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The Orioles’ offseason so far? Not frustrating.

I’ve kind of been hanging back, which I know is obvious based on the lack of posts. It’s not been through apathy, but rather curiosity. I’ve been waiting to see, through the Winter Meetings and the nascent trade market, how the Orioles‘ offseason would shape up. So far, there hasn’t been much to talk about.

The loss of Mark Reynolds kind of bothered me but if I’m being honest it’s not a huge hit. I liked the guy a great deal but it’s not like he was a superstar. I feel like he and Chris Davis are pretty much the same player and we only really needed one of them.

With that said, the one major development we’ve seen has been a subtraction. Additions, to the extent that they’ve taken place, have been minimal.

So, panic! Right? After all, we can’t expect this team to get all the same breaks they got last year and if they don’t make some major additions then of course they’re bound to regress. Maybe.

Clearly, the Orioles roster as it’s constituted right now in December is not what we think it could be. But that doesn’t mean we should be frustrated.

Much to my surprise, Dan Duquette proved last year that he has some idea of what he’s doing. If I’ve got a read on him at all I think it’s that he plays a long game. I think he started last year — and is continuing this year — with a plan to build a team that contends for two, three, five years to come. He’s not going to sacrifice that goal for 2013 alone, just like he didn’t sacrifice that goal for 2012 alone.

We’re all conditioned to look for large moves. We equate those moves with progress. But we need to keep two things in mind:

- The offseason isn’t over. Dollars to doughnuts, Duquette isn’t finished.
- The foundation is fairly strong and there’s no reason to think the team will take a huge step back.

Because the Orioles were so bad for so long I think we’re all predisposed to believe that this past season’s success is a fragile thing. But it isn’t. It happened, and the guys that made it happen are mostly coming back for another run.

So, let’s stay calm. Pitchers and catchers don’t report for over two months. I have a hunch we’ll be excited about what we see when they do.

In Duquette we trust, weirdly.

2 comments to The Orioles’ offseason so far? Not frustrating.

  • Jeffrey Duncan

    Neal, you really captured the vibe nicely. The jays’ moves are scary and boston’s moves are weird but disconcerting. The offseason of restraint…I think I can dig it.

  • Miles

    Couple of thoughts:

    Kubatko made an unusually salient point right after Reynolds signed with the Indians – the two players with the most strikeouts on the 2012 team are now gone – Andino and Reynolds. Fan favorites though they may have been, they were whiffing a ton. Addition through subtraction. I’m down with that.

    The Blue Jays have mortgaged their future for the 38 year-old reigning Cy Young, a pitcher who was very good before he was hurt, a #3 starter and the infield equivalent of Juan Pierre.

    Oh, and Melky Cabrera, who may or may not be performance enhanced next year.

    The Red Sox have thrown a ton of money at mediocrity. That show will be fun to watch crash and burn.

    Duke’s not done with this offseason yet. We definitely have a surplus of starting pitching, which is weird to even think about. An addition will be forthcoming.

    Oh, and a full year of Manny Machado. That’s worth the price of admission alone. Not even to speak of Bundy, Gausman and Schoop on the horizon.

    I’m in.