Dan Duquette

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Orioles-White Sox Have Similar Records With Different Mentalities

May 21, 2018 - 3:10 pm

By Tim Barbalace

The 14-32 Orioles are in Chicago to take on the 13-30 White Sox in a four-game series.  That doesn't move the needle, but that is the situation of both clubs.  The O's had expected to contend for a wild-card spot, while the White Sox are in year two of their rebuild. 

Chicago got the ball rolling in December 2016 when the team traded Adam Eaton and Chris Sale for seven prospects.  That was just the beginning as Chicago executed five trades last July involving seven major leaguers in exchange for top 100 prospects Eloy Jimenez, Blake Rutherford and Dylan Cease and eight other minor leaguers in those deals.  MLB Pipeline ranked the White Sox farm system first in the majors, and Baseball America put them at second.

Despite a terrible record, it seems the White Sox have a defined plan on how to get back to relevancy.  On the other hand, the Orioles appeared to be all in entering the 2018 season, but have had nightmarish results. 

Baltimore explored trading Manny Machado this winter but opted to hold on to their star player in hopes of one last run with their current nucleus.  The team also signed Alex Cobb to a four year 57 million dollar deal, which is the most money the club has ever given to a pitcher--further illustrating that the O's were focusing on going for it this season as opposed to rebuilding.

Unfortunately, things have not worked out, and it leaves fans wondering what's next?  Machado, Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Adam Jones are all free agents after this season.  The Orioles need to be laying the groundwork on potential trades for all of their pending free agents and the majority of their players because I don't consider anyone untouchable.

Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter are also in the last year of their deals, which begs the question of who will be making the decisions regarding possible franchise-altering trades?  Baltimore cannot afford to botch these trades, especially for Machado, or the organization will be set back for years.  The O's should try to emulate Chicago in how they handled their rebuild.

The Orioles and White Sox have similar poor records, but their long-term outlooks couldn't seem more different.  Chicago General Manager Rick Hahn had a plan and was aggressive in building up their farm system into one of the best in baseball.  No one seems to know what the Orioles will do, but the clock is ticking as the non-waiver trade deadline is 71 days away.