring about guys like Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones, and Kevin Gausman. As with Machado, the Orioles need to play it smart and try to find a deal that allows them to add substantial talent to build back up the farm.
Regardless of how you look at it, the Baltimore Orioles are going to finish this season with one of the worst records in baseball and it would not be a surprise to see them have one of the Top 3 Draft Picks in next year's draft either. Given all of that, the Orioles should start the fire sale sooner rather than later and start entertaining offers on all of their players.
It may only be May 5th, but it's time to start heading down that road whether the Baltimore Orioles want to admit it or not.
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