Buck Showalter's Orioles are off to a roaring start this year, winning six of their first nine games and sitting atop the AL East for the first week-and-a-half of the season. The start has been fueled by pitching, as the O's boast a 3.33 ERA and have held their opponents to one run or less in five of nine games.
The leader of the pitching staff is veteran Jeremy Guthrie, who started on Opening Day for the third time in four years. He shut out the Rays over eight innings in that game, then returned from a brief bout with pneumonia to hold the high-octane Rangers' offense to one run over six innings this afternoon. Since Showalter came aboard last year, Guthrie owns a 2.76 ERA in 13 starts (91 1/3 innings).
At 32 years old however, Guthrie might not be in Baltimore's long-term plans. Back in February we heard that they may have already "ruled out an extension" for the right-hander, who is under team control in 2012 as an arbitration-eligible player before being hitting the open market after the season. He'll earn $5.75MM this season, a bargain even if he pitches to his 4.11 career ERA the rest of the season.
If made available, there would certainly be plenty of teams looking to acquire an AL East battle-tested right-hander they could control for another season. Guthrie has also proven to be durable, throwing 200 innings in each of the last two years and at least 170 in each of the last four. The Yankees would surely be in the mix, and we know the Rangers have scouted Guthrie in the past. The Tigers, Red Sox, Rockies, Cardinals … it wouldn't be a surprise to see any or all of those clubs having interest as well.
The Orioles have already received a tremendous return on their investment, acquiring Guthrie off waivers from the Indians back in January 2007 and paying him less than $5MM since. We know they're looking to add rotation depth right now, not subtract it, but if they slide back in the race as the season progresses, it could be time to cash in further and turn the righty into several young players via trade.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
hopefully Guthrie get’s traded to a team that already has good pitching. Guthrie would be a great 3 or 4 starter, but is not cut out to be a 1.
The Rangers may be the perfect team. Webb may never be ready, Tommy Hunter may be better cut out as a long reliever, Harrison and Holland may not be able to keep up their strong starts and Ogando is more needed back in the 8th inning for Texas. Him replacing Ogando would mean he’d be a #4 guy in our rotation and going from the tough AL East to the hitting challenged West could be perfect.
The Rangers could be a good trade partner. Still, I think the O’s be would hesitant to trade Guthrie unless they were blown away. Rangers would likely have to give up a Tanner Scheppers/Martin Erlin/Martin Perez to get him along with a Robbie Ross or Neil Ramirez and another good player. Something along those lines.
He might not be a true number 1, but he’s held is own as a #1 in the toughest division in baseball with an ERA of under 4 in 3 of the 4 years he’s been in Baltimore. Guthrie used to be something of a well kept secret because he’s a bit of a late bloomer, but the way he’s pitched so far this year he’s getting more attention than usual.
I think the O’s are more likely to re-sign than trade him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they deal him assuming they can get good minor league pitching in return.
If the O’s are selling by the deadline, honestly, he’d be the perfect player for the Yankees to acquire.
I just wonder what type of return we could get for Guts… He isn’t a true ace but is more than a back of the rotation type.
A solid pitcher like him would have to net you at least two good prospects. He can be a legitimate #2, those guys don’t get moved for nothing, especially the ones who don’t cost an arm and a leg
Guthrie, for whatever reasons, is the kind of pitcher who’s stats have never matched his stuff. Maybe it’s because of bad luck, circumstances of his leaving baseball for personal reasons (which led to a roster crunch which forced the Indians to expose him to waivers), or playing for bad teams. Maybe he never quite gets there, but for what it’s worth, he has front of the rotation level stuff. At minimum he’s a pitcher with a track record to produce like a #3 starter at the deadline.
Pretty good “Buy Low” candidate.
We both know that Andy doesn’t like to sell low. If we don’t get a good offer then he won’t be going anywhere.
Also, he is someone who takes good care of himself so I could see him pitching at a high level for a few more years. At least he will hopefully get 1 good payday before he calls it quits.
True. This will probably not happen.
My observation of MacPhail is that, he’s an old school shrewd negotiator, who is very unlikely to roll the dice here on a starting pitcher, and apt to err of the side of high percentage deals. If all the Orioles can get is lower level minorleaguers, I’d say there is no way. Even if it were a straight-up deal with, say, a team outside of the division, it’s an outside chance. Against a division rival there’s no way. That’s one of those old-school rules that certain GMs are bound by, unless it’s a special exception.
It would probably have to be a multiple player deal, probably 3. One or more of those players would probably have to be MLB-ready now or close. And, the only way that this might happen is if there is a very special player included as the centerpiece that forces the Os to take the hit to their rotation. This isn’t the Rays who have an inevitable roster crunch coming on the pitching side. The Os are looking to add MLB arms, not subtract; and, they aren’t concerned about Guthrie’s salary. So, there’s nothing really forcing the issue.
One caveat to this is that there is a organization policy of developing the pitching from within, and not acquiring it via Free Agency, because of the extreme price in years and salary. So, that’s another reason to keep him. If they dealt Guthrie, who else would they have to provide that production?
Why keep him if the team won’t contend before his time is up? Much better to get something of value for him right now that can help in the upcoming years as the rest of the talent on that roster matures and progresses.
Despite their hot start this not even a 500 club in 2011. When you are building for the future holding onto players today doesn’t make much sense IMO.
I generally agree with this, but to play Devil’s Advocate:
I think most of us fans think of building a team as a simple matter of collecting talent. It’s also about sending the right message and setting priorities. It’s easy to gloss over that part of it because it is so hard to measure, but just because it is hard to measure doesn’t mean it does not exist. Shipping out vets for prospects sends a message to the players. Whether it’s the right or wrong move at the time, but the message is something that needs to be factored in. The Orioles don’t want to inadvertantly send its young core the wrong message.
maybe a few years ago I wouldn’t want the Yankees to go after him. However I would like to see him (assuming the O’s are selling) in pinstripes. But I can’t see the Yanks giving up any of their pitching prospects, or Montero for Guthrie. Maybe a draft pick a B-level prospect and cash considerations and/or a PTBNL?
I could see something like David Phelps + Adam Warren + Brandon Laird or something like Hector Noesi + Jose Ramirez
This isn’t the NFL.
i’ve always thought he would be a good fit for the Yankees. he’s a solid pitcher, who you know can be successful in the AL East -without the benefit of facing the Orioles’ bad lineup over the past few years! he’s relatively young and injury-free (and a good athlete too – he’s been used as a pinch runner on occasion). on the other hand he’s not a big name who would command a huge salary, or *that* much in trade.
it probably won’t happen though. Girardi has a stupid mini-feud going on with him, ever since he hit a couple of Yankees batters last season. I’m not sure the Yanks would make a good enough offer to merit trading him to a division rival. and he’s always pitched badly against them (career 5.53 ERA), so that might skew the fans’ opinions of him at least.
According to one scout, all of Guthrie’s pitches are plus offerings, along with pretty good control. He is always underrated by fans, but appreciated by front office types.
Several teams have inquired about Guthrie over the past few years, but the Orioles have been reluctant to trade him. While he may be a trade candidate simply because of the Oriole’s situation, he will not come cheap.
Hector Noesi+David Adams+Austin Romine for Guthrie
No way Romine should be in a deal for Guthrie he’s our catcher of the future
I don’t think the orioles really need a catcher. They have Weiters.
The way the Orioles are playing they should be looking to add a starter not trade one.
Maybe after the season though. That would make more sense.
Maybe a few prospect to Tampa for Sheilds. Rotation 1: Sheilds 2: Guthrie 3: Matusz 4: Tillman 5: Britton. Then we have Arrieta too incase someone gets hurt.
It’s hard to count on a guy who’s been injured like he has. If he can get back and make more than 5 or 10 starts, its a bonus
Those uniforms are just plain awesome.
I was surprised that the Orioles did actually have an orange-on-orange option like that in 1970 and 1971 (the Hall of Fame website has a feature called Dressed to the Nines that shows historical uniform combos). I thought that the Giants might have done similarly in the late 1970s, but it seems they didn’t have the orange pants (per that website).
Funny, I was just checking out Dressed to the Nines. Are the O’s wearing those throwbacks this season? Those have to be my favourites right after the Royals powder blues (obviously), and the Phillies all red unis.
he should net a very good package of prospects. I mean he’s got an ERA under 4.00 in 3 of the last 4 years in the AL East on the worst team in the division while showing no sign of diminished stuff. I mean he’s pumping 96 with nasty secondary pitches. plus with his religious sabbatical, he doesnt have too many miles on his arm
Here’s a trade with Texas I could see happening. I’ll include their prospect ranking within the organization.
Guthrie to the Rangers for: SS Luis Sardinas (17), RHP Neil Ramirez (8), and 3B Christian Villanueva (37)
Interesting names. But remember, the Orioles already have the number one SS prospect in all of the minors, Manny Machado. They also have top prospects Givens and Schoop. Schoop especially is a guy scouts really like. There is talk of turning Givens back into a pitcher, he does have a 96-98 fastball with movement, having been a pitcher in HS. We’ll see.
At third, Reynolds is here for at least two years and Bell is off to a good start at Norfolk so far. The Orioles big needs on the farm are a power hitting 1B and a power corner OF. Reimold is supposed to be back on track, which would take care of the OF, but Snyder, Mahoney, and Waring haven’t developed at 1B the way we hoped. Chris Davis is an interesting name, there were rumors of Guts going to Texas last year for a package that included Davis, but nothing happened. I wonder is Davis isn’t a tweener, great in AAA, not so great in the Bigs.
And of course, we can always use a few more pitchers. Who can’t?
It’s always interesting to think about how a guy like this would do playing in a big market under the microscope.
By all accounts Guthrie is a good guy with a good head on his shoulders. Hopefully, he’ll get a chance to play for a contender before his suffers major regression.
it’s not easy to play in Baltimore you know. it’s a grind to go out there every 5th day and pitch when you know your offense is averaging like 1 run a game, and your bullpen is the worst in the majors, so you know that even if you pitch 8 2/3 perfect innings, you’ll still probably get the loss somehow. not only does he have a “good head on his shoulders”, but he’s 100% calm under pressure from what I’ve seen. I think he would be fine with a big contender.
I could see the O’s trading Guthrie. But I think they’d want young top pitching prospects in return more than they’d want position players. With no pitchers in the O’s minor league teams making much now that Zach Britton has been promoted, losing Guthrie would make MacPhail even more pitching hungry than normal.