Kevin Gausman

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports​

Love the New Direction but the O's Sold Low

Terry Ford
August 02, 2018 - 5:10 pm

 Is it possible to say the Orioles did good and bad on Tuesday?

First, the good. The O's are doing the right thing by going total Astros and Cubs...blowing the roster up and doing a total rebuild.

Let's be real, this team is on it's way to last place finish number two in a row. These Birds aren't a couple of trades or free agent signings away from being a play-off contender. They might not even be a AAA Play-Off contender. This squad is historically bad.

To compete with the Yankees, Red Sox, Indians and Astros, you need to look and see why they are successful. Strong minor league systems, success in the international market, embracing analytics and investing in scouting. It took way too long, but it looks the Birds are finally going in the right direction.

But that being said, I'm not doing back flips over the trade pieces the Orioles got back Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop. Especially Gausman.


The Gausman Trade:

I have said on my show that I would rather give up Ken Weinman's first born child than Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. I didn't want to see Jake Arrieta 2.0 and 3.0.

But, if the Birds are going total rebuild, then Gausman and Bundy both will be gone before the team will be good again. In that scenario, you should trade both of them while they have multiple years of control to maximize their value. Teams give up more for players the longer they will have them.

I thought the O's sold low on Gausman. His ERA, and WHIP are below average. Most if his analytic numbers aren't great either. And don't forget the fact that the last two seasons Gausman has been a much better pitcher after the All-Star Break.

So, why not hold onto to Gausman the rest of the year, hope he tears it up the last two months and deal him this winter when his value is higher? Gausman is under control through 2020.

In selling low on Gausman, I don't think the Orioles got a ton of value for him. The highest rated prospect the O's got for Gausman was Encarnacion, rated the Braves #15 prospect by MLB Pipeline. The catcher Cumberland was ranked #30 and the two pitchers are not in the Braves Top 30 prospects. The Braves have a very deep farm system, you would think the O's could've gotten more for Gausman.

Some folks think that the Braves agreeing to take the salary dump on Darren O' Day lowered the prospect haul for Gausman. Again, why? To me, it's more important to bring in a higher quality of prospect than it is to dump the salary of an injured reliever. While Encarnacion has upside, the best part of this trade is banking more international bonus pool money.


The Jonathan Schoop Trade:


Even though I like this deal better than the Gausman trade, I also think the Orioles sold low on Schoop as well. Schoop did have a great July but his overall numbers were still down in 2018. Why not hold onto Schoop, hopefully he'll have a big the rest of the year and you can get a better haul for him in the off-season? Schoop would still have one more year of control.

That being said, right hander Luis Ortiz is a former #1 pick and was a Top 100 prospect in the past. If he can stay healthy and in shape, he might just develop into a good starter. The 18 year old shortstop Carmona is one of those toolsy, big upside players that scouts really like.

But none of the players acquired for Schoop and Gausman are currently Top 100 prospects. I know that only 2 Top 100 prospects were dealt this trading season, but I was hoping the Orioles could snag one more. Being a Top 100 prospect doesn’t guarantee you Major League success and there are players who weren’t Top 100 prospects who have excellent MLB careers, but you always want to add as many high ceiling guys as possible. The Birds did pick up more international bonus money, so if the team signs Cuban prospect Victor Victor Mesa, that would upgrade the Gausman deal.

The two trades yesterday added 4 players who are now in the Orioles top 30 prospects. Overall, 10 of the prospects acquired the recent Orioles deals are now in the team’s top 30 prospects. That shows you how thin the farm system was.

The biggest win here is that the Orioles have finally gone all in on a plan. It is the right plan and if they execute it the right way, the team will be a lot better off in the future. The real big issues now are who will be in charge of that plan and who is developing all of these young players, especially the pitchers. The last time the Orioles developed a top of the rotation starter Bill Clinton was president. If it were me, a lot of that dough the team just saved would go to hiring the best developers of pitchers that money could buy.