« Saying goodbye to Uehara, Lee | Main | Yahoo Sports!: O's did OK at trade deadline »

August 1, 2011

How did Andy MacPhail do at the trade deadline?

Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline has passed.

Baseball writers can now sleep with both eyes closed. And with the cell phone on the other side of the room.

The Orioles made two deals on Saturday. None on Sunday.

They shipped 36-year-old reliever Koji Uehara and $2 million to the Texas Rangers for two 25-year-old major leaguers: first baseman Chris Davis and right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter.

And they sent first baseman Derrek Lee, 35, and some potential cash (probably between $500,000 and $1.75 million depending on how many plate appearances Lee ends up with) to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Class A first baseman Aaron Baker, 23.

Here’s my take on the moves: I like the Uehara trade. The Lee trade doesn’t really register.

On Uehara: Yes, he was great this year. Yes, he was a good guy and fun to have in the clubhouse. Yes, a $4 million option for 2012 that vests in a dozen more appearances is reasonable.

But here’s the important flip side. Relievers are so hard to predict from year to year. Uehara is 36 and has been delicate since he came to the States. So many fans clamored for Uehara to take over Kevin Gregg’s closer role, but it takes a physical and mental bulldog to handle closer duties for a season.

Gregg doesn’t get rattled and he’s never been on the DL. Koji doesn’t get rattled. And he bought an air-conditioned timeshare on the disabled list.

As good as he has been this year, he has been handled with kid gloves so that he can get through the season. So dealing a guy like that for two younger players who have had success in the majors is a no-brainer.

Davis and Hunter obviously have warts, or they wouldn’t have been traded for an aging set-up man.

Davis strikes out too much, hasn’t hit for a good average and has a long swing. Some wonder if he isn’t the quintessential AAAA guy, a minor-league superstar who can’t make it translate at the big-league level.

Hunter has been criticized for his lack of conditioning, missed a chunk of this season due to injury and may project as a back-of-the rotation guy.

The flipside is maybe Davis will flourish with consistent playing time and flash 30-homer power and a solid glove. Hunter won 13 games last year in a bandbox and started a World Series game, so he already has better credentials than the rest of the current rotation.

The Lee trade is basically a wash. The Orioles peddled the remaining $2.6 million or so of Lee’s salary to the Pirates and will only have to pay if he stays healthy and piles up the plate appearances. The kid they got in return was considered maybe the 5th best first baseman in the Pirates organization by some observers. But he does have good minor-league numbers. Maybe he is a late bloomer. Regardless, Lee had little value on the open market, wasn’t coming back and shouldn’t be taking playing time from Davis. Trading him is fine.

If I have one criticism of Andy MacPhail’s deadline maneuvers is that he didn’t move anyone else. There probably is time to peddle Vladimir Guerrero and Michael Gonzalez, consider both likely will pass through waivers and be eligible for trade in August.

Jeremy Guthrie won’t get through waivers. So he’ll remain an Oriole heading into the offseason. MacPhail said he couldn’t get a worthy package – which had to include young pitching – in return for Guthrie. And since we don’t know for sure, we’ll have to take MacPhail’s word for it (and, through past experience, I’d say it’s trustworthy).

So, given the decision to sign J.J. Hardy to an extension and the lack of true trade chips, I would say MacPhail did a pretty good job this weekend. I know there’s an anti-MacPhail bent out there, so I’m sure plenty will disagree.

(But you have to be realistic. He didn’t have much to work with unless he was prepared to dangle players other teams really covet: Adam Jones, Matt Wieters or Zach Britton. And that’s a topic for another day. For all of you who advocate a trade of Brian Roberts or Nick Markakis, look at the prohibitive salaries before you jump on those faulty wagons).

Daily Think Special: How did Andy MacPhail do at the trade deadline?

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:00 AM | | Comments (47)
Categories: Connolly's Corner Sports Bar


Hey Dan
I thought we got good value in the trades. We got two major league ready guys that fill needs on this team now not sometime time in the future.

I think MacPhail did very good at the deadline. Extremely conservative with his trading...but he's good at it. The Koji trade is a A+, and am glad he got rid of Lee and his contract for whatever. I'm sort of suprised more moves weren't made, being as the team is downright terrible and needs to be rebuilt...but oh well. A wheeler and dealer Andy is not. Can't say he's any good at free agent signings, but he's pretty darn good at making trades, when he makes them. Personally, I think this team needs a more radical and proactive approach in its rebuild because if this keeps up at this snails pace it'll be 5 more years and we'll still be rebuilding out of the cellar. He's gotta learn to pull the trigger more often - he shoulda traded Scott last year when his stock was high, and BRob a couple years ago when he wasnt injured. Now I pray that he trades Vlad and Pie and vets like Guthrie for pitching as well as a quality 2B. Injuries to Scott and BRob have limited what Andy could do this deadline, but he should have forseen this possibility and helped the team by trading them off when he could. Oh well, I hope these new guys help out.

Like the deals.

Trading a 35 year old Koji at his peak value for two 25 year old players that already have AL experience, is totally solid. Good trade.

Derrek Lee had little value, and thus little return. Take it. (Much like the Aubrey Huff trade at the deadline a couple years ago).

Andy seems to have a great understanding of players values, both to the O's and to/within other organizations. I'd hate to have to sit against him playing poker. I'm glad he didn't move Guthrie just to move him...obviously his value to the beleaguered starting rotation is still considerable.

Moving B-Rob and Markakis? Penny wise and pound foolish. (are they Alex Rios, or Vernon Wells?? Not by a country mile. Under performing fans expectations and under-performing are totally different issues.)

But ultimately, Andy didn't acquire Albert Pujols at the trade the O's still have all the same issues as before the deadline.

He got a good return for Uehara. I'm sorry to seem him go, but it was a good return.
I'm on the fence about Chris Davis because his power numbers remind me of a Mark Reynolds with less plate disipline. Tommy Hunter has had some success, hopefully Showalter can whip his butt into shape.

The Derrek Lee trade isn't anything to get excited about.

MacPhail can trade Gonzalez for GCL player for all I care. Taking him off this team alone would be an improvement.

I think Andy Mac Failure has to leave town by Oct1. He is another discrace to say he was an Oriole. How do you base a mulit year contract on a player you have seen for 3 months? Also who has 0 zero hits against your arch enemy the Yankees? JJ Hardy is an average player and not someone to build a MLB team around. Sure he had a good month but wail till Aug, Sept. As far a finally getting rid of D Lee. I said it all along he is here for the $$$. Back up the Brinks truck Mac Failure you should be fired for your terrible player picks in offseason. You are truely the dumbest GM ever!! I could see the writing on the wall and I make far less than someone who does this for a living.

Please Andy Mac Failure, leave Baltimore and never come back. Not even for a visit to the Harbor.

I would give McPhail a grade of B for his efforts at the trade deadline for the following reasons:

1) You never know how much longer a 36 year old can play but 25 years olds have lots of playing time.
2)After Saturday's performances we couldn't afford to lose Guthrie cheaply.
3)Why do the Orioles need another minor league 1B when there are already 1/2 dozen in the organization above A ball?
But let's see how he fares in the August trading phase before drawing a final conclusion.

A last place team gave up a 35 and 36 year old with 0 and 1 years left on their contracts for some young players who have some upside but also some problems, and who may or may not make it in the big leagues. That's what happens in baseball in late July every year. The Rnagers and Pirates will be better teams, and the Os might get lucky and one of these guys becomes a contributor. More likely than not though, these trades will have little effect. You take your chances, hope for the best, and wait for next year.

Nothing like losing to make you philosophical...

I applaud MacPhail for this weekend’s trade of Koji as you had mentioned Dan for an aging pitcher what the Orioles got back in return was amazing. Koji if he would go more than 1 inning of relief either a homerun or some other RBI was given up. When the Orioles brought Koji who was a primary reliever over in Japan to be a starter I knew it was a mistake and his arm paid for it and still continued as early as last year. Now the Derrek Lee trade I am not too fond of Derrek was never a first half player but always had the best second half just as Markakis has been for years. Derrek Lee and JJ Hardy defense wise have been excellent and I will miss Derrek at first base. Since it is still early and we just saw Chris Davis start yesterday and have not seen Hunter pitch I think it may be too early to tell what may or may not happen with those two.

AM gets a B grade from me for getting Hunter, which could be huge. Davis will be okay at best and they gave Lee away for nothing.

But could have done better by trading Guthrie for top talent, even if it wasn't pitching in return. Its not like the farm team is loaded with positional players or that the O's are going anywhere but south this year. If he gets traded over the winter, what's the difference unless they can get more for him then. But that seems unlikely as teams tend to overpay at this time of year but not as much in the off season.

Hey Dan, the Koji deal looks okay. My only problem is that I have no confidence in the FO's judgment regarding players, so IMO any move requires a wait-and-see attitude.

The Lee move looks like a salary dump, especially if what someone else said is true, namely, that the minor leaguer they got in return wasn't considered a top-30 prospect in the Pirates' organization. Then again, Lee was a major disappointment here. After a guy stinks it up for the first 3 months of the season I don't really care what he does in July.

More generally this season has to be considered the most catastrophic of all seasons for this team, even if it may not result in the worst W-L record. The reason is the collapse of the young pitching which was the hope of the franchise. And I have to fault Buck and his rigidity in not bringing back Kranny and instead going in another direction with which he was personally more comfortable but which turned into a disaster for the team.

Who would have imagined what has happened with Matusz this year? Tillman and Bergesen have shown no progress. Britton has regressed as the season has worn on and now is getting lit up like a Christmas tree. Arrieta has no command and IMO has shown no progress this year. All in all, a worst case scenario for the young pitching.

And can someone tell me why Tatum at times was setting up 6 inches off the plate yesterday? (And I'm not talking about "waste" pitches--how many waste pitches can you expect when the starter is hardly ever ahead of the hitters?) How does the team expect a pitcher to throw strikes when the target is so far off the plate? Isn't anyone in the dugout paying attention.

Sorry about jumping around from one subject to the other.

How'd he do? The O's lost on Sunday, that's how he did.

Giving up Koji to get a big swing, big K guy is such a let down, although Hunter certainly won't hurt the not ready for prime time starting rotation.

The moves that matter most he can't make. Namely, cleaning out the front office.

Do these moves make the Orioles a winning team next year? My main concern is who will step up and take Koji's place in the bullpen? I know the season is lost and the next 30 years aren't looking too good either but at least with JJ, Koji and Gregg we could hold on to the few games where we do have a lead late. Not so much now.

" takes a physical and mental bulldog to handle closer duties for a season." You must be referring to the great Kevin Gregg. Too bad we didn't have him for the remaining two months of last season and had to depend on Koji instead. Gregg could have been the difference maker in our W-L record.
The manager decides on his closer. And, true to form, our manager decides to use Andy's choice and use Koji as set up. However, to be fair, Gregg is pretty reliable when he comes in with a five run lead.
Doesn't anyone give a damn that the Orioles let go of a pitcher whose strikeout to walk ratio is the best ratio since the year 1890?
To assume that Koji could not have been our closer this season is akin to assuming that the people of the 1960s did not have the technology to travel from the Earth to the Moon on a regular basis.
As Gerald Ford used to say, "let's look at the record."

If MacPhail was unable to trade Guerrero, then does he have to bat clean-up everyday? Does a contract provision force Showalter to play Guerrero? If not, then I don't understand Showalter's judgment. Isn't it obvious to even a casual fan that it would be better both now and for the future to have Reimold bat DH clean-up when he isn't in left field?

The O's need to give me reasons to keep watching them this year.

I keep seeing Hinter referred to as a back of the rotation guy. On the O's staffnhe's probably number 2 after Guts.

I think he did well, all things considered. This is the O's--worst team in the AL, and nearly all of baseball (thank you, Astros and Cubs). Not a lot was going to get done unless Markakis, Jones, Wieters, etc. were traded. I feel bad for Guthrie--he's still here. He's a very good pitcher who deserves a shot to win, and that won't happen here. Trading Brian Roberts might have been something attempted, but I suspect most teams know what I suspect--his career is just about done. These headaches aren't getting better, and BRob may be heading to an early retirement. This year has been very disappointing, and I expect similar disappointment next year. It's a very frustrating decade + to be an O's fan....

As usual they get an incomplete. They should have traded Guthrie just like they should have traded Scott last year. They are so far away from competing, they need to keep adding pieces…that’s what last place teams do….except us


Could have added Rasmus for Guthrie and Koji or JJ.

Wheeler for Hardy

Couple of ATL's cherry prospects for Jones

This would have upgraded Jones in CF w/ Rasmus. Wheeler's ceiling exceeds what Guthrie ultimately is at this point. Plus what ever you got back from Atlanta. In short we had a chance to get cheaper, younger, and potentially way better.

However we end up with Hunter and a flawed player in Davis.

Most of all its disappointing that a horrific team like the Orioles aren't willing to trade inside the division and listen to offers on all players. Plus I know its not even on Andy's plate the possibility of letting Nick go ala Alex Rios. When compared to AL RF Nick isn't worth the money. I like Nick and all the other guys but this is about winning and we aren't with these guys any time soon.

As much as I like Vlad, it is time to see him go to a contender. We need to see those at bats from others.

As for the trades, I see a lot of nothing traded for still more nothing in return.

I am looking for improvement - not status quo.

Why is Pie still on this team? Shouldn't Reimold be in left every day to see what he can do? Is that a MacPhail order, platoon these players?

I think he did fine!! It takes two to make a trade. If AM didn't feel he was getting enough in return then good, hold onto him
Take a look at what Seattle just got for Bedard. Two OF's. Look at the final gatherng AM got for Bedard, I think the O's win one here. Maybe there is more to come......This off season is going to be interesting.

These trades are more or less pointless in the big picture. Something is wrong with Hunter, you can bet the farm on that. His minor league numbers were never all that good. His ML numbers are oddly better. So you can rest assured that Texas knows either 1) he's been very lucky so far, or 2) there's something wrong with his arm. Davis will be a poor man's Mark Reynolds at best, and he'll be Garrett Atkins at worst.

MacPhail and company ruin the season by doing virtually nothing between October and March every year... so deadline deals centered around aging first basemen in steep decline, or aging short relievers... aren't really going to change much.

I am sorry to say that it appears the BIG MISS in the trading line was not shipping out Connelly for some that has (1) baseball knowledge, (2) can do the job of the real REPORTER and (3) needs talent with a typewriter.

MacPhail did okay. The major league team has several holes to fill, so using Koji to fill 2 of them with semi-mediocrities is okay, but I would have preferred a younger, higher-upside prospect or 2. But Koji's value is at its peak, so I am glad they dealt him, as much as I enjoy watching him pitch. I hope he gets huge outs for Texas in October.

Trading Lee was fine, a salary dump. We got nothing in return, but that's okay.

I can't criticize failing to trade Guthrie. If other teams weren't offering back commensurate value, then it's important that Andy didn't just give him away for nothing.

My biggest criticism is extending Hardy and then not trying to deal him. We signed him at the peak of his value, when instead we could have gotten some real return for him. O well.


First of all I give you, Jeff and Pete a lot of credit for trying to remain objective and report daily on this awful organization. You are true professionals, and I mean that. As Eleanor Roosevelt said "it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."

Leave that up to me.

You say you know there is an anti Macphail bent out there. Well, I wonder why? Could it be because after four years of Andy and his lame front office we were 23.5 games out of first and 13.5 games out of fourth by the end of July? Does that minor detail seem to infect the opinions? Frankly, all we have left to do at this time every year is speculate on trades.

These moves are typical Andy Macphail. Veterans for so/so prospects. That's all he has done since he has been here. That's why we are where we are. He only has one third of a plan. He should also have been scouting the Caribbean and signing marquee FA's.

I give Andy Macphail a big fat F for rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic at this time every year.

Meanwhile, his boss just paid ten million dollars to get a building named after his parents. Marvelous. What seems to be wrong with this picture?

For about 15 years, the phrase "this could go either way" is heard far too often when talking about the O's and their future. That is what happened on Saturday. Keep Guthrie and add Hunter and MAYBE we have a decent top of the rotation next year. Maybe...

How did he do? Great if you're an Oriole apologist. You got a fat-guy pitcher who might luck out and be a number 5 on a horrible team and a never-will-be first baseman who will compete with Reynolds for league-wide strike out honors.

The great thing about Davis for the apologists is that the organization can now spin so making serious offers to Pujols, Cuddyer, or Fielder wouldn't be in our best interest because it would prevent the development of Davis or Snyder....
I would have prefered getting a bag of baseballs and some sunflower seeds for D Lee as the kid we did get will never even sniff the inside of a big league clubhouse.
I am throroughly disgusted that anyone would attempt to pass off these meaningless trades as having any significance or bringing us one step closer to 4th place!

dan i have to agree with you andy did well with what he had to work with. i feel the orioles need to look for a replacemnet for brian roberts.if memory serves me, the orioles have to resign adam jones for 2012. they can non tender felix pie. i feel andy macphail will not be gm for 2012.

I like how Dan says "Gregg doesn’t get rattled"

Sure looked to me like he did in Boston.

Also, maybe getting rattled is what he should have been doing after 2008 when he tied for the major league lead in blown saves, with 9, and tied for second in losses in relief, with 8.

Or perhaps his 17 saves and 4 blown saves this year is nothing to get rattled about....


Just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Grow the arms has failed miserably, so we got another starter, good, but still no front of the rotation types. Is Davis Pujols or Fielder? I think not.

So tired of everyone wanting to get rid of every piece we have. We will always be rebuilding if we don't ever lockup long term good, young players like Hardy. You need a foundation to build on. Do you really think if we get rid of everybody the Orioles front office will be able to build an entire new team when they can't even properly fill 1st base and left field given 4 years to do so.
Of course not matter what they do at the deadline if they never go after real talent we are doomed to last place since we are void of the talent to grow our own.

No need to keep Markakis or Jones. They're at the top of their game. It's time to move themin favor of young prospects with TRUE ABILITY. (See Brian Roberts) Guthrie should have brought 2-3 Double A prospects, but neither McPhail nor Stockstill can evaluate talent, so there's no telling what we would have received in return. There is no help coming from the Farm System, and it's become clear that Stockstill can't develop talent for MLB. To hear that Brian Matusz was not "Mentally Prepared" for the start of the season, speaks directly to the ability of your Minor League Development Team.
Tell the 2-little Angelos boys to shut up, sit down and stop making baseball decisions. Stick to chasing ambulances.
Unfortunately, you have to put McPhail out of his misery and cut him loose. Good baseball man, but the Orioles are a AAAA Team.
Get rid of Stockstill. He Knows Nothing. I can't imagine how he got this job in the first place.
In addition to Markakis and Jones, EAT the rest of Brian Robert's salary and wish him well at the Home for Retired "Sallys".
If another team offers you a boatload for Weiters then take it!
The Orioles need Major League players PDQ!!! You'll see Matt Hobgood at OPCY about the same time you'll see Billy (William) Rowell. Just a waste of money and time.

Is this organization better after the trades?
1)We now have a 1B with inferior defensive skills in comparison to Derek Lee
2) We have a AAA 1B about to become the Orioles' everyday 1B
3) Not only can he NOT hit ML pitching, he is now going into competition with Mark Reynolds for the ML in Ks / season, as he projects to hit between .200-.215 as ML player

We did not get better as a result of this trade.

I am Ok with the deals but kind of like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Needs to be a really busy and big off season

I'd hate to believe that the Rangers offered the best haul for Koji. A AAAA first baseman and pitcher? We have plenty of those types of players already. We also don't need a Reynolds type player on both corners.....I am really unhappy about this trade.
As for the D. Lee trade, well, he seemed like he was just starting to hit. I think we should've held on to him because what we got in return will never help us anyway.

On another note, whatever happened to the two players we got from Cincy for Ramon Hernandez a few years ago? They did ever pan out, or did they flame out also?

I know by now Dan you probably are growing very tired of my stance concerning Nick M. However the more time that goes on the more i am convinced that the orioles should have moved Nick M at yesterday's trading deadline. I agree with your assessment that his prohibitive salary, [something by the way is another topic all together] is part of the reason why he couldn't be traded.Everybody from Andy, buck, the media , and the fans, keep telling everybody that nick is the least of the orioles worries. That might be true if everybody just takes him as a guy who does play hard everyday, never gets injured, doesn't cause any problems, and is a great community leader.However if you look at this a little closer what you will find is out of the top 20 right fielders in this league he is last in slugging percentage, only Suzuki,and Fukudome have lower and fukudome has been hurt and only has 293 ab's.He is last in extra base hits with only 27 and has grounded into more double plays then everybody except tori hunter.

Now that all goes unnoticed to everybody that i have mentioned above except to me. I have nothing personal against nick but i will maintain regardless of what anybody say's that nick is part of this team problems and should have been dealt away for prospects. You can put anybody in right field and he will give you the numbers that nick gives you for a lot less then 11 million a year. He is never going to be the player that the orioles envisioned him to be , he will never carry this ball team on his back to the playoffs and will continue to just be a 27 year old in his prime singles hitter that everybody thinks is just great.Dan you have to demand more from him and thats the problem with this team and it's management. I sincerely hope that one day somebody takes the time and makes the effort to at least write about this some more. . Don't get tired of this topic expose it I know it's not a popular move it's the right move

Bob Lancione

How did Andy MacPhail's Orioles do at the trade deadline?

Amidst a disgraceful lost weekend at Yankee Stadium, the Orioles paid the Texas Rangers and the Pittsburgh Pirates good money to take on a couple of their aging veterans - in exchange for 2 so-so AAAA players and a single-A player never to be seen again.

The Orioles' wish to limit the number of innings Zach Britton will pitch this season is being fulfilled in the most gruesome way: his one-out appearance Saturday coupled with his two-out appearance in Boston on July 8 in his previous start should keep him on pace to finish the season with less than 115 innings pitched at the major league level!

The 2011 Orioles now possess the worst record in the entire American League and if they are lucky enough to maintain their current .400 winning percentage will finish the season with 65 wins. Bravo Andy MacPhail.

MacPhail did a great job of setting up the excuses as to why they won't go after Prince in the offseason. But remember MacPhail wasn't brought in to win anything. He was brought in to save Peter money so he can put more dollars in his pocket. I may have to pull a Teixeira and say I have been a Yankees fan since I was a kid and my favorite player of all time is Donny baseball. Thanks for another great season Orioles.

MacPhail made 0 moves that will help this team contend in the future.

He may have gotten decent value for Uehara, but the upside for both players is low enough that neither one is an addition that will make a difference in the AL East.

The shame is that (I would assume) the team still has Mark Connor's phone number and should have been working him for info as to who in the Ranger's farm system might be a rough gem. Instead we obtained known quantities. And those quantities are known to not help you win the AL East.

And Guthrie's value is not going to be any higher than it was. The idea that MacPhail wanted major league ready pitching to obtain Guthrie is ludicrous (as is the idea that he didn't like what teams were offering... it's not called negotiation because you just accept or decline what the other team offers). He should have been willing to take anyone that had the potential to make this team a contender in the future. Maybe if there were a larger scouting department and more of a reliance on statistical analysis, they could have found and suggested something to their liking... but alas... this FO doesn't think that way. Sometimes I wonder if they're thinking at all.

I think andy did a fine job given what he had to work with. I think his reasoning and explanation on Guthrie was right on and has more value in the off season when 29 teams might be shopping compared to now with only half dozen contenders buying. He had a busy July with the Hardy contract and trade deadline.. Now comes this seasons biggest time getting our top picks signed by aug.15th.

I don't understand the anti-Andy backlash in this town.

Considering what he has to work with, his trades are as good or better than can be expected.

And consdering that no truly talented free agent on earth would consider for so much as a second consider coming here, he gets what he can.

No point in blaming the messenger when we all know that the problem is ownership.

Let's see. He signed Lee for $7.25M and the Orioles basically got 4 months for that and virtually nothing in return.

B - in re: Ramon Hernandez - the 3 players were Ryan Freel, Brandon Waring and Justin Turner.
Waring is the only one still with the Orioles organization - he's hitting .199 with AA Bowie. 91 Ks.
Justin Turner has been playing a little for the Mets this year - he's hitting .278 with 19 doubles and 38 Ks.
Is Freel out of baseball? Last I saw he was playing independent ball in 2010.

Fang - in re: the anti-Andy backlash - it may be fiercest among those of us who thought maybe something might change. Love hath no fury like a fanbase scorned.

Certainly Angelos era has been a curse for Baltimore baseball. It is a shame he can't find someone to run the organization competently. I can't believe PA doesn't want to win. Even if he's cheap, he'd have to be positively stupid to think a losing franchise is worth more than a successful one. I can't believe he's stupid. There are ways of running small market teams to be competitive, at least cyclically, and, as has been noted ad nauseum in this blog, the way to do this is with scouting, scouting, scouting. And player development, both of which, as far as we can tell from here, seem to be, er, undervalued by this team.

Now- Who has made those decisions? MacPhail, certainly, no? He got the job by presenting something, some sort of vision, to PA. It was presented to the fanbase as "returning to the Oriole way". I think MacPhail has be be held accountable for the overall state of the org after 4 years.

The point is not "look what he had to work with [this year", but rather "look what he's done, and not done, with the organization to bring it to this state."

When I'm really feeling delusional - warning: political content ahead, intent humorous - I think the other owners have it in for him b/c he's a Democrat.

All I know is that the Orioles solidified their place as the worst team in the AL and added nothing to help them break the .500 mark.

McPhails 4 year term at the Orioles helm is looking like a failure at this point. He has neither grown the arms or bought the bats. The team has not developed one bonafide starting pitcher under his stewardship and it has acquired one either.

LOL at " have to be realistic. He didn’t have much to work with." Who's fault is that? MacPhail has been here for 4 years. He is the one mostly responsible for the team and organization regressing the way it has.

The deadline deals he made were nothing special and will not make a difference. Uehara might surprise some people and be productive for 3-4 more years.

If I didn't know how to spell "truly" I don't think I'd be questioning the intelligence of any MLB GM. But that's just me.

I think this can be evaluated similarly to most of MacPhail's tenure. For the moves he made, he did alright. What's open to criticism is the things he did not do.

To trade a 36 year old set-up guy (who has the potential to close) for two 25 year olds with the potential to be regulars and who have had real MLB experience to base that on is a move you make every time. Sure, it helps the Rangers this year and possibly next. And it may (or may not) help the Orioles even more over the next 3-5 years or more. Even if it doesn't, it's not like Koji is going to be the difference between the team making the playoffs this year or next.

Trading Lee to the Pirates is more professional courtesy to Lee than anything else. They got little in return, beyond a little salary savings, but they didn't really hurt themselves this year or next either.

The real room for questioning is what else could have been done. If MacPhail feels he did not get offered adequate value in return for Guthrie, then he should not have just traded him for nothing. It's all speculation what deals could have been made. Perhaps a more aggressive trading approach would have been better, perhaps not. But it certainly would have been out of character for MacPhail.

The Koji trade was a steal. This team is not going to be better next year with Koji and they could be better with Davis and Hunter. Time will tell but so far it looks great.

Lee brought nothing but giving the newly acquired Davis access to 1b for the remainder of te year while the Os find out what he can do.

AM failed to puul the trigger on a trade involving Jones. Jones is a very good player and coupled with "propects" like Matsuz could have brought a legitimate number 1 or 2 starter which this team must acquire if it's ever going to improve.

As for AM, the record speaks volumes. He has failed to materially improve the farm system, improve scouting, acquire top rate talent with the early draft choices and, BTW, improve the Os to be a winning team. He has to go and wth him everyone else who contributed to the complete demise of this once proud franchise.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

Baltimore Sun coverage
Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Minor league resources
Web links to official sites, stats, schedules and more for O's affiliates and other area teams

International League (AAA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Eastern League (AA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Carolina League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

South Atlantic League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

New York-Penn League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Appalachian League (R)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics
Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected